As U-Haul celebrated its 70th anniversary in 2015 by honoring the past, we also asked our team members and dealers what U-Haul might look like in the future. Here are some of the things people predicted we could see in the next 10, 20, 50 or 100 years.
Some of them are ideas or products that could be right around the corner, while others are pretty far-fetched. But then again, when U-Haul co-founders L.S. Shoen and Anna Mary Carty Shoen came up with the idea for U-Haul in 1945, never in their wildest dreams could they have imagined people pulling a phone out of their pocket and reserving a U-Haul trailer by tapping the screen a few times.
To the moon!
Barbara DeCosta, Repwest Insurance Company claims manager, thinks U-Haul could someday launch rockets carrying people’s goods to their new homes … on the moon!
“I read recently about a new rocket-propulsion system that could propel a rocket to the moon in just a few hours,” she began. “First thing I thought of was that we will want to set up colonies on the moon and other planets. I picture an orange rocket with U-Haul written on the sides.”
Self-storage is all about space, so why not use outer space? That’s the idea of Assistant General Manager Javier Maldonado, U-Haul Moving and Storage of South Philadelphia.
“I remember a time when a video watch was only real in a Dick Tracy cartoon, or a hoverboard from ‘Back to the Future,’” Maldonado observed. “The technology we have now, from smart phones to the Lexus hoverboard prototype leads us to believe that in a not-so-distant future we might be using space to store U-Box containers.”
What sounds like an episode of “Star Trek” actually is a common idea from U-Haul Team members: Teleportation.
“I’m not a ‘Star Trek’ fan, but it would be cool to be able to teleport a customer’s things from their current location to their new home,” noted Lisa Brennan, customer service representative (CSR) at U-Haul Moving and Storage of Newnan, Ga.
Carmen Cafaro with U-Haul Legal in Phoenix had the same idea.
“The future holds endless possibilities,” she stressed. “Who knows? Perhaps down the road U-Haul will master the unique and seemingly impossible ability to teleport customer’s belongings from one state to another within a matter of minutes! Of course we would patent this brilliant idea. Imagine all the happy U-Haul customers who would never have to stress about packing again!”
Another common idea team members can see coming to fruition is the use of drones.
“Like Amazon, I could see the next step for U-Haul is incorporating rentable flying drones,” predicted Justin Tabing, CSR at U-Haul of Hayward, Calif.
Ben Nagy, senior area field manager (AFM) for U-Haul Company of Las Vegas West, predicted a twist on the idea.
“U-Box container drones,” he proclaimed. “I could see people flying their possessions using U-Box container drones.”
Not all of the predictions are straight out of a sci-fi novel, however. Network Support Specialist Robin Jarboe thinks an all-propane-powered fleet is coming in the near future for U-Haul. (It’s important to note that the U-Haul rental fleet already does have some propane-powered trucks and AFM service rigs.)
Derek Davis, CSR for U-Haul at 39th Expressway in Oklahoma City, sees a similar movement away from gasoline-powered trucks, though he thinks fully electric U-Haul trucks are the way of the future. Davis’ vision for the Company’s future goes a little farther, as well.
“Another possibility might be driverless trucks,” he predicted. “As scary as that might sound, companies like Google and Tesla have been experimenting with driverless cars and have proven that they can be quite safe. In fact, they are safer than cars driven by humans!
“If all cars became driverless and were aware of each others’ surroundings,” Davis continued, “then we’d see a massive decrease in damaged trucks, damaged goods and overall lower insurance rates, and we could pass along those savings to our customers!”
What do you think is the next big innovation for U-Haul and the do-it-yourself moving industry? Tell us in the comments section below.