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Repo in an Autonomous Future



One of the hallmarks of good foresight work is the continuous development of emerging issues. These could be future technologies, nascent public policy issues, or new concepts and ideas that may emerge down the road. They are possibilities that are fringe or experimental today, and which could mature into important mainstream realities in the future.


As a foresight firm, we do a lot of emerging issues analysis. Years back, when self-driving cars looked like they might have some traction (no pun intended), we identified an emerging issue that was basically, “End of the Repo Man.” We anticipated that, in the future, it would be possible for self-driving cars return to a dealership or to a lien holder automatically if a buyer missed too many payments. And given what smart contracts promised for the future, it was a fairly easy step to imagine End of the Repo Man.


Well, fast forward to today and there is a fun recent scan hit about a Ford patent that includes a feature for cars to drive themselves back to a showroom if an owner doesn’t pay. This pushes our emerging issue up the curve just a bit.


Keep in mind: this is not prediction. This is about anticipating and tracking logical possibilities.


If your team could use an updated horizon scan full of new trends and emerging issues, then reach out to us and we can talk about how to get that running for you.

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