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This website is a resource for consumer habits and economic trends in the restaurant industry in the U.S.
Populations in rural America are declining and causing a “brain drain,” as young people choose to relocate to more urban areas where there are more job opportunities and a higher quality of education.
From 2000 to 2008, there was a shift in the geography of poverty in the U.S. from urban areas to the suburbs surrounding major metro areas.
Electric vehicles only make up a small percentage of the U.S.’s car fleet, however they are becoming more affordable.
Self-driving cars will be first available to robotaxi-fleet operators, not private owners. This availability restriction comes from the expensive nature of LIDAR sensors that make the sensors themselves more expensive than the rest of the vehicle. The safety and reliability of automated vehicles also impacts their ability to be privately owned, at least at first. Safe and reliable vehicle operation is easier to achieve when the vehicles operate within a geographic range that has been mapped in detail, meaning automated vehicles will mainly operate in city centers in their early stages of adoption. These considerations driving automated vehicles toward fleet ownership will have impacts on many areas of the automotive industry.
One-day and same-day deliveries are causing companies to need warehouse space closer to the dense urban areas they are serving. However, this land is scarce, expensive and involves a long development process.
2019 saw a record number of retail store closings, however the actual retail square footage was not proportionally impacted. This emerging trend is due to smaller tenants opening more stores and retailers shedding space in order to improve sales productivity.
The impacts of e-commerce and changing consumer behaviors have caused brick and mortar retailers to shift their business models and reduce store square footage.
Robin Chase, co-founder and former CEO of Zipcar and cofounder of NUMO, discusses the misconceptions around Mobility as a Service and its potentials for public benefit.
The goal of this white paper is to consider the impact of AVs on municipal budgets. AVs create a “potential rat’s nest of a budgeting challenge.” This paper seeks to begin the process of untangling that rat’s nest, and provide the foundation for future phases of the project that will consider potential additional revenue sources to fund the infrastructure changes that may come from the integration of AVs as well as land use planning implications.
Residential Preference: the social, environmental, and physical preferences that affect a person or family’s choice of residential location (for our purposes, in relation to the urban core and other amenities offered as a part of living in density) The introduction of autonomous vehicles and the comprehensive integration of E-commerce into the urban and suburban fabric will have a widespread effect on the factors the influence a resident’s location preference.
The invention of the internet introduced a new typology to the marketplace, the online retailer. Omnichannel retail strategies - where a retailer operates through both physical locations and online sales - have become a necessity in today’s market.
Autonomous vehicles (AVs) are a near future reality and the implications of AVs on city development and urban form, while potentially widespread and dramatic, are not well understood. This report describes the first order impacts, or the broad ways that the form and function of cities are already being impacted by forces of change including—but not limited to—AVs and related technologies.
Today, warehouses are transforming into massive “mega-distribution centers” located in increasingly suburban areas. However, the rapid delivery expectations of E-commerce will also perpetuate the need for a network of local, smaller-scale supply points.
This article examines the increasingly high demand for same-day and two day delivery and what customers are willing to do to get it.
The Future of Work in Cities contrasts the realities cities face today with the ways they are planning for tomorrow, exploring the means by which cities can exploit innovative opportunities while realigning local governance priorities.
This document includes the interests of most, if not all, major issues surrounding the impact AVs will have on our communities, government, and environment once they land.
"To gauge the opinions of everyday Americans on this complex and far-reaching topic, the survey presented respondents with four different scenarios relating to automation technologies. Collectively, these scenarios speak to many of the hopes and concerns embedded in the broader debate over automation and its impact on society. The scenarios included: the development of autonomous vehicles that can operate without the aid of a human driver; a future in which robots and computers can perform many of the jobs currently done by human workers; the possibility of fully autonomous robot caregivers for older adults; and the possibility that a computer program could evaluate and select job candidates with no human involvement."
This article outlines the ebb and flow of Lyft's finances and how things have played out since they went public in March.
The rise of renting in the U.S. isn’t just about high housing prices, or preferences for city living, but about the flexibility to compete in today’s economy." This article examines the changes in trends of housing ownership versus renting.
Between 1998 and 2005, employment in the U.S. warehousing industry grew at a compound annual growth rate of 22.23%, and the number of establishments increased at compound annual growth rate of 9.48%. Over this same period of time, the price for transportation fuels increased dramatically and became much more volatile. In this paper we examine the microeconomic and macroeconomic forces that have enabled such rapid growth in the warehousing industry. We also analyze structural change through employment and warehouse construction starts data and show that a new breed of warehouse has emerged – the mega distribution center, or mega DC.
Chinese companies are going all-out on unmanned systems for delivery logistics. A fleet of new autonomous cargo drones, robotic trucks, and quadcopters are private-sector developments that are making China a future world leader in robotics.
This white paper will discuss the non-technological trends logistics managers much know and then will hone in on the technologies that will impact the logistics in 2018.
This article outlines how parking demand pricing is working in Washington, DC to help mitigate congestion issues in the city.
This report presents findings from a detailed analysis of the growth of app-based ride services in New York City, their impacts on traffic, travel patterns and vehicle mileage since 2013, and implications for policy makers. The analysis utilizes trip and mileage data that are uniquely available in New York City, providing a detailed and comprehensive look at the expansion of app-based ride services and their impact on critical City goals for mobility, economic growth and environmental sustainability.
A synopsis of how Walmart plans to increase services and capacity in order to continue to compete with Amazon.
SAFE believes that AV-related labor displacement concerns—many of which have been expressed sensationally—must be addressed seriously rather than merely dismissed out of hand or repeated without verification. In response to these concerns, SAFE commissioned a panel of highly regarded transportation and labor economists to conduct a fact-based and rigorous assessment of the economic costs and benefits of AVs, including labor impacts.
To gain a deeper understanding of retailers’ focus, concerns and investment plans, Zebra conducted a global research study across a wide spectrum of retail segments, including: specialty stores, department stores, apparel merchants, supermarkets, electronics, home improvement and drugstore chains. The results of this study are shared in this 2017 Retail Vision Study.
"This research analyzed the competitiveness of freight tricycles, low- capacity freight delivery vehicles, as compared with diesel vans in urban areas. Freight tricycles, also known as electric-assisted trikes, are low- emission vehicles powered by a combination of human effort and an electric engine. This research developed a cost model that incorporated vehicle ownership and operation models as well as logistics constraints such as time windows, cargo capacity, fuel consumption, and energy use. Unlike previous research efforts, the model was tailored to the unique characteristics of freight tricycles and diesel van deliveries in urban areas. The model was used to analyze the competitiveness of freight tricycles against diesel- powered delivery vans. "
This report compares and analyzes the "relative advantages and disadvantages of autonomous and connected large trucks relative to light-duty vehicles."
"In the United States, road infrastructure funding is declining due to an increase in fuel efficiency and the non-adjustment of fuel taxes to inflation. Legislation to tax plug-in vehicles has been proposed or implemented in several states. This paper assesses (1) the magnitude of the decline in federal fuel tax revenue caused by plug-in vehicles and (2) quantifies the revenue that could be generated from a federal plug in vehicle registration fee.
Using data from the recently released American Community Survey, this report examines population change in the 51 metropolitan areas with 1 million or more population, and focuses on the change in population in close-in neighborhoods, those places within 3 miles of the center of each metropolitan area’s primary central business district.
This article outlines the changing numbers Uber has experienced this year and the sharp declining revenue. Chief executive, Dara Khosrowshahi, weighs in on the changes.
The expansion of delivery services is expanding each day with the use of new technology. In this article, we see how a new app can give delivery drivers access to your trunk to leave packages, an option that is created to eliminate the need to leave packages on your doorstep if security concerns you.
Target acquires delivery service Shipt for $550 million, this article explains how its going and how they match up to other delivery options.
In an effort to keep up with competitor Amazon, Walmart partners with delivery company Postmastes to offer same-day grocery delivery to more US households.
This paper models the market potential of a fleet of shared, autonomous, electric vehicles (SAEVs) 20 by employing a multinomial logic mode choice model in an agent-based framework and different 21 fare settings.
Deaths and devastating injuries. A litany of labor violations. Drivers forced to urinate in their vans. Here is how Amazon’s gigantic, decentralized, next-day delivery network brought chaos, exploitation, and danger to communities across America.
Bonobos, a popular menswear e-tailer, opened a brick and mortar store on Manhattan's Fifth Avenue, but you can't actually leave with anything. This article explains how the store works.
In 2013, eyewear e-commerce pioneer Warby Parker opened its first retail store in SoHo with fairly low expectations. In 2015, that store still occasionally had a line out the door on weekends, and Warby Parker had 12 retail locations across the country, with plans to open seven more before the end of the year. This article explores why the online-native eyewear retailer chose to open so many stores in such a short period of time.
The full story of autonomous vehicles is yet to be written. We created four scenario planning stories that explain how cities could shape the driverless future: tap taxi to tackle isolation, weaving a microtransit mesh, a human touch on robot delivery, reprogramming bus, bikes and barriers.
This report is an analysis of 153 "state of the city" speeches by mayors between January and April of 2019. They have been analyzed to identify the 10 major issues cities are talking about and other major issues that are being prioritized across the country.
The questionable acquisition of Jet.com by Walmart last year has seemed to pay off, this article explains the purchase and their success since.
Amazon agreed to buy the upscale grocery chain Whole Foods for $13.4 billion, in a deal that will instantly transform the company that pioneered online shopping into a merchant with physical outposts in hundreds of neighborhoods across the country.
This study advances the national conversation about how to cope with the effect of AVs on workers in three ways: by setting forth a framework for discussion, presenting quantitative simulations and qualitative scenarios to help assess key impacts, and providing policy recommendations for mitigating negative impacts while also setting an agenda for research on policy.
Meal-delivery companies are the ultimate symbol of the most powerful force in business today: convenience maximalism. But it comes with ethical, ecological, and economic costs.
Most of today’s retailers and their supply chain advisors understand the shift in retail sales to the online channel but, for many years, the inclusion of gasoline, groceries, and automobile sales in U.S. retail sales numbers masked the true extent of eCommerce penetration. This is a blog summary of a longer report.
Nordstrom has officially opened its first store without inventory, testing a new format for the department store chain called Nordstrom Local.
"This document is for city administrations, national policy makers, and anyone considering a move to employ cycle logistics. It outlines the major learning points and success factors, and sets out nine recommendations for the most successful implementation. The project demonstrated that e-bikes were popular, efficient, reliable and – above all – saved money compared to the motorized alternative. Most of the participants were so impressed, they are continuing or expanding their use of e-bikes, after the project end-point."
A new report confirms what local officials in Oklahoma have been saying for some time: Internet retail sales are eating away at sales tax revenues.
There's a good reason Walmart, Kroger, and other supermarket chains are rapidly building out their online grocery options: Amazon.com is running away with the category, and as more grocery shopping moves online, it may develop an impenetrable lead over the competition.
JD.com is an example of what companies may look like in the future of automation. This article talks about how their company, shipping 200,000 orders a day, operates in this new age.
This article lays out the share of the market Amazon versus its competitors hold and the impacts its growth is having.
This article explores the history of Amazon's attempts to get into the fresh grocery game, and looks at potential future methods the company may use as it continues to do so.
Carmaking giants and ride-sharing upstarts racing to put autonomous vehicles on the road are dead set on replacing drivers, and that includes truckers. Trucks without human hands at the wheel could be on American roads within a decade, say analysts and industry executives. At risk is one of the most common jobs in many states, and one of the last remaining careers that offer middle-class pay to those without a college degree.
A summary of retail job gain and loss through the different industries.
Amazon's physical retail strategy is coming into focus, and just like the company's e-commerce business, it's focused on convenience. Perhaps the best way to make things more convenient for customers is to shorten the time it takes for them to complete a shopping trip.
Like most other industries, transportation and logistics (T&L) is currently confronting immense change; and like all change, this brings both risk and opportunity. New technology, new market entrants, new customer expectations, and new business models. In this paper we discuss four key areas of disruption logistics companies need to focus on now, and explore some possible futures of the industry.
Using data from the 2010 to 2014 merged American Community Survey released by the U.S. Census Bureau, this paper estimates the labor market impact of jobs likely to be lost with a rapid transition to autonomous vehicles. The report finds that certain population groups and areas of the country would be disproportionately affected. Finally, we call for policymakers to take immediate steps to offset the potential for harmful labor disruptions.
Uber Eats will now deliver food to customers in the most unexpected of places—restaurants. The food delivery and pick-up app's "Dine-in" feature is now being pilot-tested in Dallas, Austin, Phoenix and San Diego, according to an Uber spokesperson.
In theory, e-commerce can be greener than a bunch of shoppers making personal trips in their own cars: Consolidating products and delivering them on one route to a bunch of homes requires fewer miles on the road. However, that calculus changes significantly if items are coming from further away and have to be sent immediately, which creates fewer opportunities for lumping deliveries together.
The quintessential college experience of getting pizza delivered to your dorm room is about to get a high-tech upgrade. Starship Technologies announced its plan to deploy thousands of its autonomous six-wheeled delivery robots on college campuses around the country over the next two years.
Size, growth, and the difficult positioning of incumbents alone already provide ample grounds for studying the future development of the last mile. But there is one more critical factor supporting the case for taking a closer look: the last mile is seeing disruption from new business models that address customer demand for ever faster delivery, as well as new technologies that are likely to reach market readiness over the next ten years, including drones and autonomous ground vehicles (AGVs).
As e-commerce sales march ahead of in-store sales, the major issue discussed at the Retail Industry Leaders Association’s (RILA) Retail Supply Chain Conference: Logistics 2013 was best practices for developing and executing an omni-channel distribution strategy. And real estate—particularly distribution centers (DCs)—is a significant part of the process. This article reviews the main questions asked during the conference.
"This report explores autonomous vehicle benefits and costs, and implications for various planning issues. It investigates how quickly self driving vehicles are likely to be developed and deployed based on experience with previous vehicle technologies, their benefits and costs, and how they are likely to affect travel demands and planning decisions such as optimal road, parking and public transit supply."
The sharing economy and on-demand services are weaving their way into the lives of (some) Americans, raising difficult issues around jobs, regulation and the potential emergence of a new digital divide. This report offers a detailed examination of three different services that exemplify the shared, collaborative and on-demand economy: ride-hailing apps, home-sharing platforms and crowdfunding services.
A very brief introduction to the impacts that may come with autonomous cars in the future.
Low wages, lack of career paths and an overwhelming belief among the working public that fast-food jobs should only ever be temporary all contribute to the worsening turnover issues faced by quick-service restaurants. Automation is being explored as an answer.
E‐commerce has become an integral part of Americans’ lives and while it offers many benefits, it also represents forgone sales tax revenue for governments. Using a difference‐in‐differences model, this analysis examines how the Amazon tax affected local sales tax collections in North Carolina and whether that impact has been greater for urban, rural, or tourism‐rich counties. The results suggest that the Amazon tax increased revenues and urban jurisdictions benefit most. This finding is important for practitioners and policymakers as they consider the impact of policy changes, such as the South Dakota v. Wayfair ruling, on revenue capacity and financial management.
While the U.S. online food-delivery market continues to burn hot, data from KeyBanc suggests growth in restaurants offering the service may be slowing. That could limit the whole sector’s long-term growth, as restaurant selection is key to consumer adoption of delivery apps.
Meow Wolf started as a loose group of penniless punks coming together as an art collective. Now it’s a multimillion-dollar dream factory thriving in creating installations for the experience economy.
In many countries the revenue from gasoline taxes is used to fund highways and other transportation infrastructure. As the number of electric vehicles on the road increases, this raises questions about the effectiveness and equity of this financing mechanism. In this paper, we ask whether electric vehicle drivers should pay a mileage tax.
The Mayor’s Proposed Fiscal Year (FY) 2018-19 and 2019-20 Budget for the City and County of San Francisco (the City) contains citywide budgetary and fiscal policy information as well as detailed departmental budgets for General Fund and Enterprise Departments.
It’s nothing short of a revolution, and the stakes have never been higher for retailers and consumer goods companies. Our Total Retail survey results, together with 2015 fourth-quarter retail results around the world, point to 2016 as a watershed for many of the trends that have been percolating over the past few years. From the unmistakable desire to be a member of a specialized retail community to buying more on their mobile phones, from becoming more reliant on social media to demanding a more service-focused and knowledgeable store employee, global consumers are pushing the boundaries of what shopping means.
Ever since Amazon began selling books online in 1995, retailers — and plenty of other commentators — have been asking what role, if any, physical stores might play in the retail arena. Some have gone so far as to predict the ultimate demise of stores, and others expound the virtues of various hybrid omnichannel solutions. This report explores where things stand in retail in 2017.
This report aims to pull back Amazon’s cloak of invisibility, it shows how the company’s tightening grip is stifling competition, eroding jobs, and threatening communities - it presents new data; draws on interviews with dozens of manufacturers, retailers, and others; and synthesizes a broad body of previous reporting and scholarship.
We are on the cusp of one of the fastest, deepest, most consequential disruptions of transportation in history. By 2030, within 10 years of regulatory approval of autonomous vehicles (AVs), 95% of U.S. passenger miles traveled will be served by on-demand autonomous electric vehicles owned by fleets, not individuals, in a new business model we call “transportas-a-service” (TaaS). The TaaS disruption will have enormous implications across the transportation and oil industries, decimating entire portions of their value chains, causing oil demand and prices to plummet, and destroying trillions of dollars in investor value — but also creating trillions of dollars in new business opportunities, consumer surplus and GDP growth.
The Young and Restless—25 to 34 year olds with a bachelor’s degree or higher level of education, are increasingly moving to the close-in neighborhoods of the nation’s large metropolitan areas. This migration is fueling economic growth and urban revitalization.
This report looks to the past to anticipate an uncertain future. It adopts the view of neither the techno-optimist nor the techno-pessimist about the scope and pace of change, instead taking a middle-of-the-road approach to evaluate the impacts of automation on the future of work in Oregon. Regardless of the scenario, Oregon policymakers — and their federal partners — should be preparing an expansive, flexible and focused policy response that can keep pace with rapidly changing conditions.
We are long past the point of discussing how technology has interrupted our lives and changed our perspective of the world. We are now in the post-disruption era, and in many sectors including retail, a new normal is emerging. We are seeing that the most successful retailers are using both online and offline approaches. The key is the critical balance between the efficiency of online with the engagement of offline.
A year after shutting all its U.S. stores, Toys R Us is making a comeback. The international chain, which filed for bankruptcy in 2017, is opening two mall stores this holiday season and bringing back its website. But don’t expect the Toys R Us you’re used to. 'We’re reinventing Toys R Us to make it fun and interactive for kids and parents.'
According to case studies, transit systems not in a state of good repair are particularly vulnerable when unanticipated events occur. This can cost a local or regional economy millions of dollars in repairs and lost revenue. Along with the net gains or losses at stake to the U.S. economy, the condition of public transit infrastructure has regional and local implications. As cities throughout America compete to retain key occupations and businesses, the condition and quality of public transit infrastructure play a growing role in what makes a thriving regional economy. The total SGR (State of Good Repair) backlog was estimated to be at $89.9 billion in 2015, and is continuing to grow. Six case studies provide detailed examples of how different agencies are dealing with SGR issues.
This blog post summarizes a larger article written by University of Michigan faculty member Saif Benjaafar's research on smart technology. It specifically focuses on his analysis of ride-sharing companies.
Autonomous trucking is coming faster than expected—perhaps within five years, according to panelists at the Transportation Research Board’s 96th annual meeting in Washington, D.C.