C2 Podcast: Mobility moonshots

By Laura Beeston, C2 podcast host
Bertrand Piccard, explorateur et président de Solar Impulse Foundation
Bertrand Piccard, explorer and president of Solar Impulse Foundation, at the Movin'On World Summit on Sustainable Mobility.

All about innovations in moving from point A to point B, this episode of the C2 Podcast explores the next big strides in mobility. From driverless cars to tech-enhanced bikes to entirely new technologies like hyperloop and solar-powered airplanes, our guests weigh in on the innovations that are changing transportation as we know it.

On “Mobility moonshots,” we hear from Dr. Karl Iagnemma, the co-founder and CEO of nuTonomy and Principal Research Scientist at MIT, who makes the case for driverless cars.

Dr. Karl believes autonomous vehicles will hit the streets gradually, predicting 75% of cars will be autonomous by 2040. Today, Singapore functions as his playground for the potential of our AV future, strategically chosen because it’s a highly connected, super smart urban space.

A self-driving case study: nuTonomy wanted to see what would happen if all of Singapore’s 850,000 cars were taken off the roads and replaced with driverless taxis. They found that only 300,000 self-driving cars would be required to serve Singapore’s transportation needs and provide rides for everyone, with waiting times no longer than 15 minutes at peak times and two minutes off-peak.

Also on this episode, the founder and CEO of Superpedestrian and associate director of MIT’s Senseable City Lab, Assaf Biderman, talks about urban alternatives to cars, enhancing the tools we already have (hello, souped-up cycling!) and changing attitudes on mobility.

But if we want to make big changes to the way we move around, we will also have to embrace paradigm-shifting ideas and be bold in executing them – something our guest, Rob Lloyd, CEO at HyperLoop One, knows about firsthand. He’s partly responsible for developing what you see below:

And finally, we dream big with explorer Bertrand Piccard, President of Solar Impulse and a pioneer who flew around the world aboard a solar-powered, emission-free airplane to promote clean technologies.

If these inspiring scientists, explorers, dreamers and doers are any indication, the future of mobility is bright. Listen now to the “Mobility moonshots” episode of the C2 Podcast and subscribe now on iTunes.

Dig deeper

See Bertrand Piccard speak truth to power at TED.

Read Dr. Karl’s article in the World Economic Forum on the ethics of automation.

Strap in: here’s a video of Hyperloop One Phase 3 testing.

Check out this cool mapping project of global congestion by Senseable City Lab.

You can also read all the insights, highlights and key learnings from the Movin’On 2017 conference here and purchase tickets to Movin’On 2018 here.

Fast facts from this episode

  • The Atlantic’s CityLab bureau predicts that more than five billion people – that is, six out of every ten human beings on Planet Earth – will live in cities and urban centres by 2030 and that there will be twice as many vehicles on the road.
  • Road fatalities are a public health issue: 3,500 people die every day in traffic-related accidents and 50 million more are injured.
  • Urban congestion costs Americans upwards of $160 million per year.
  • 30% of total traffic in cities like Berlin and Paris are made up of drivers looking for a parking space.
  • Private cars sit idle and parked an estimated 95% of the time.