October 21, 2019

A Futuristic Vision of Business Travel

What will business travel look like in 2032?

This is the question that Dré Labre of the TBD Company explored during his futuristic vision of business travel session at TRAVERSE 19. For those who didn’t make TRAVERSE, Dré presented his fascinating concepts in a TripActions webinar available here.

Dré Labre is a futurist who helps business leaders navigate the chaos of a rapidly changing world. What sets Dré apart is his emphasis on strategic science fiction as a tool to provoke meaningful conversation and challenge assumptions. It’s not just about what technologies might emerge, it’s how we might use them, and how they might affect us.


“The future is the result of the decisions, discoveries, and the efforts we make today,” explains Dré.

Too often our present-day decisions are based on old data and our cognitive bias makes it difficult to imagine the future. For example, The New York Times printed the line “heavier-than-air flying machines are impossible” two months before it printed the headline, “successful trial of flying machine.”

Science fiction can help us expand our understanding of the possibilities. After all, Star Tek, Minority Report, Jurassic Park, The Jetsons, and 2001: A Space Odyssey were filled with ideas that served as inspiration for actual technology that came to market.

Dré draws on this expertise to explore the future possibilities in business travel in partnership with TripActions.

A Snapshot of Business Travel in 2032

Climate issues are being managed, but still a concern. Automation has grown, creating new opportunities in AI. And plant-based fabrics can be printed on demand for road warriors. Thus, the stage is set for a (potential) day in the life of a business traveler in 2032.

The story starts with Robert, the business traveler, and T.R.I.S.H.A -- the TripActions Responsive Intelligent Service and Hospitality Assistant charged with “taking care of employees on the front line and your bottom line too.” T.R.I.S.H.A helps remove friction in business travel, for travelers, travel managers, and finance leaders align.

Using data determined by the business traveler, T.R.I.S.H.A. is able to keep her business travelers on track, taking into account their professional and personal lives as well as their habits and health.

Robert is home in his living room while T.R.I.S.H.A reviews business travel plans and then turns down the lights as an appropriate bedtime approaches. She wakes Robert up with a soothing experience timed to his sleep rhythms.

He drinks coffee prepared by T.R.I.S.H.A and takes a solar-powered autonomous pod to the airport. His boss calls in on a holophone and explains that she won’t be able to make the meeting since she’s reached her carbon cap that month. Although business travel remains popular, many short-haul flights have been replaced by rail and electric driverless pods, as well as virtual and augmented reality conferencing.

The Future is Closer than it Seems

Arriving at the friction-free terminal designed exclusively for business travelers, Robert’s ‘AuraAuthenticator’ is scanned by passing detectors and sensors, removing the need for lines and queues, and he boards a business-class only flight. With AuraAuthenticator, business travelers no longer have to carry an id or digital device, but rather radiate their own an encrypted ID symbol.

Rather than check into a hotel room, T.R.I.S.H.A relays the room number to the traveler and his AuraAuthenticator unlocks the door. This hotel chain uses “Deja You” technology to remember business travelers’ specific preferences such as light and temperature settings based on their stays in other places.

As Robert’s day continues, we see that the future is filled with products and experiences based on today's technology and ideas. There are AR-equipped conference rooms and business traveler-friendly living rooms throughout the city -- but you’ll have to watch the webinar to see all.

The truth is that the future is closer than it seems. Similar to T.R.I.S.H.A, TripActions proactive global 24/7 365 live travel agent support is able to anticipate problems before they occur and re-route business travelers to save time and money. Also like today with TripActions, machine-learning technology is able to learn business travelers’ preferences and predict within 30 seconds what travelers are going to book with 90%+ accuracy.

The future is a nuanced version of today -- and we can’t wait to build it for travelers, traveler managers, and their organizations. Let’s go!