Via Autoblog, I found this article in the Detroit News, which says that Japanese automakers are worried about sales in Japan because young people are shifting their interest away from cars and towards gadgets.
The appeal of driving yourself boils down to personal space and freedom. But nowadays we spent most of our driving going to one of two places, and portable devices allow you to create a personal space virtually anywhere. While they don’t erect a physical barrier with the outside world, an iPod or Kindle allows its user to effectively shut out the outside world, even in the middle of a crowded train.
Technology has also diminished the significance of physical location; half of Mozilla’s employees are remote and they seem to have no trouble getting as much done as the rest of us. How long will it be until commuting and travel become obsolete altogether?