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Metaverse to Motorverse: Shelly Palmer is Sharing His Insights on the Road Ahead

Posted: March 28, 2022

“We’ve got a chance to invent the future. Is that future three years away, five years away, ten years away, twenty-five years away, none of the above? The answer is: all of the above.” 

Technology and business expert Shelly Palmer shared these words with SAE as he described the focus of his upcoming WCX session, From Metaverse to Motorverse: A Roadmap, which he’ll present April 7 at Huntington Place in Detroit, Michigan.

The session, presented by Ford Motor Company, will feature Palmer’s perspective on quickly evolving trends including decentralized finance (DeFi), Web3, crypto, NFTs, and the blockchain-related technologies that are reshaping our world—and what they mean for the automotive industry.

“What I’m learning as I do this kind of work now is that you can’t make assumptions about what people know and don’t know. There aren’t generally accepted definitions of any of the words in that description,” Palmer said. “So, if I say, ‘What is the metaverse?’ and you ask ten people, you’re going to get eleven descriptions. What I’m going to do is a 101 primer on what this is, what it isn’t, and how to think about it.”

The future of applying the metaverse to world of transportation, then, relies on the growing connectivity both in and outside of the vehicle that we’re seeing today. The scope of that future? As wide and vast as you can imagine, Palmer said. His interest lies in answering a question posed to him by retired Ford President and Chief Executive Officer Alan Mullaly during a conversation with innovators at Ford nearly a decade ago.

“Alan asked, ‘What does it mean to go from here to there?’ Not ‘How will I drive?’—because everyone assumed it would be a self-driving car—but in twenty-five years, what does it mean to get from here to there?” Palmer said.

As he has considered this question and observed the development of the industry around him, Palmer notes that many have failed at finding the path forward, trying to invent the future without understanding the future.

Watching this failure to grasp or embrace developing and future technology pointed Palmer toward this concept of a motorverse, and his goal is to help those who are listening truly understand the future potential of these technologies to achieve the maximum benefit for mobility.

“You, audience, are the architects of this future,” Palmer said. “The tools are all here in front of us.”

Ready to grow your knowledge around digital technologies and unlock the potential of a motorverse with Shelly Palmer? Join us at WCX, April 5-7, in Detroit, Michigan. Register here.