With the Summer Olympics scheduled to come to Los Angeles in 2028, the City of Los Angeles should take a decisive step and announce that all officially sanctioned Olympics vehicles will be autonomous, on-demand and electric.
While this is a bold statement, it’s not much different than the controversial 1984 Los Angeles Olympics strategy. The 1984 Summer Olympics which were the first privately financed Olympic Games relied heavily on television rights fees and corporate sponsorships to underwrite the costs of the games which were considered controversial at the time.
This strategy netted the 84 Summer Olympics a surplus of $250 million. The benefits of which are still being felt today. While there is no way to guarantee that an autonomous vehicle strategy would be as lucrative for the 2028 Summer Olympics, you can all but guarantee that the strategy could help to usher in the future of transportation.
In 2028, full self-driving vehicles will be on public roads around the world and common in historical early technology adopter cities. There will be an Autonomous Vehicle National Framework in place which will allow vehicles to travel over State lines, sports teams will have introduced autonomous vehicle sporting experiences, and visitors to Disney World will have rode in an autonomous vehicle to and from the airport.
US Olympics Team 1984
In short, this sums up the perfect environment to roll out the technology in a meaningful way. Remnants of the 84 Olympics strategy could be used to showcase the autonomous vehicles on new video platforms and sell corporate sponsorships to autonomous vehicle companies and service providers.
This will demonstrate to the world that the city which brought car culture to the world is back and is exporting autonomous vehicle culture to the world. By exporting the culture, Los Angeles would also be exploring the know-how of a major city that is preparing for autonomous, on-demand and electric vehicles.
To prepare for this future, Los Angeles has to take a step back to prepare the energy grid for an electric future. A future where a majority of the vehicles on the road will run on electricity, not on gasoline.
Recently, the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Board pledged to introduce a 100% zero emissions bus fleet by 2030. To achieve this noteworthy goal, the city needs to upgrade the energy infrastructure which coincides with the proposed 2028 Autonomous Olympics Strategy.
By 2030, 25% of miles driven in the United States could be in shared autonomous electric vehicles according to a recent Boston Consulting Group (BCG) report. If BCG’s report proves to be accurate, the public will already be comfortable with not driving which creates new unique opportunities for sponsors. During the games, the City could designate certain lanes “autonomous lanes” to optimize the traffic flow and cut down on the amount of time it will take individuals to move about the games.
If done correctly, the 2028 Summer Olympics could usher in the future of autonomy. To achieve this goal, Los Angeles has to take decisive action by upgrading the energy infrastructure and setting the requirement that all officially authorized Olympics vehicles will be autonomous, on-demand and electric.
When and if this happens, the summer of 2028 will become known simply as the summer of autonomy.