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Van Living and Working

I have earlier created scenarios describing self-driving cars as the future of affordable housing. The convergence of new technologies including artificial intelligence, the internet of things, electric cars, and drone delivery systems suggests an unlikely solution to the growing housing crisis. In the next few years, we may use an app on our smartphones to notify our houses to pick us up or drop us off. Our mobile driverless vehicles may allow us to work from our cars and have our laundry and a hot meal delivered at the same time.

Volvo released their 360c Concept car some years ago. As Volvo says “Why fly when you can be driven?” Soon you may be able to avoid airport lines and delays. You will be able to arrive at your destination rested and refreshed after being driven overnight in your personal portable bedroom. A car to sleep in, while you are transported to your destination. However, not a house to live in.

For quite some years a growing crowd of creative "vandwellers" explores this new way of living. In Los Angeles alone, it is estimated that 15,000 people are already living in their cars. In most countries, it is perfectly legal to live in your vehicle. So, legally no blockers.

Example of enthusiasts sharing their Van House living in a custom DIY Sprinter Van:

The BIG revolution will however come when autonomous driving is matched with these bigger cars or 5th wheels where you can stand up, invite guests, and basically live your life. Advantages are:

  • Rent is free

  • More sustainable - no fossil energy with electric vehicles (fueled via solar cells). Also, with a smaller space, less consumption, less waste.

  • More access to nature, quality of life next to parks, forests, beaches, and playgrounds.

  • No suspicious or crazy housemates or neighbors to deal with.

  • Freedom to instantly move anywhere, even to new cities. Your home is your transport.

The consequences of autonomous home living are far-reaching. It could radically reduce carbon footprints and living expenses by combining all transportation and housing needs in one space. The new need for overnight parking creates new economic and social opportunities. New types of pop-up communities will emerge with charging stations, retail stores, laundry facilities, restaurants, and social spaces. The freedom of a van-home lifestyle suggests new modes of living which include more leisure time and less time tethered to a job. The impact on cities, economies, infrastructures, inter-city travel and the way we live and organize ourselves are immeasurable and scarcely completely imagined.

From custom DIY van dwellers solutions to autonomous house-alike cars to solar-driven mobile homes.

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