With approximately 77 percent of all Americans now owning a smartphone, is there really a need for large commercial signs? One only needs to use the mapping software and GPS directions on their phones or built into their cars to direct them right to where they want to be. One no longer needs a sign of any significance or a billboard to guide them there. Furthermore, with the upcoming deployment of autonomous vehicles, all such information will guide the vehicle to the doorstep of the business.
Perhaps, instead of blizzarding commercial corridors with undo amounts of signage, business owners should concentrate their marketing and advertising budgets on more cost-effective means, such as a stronger online presence, mail, or television and radio, as passengers in autonomous vehicles (including the former driver) will have plenty of free time for fun and relaxation while being transported down the byways and highways.
Planners across the land should be re-thinking sign regulations in a wireless and autonomous world. The rules of yesterday hardly apply anymore and our plans, ordinances, and regulations should reflect that new paradigm. Those communities who take a proactive approach will likely become the trendsetters and desirable places to live, work, and play by the second quarter of the 21st Century, while those who fail to adapt may becomes the forgotten and bypassed ghost towns of the new age.