A tsunami of global media suggests autonomous vehicles and shared new mobility modes using private vehicles are solutions to the congestion, economic and environmental problems of growing cities. But much of this discussion is based on hype; the promotion of new technologies with little proof, feasibility and little basis in fact. Yet the global broadcasting of these over-hyped technologies is harming urban public transport systems globally; it is a widely held view that transit has no future as a result of new mobility. This session provides evidence that transit systems remain the core of solutions for congested cities. E vidence is shown that new mobility solutions using private vehicle travel remain problematic for growing cities.
Lies, Damned Lies: AV's Shared Mobility and Urban Transit Futures
Graham Currie, Monash UniversityShow Abstract
It seems to me there is a gigantic lot of nonsense discussed about the future of transport and the future of public transport in particular. As a researcher in the field, I find my emotions boiling over. I get angry at blanket statements telling us public transport has no future and it seems to me much of what is talked about regarding transport futures flies in the face of facts and a long history of what knowledge has gleaned about the human condition, economics, cities, and travel. My hope is that readers will see prevailing discourse differently as a result of this paper and get to share my feelings on the matter. Either way, debating the issues is worthwhile and there are new perspectives of much value to debate.
This research paper aims to explore public transport futures but it also aims to challenge and “derail” what current common thinking is on transport futures. It starts with an outline of a rather unusual approach that will use “new words” as a novel medium to explain prevailing thinking. The paper actually begins at “The End” since it is important for readers to understand that prevailing thinking tends to believe that public transport has no future. The new word auto-no-(e)motion is then presented so that readers can assess if a future of autonomous cars is likely; or perhaps “the emperor has no clothes.” Next, the word non-o-sharing is introduced to help readers understand what I shall term the shared mobility lie. The paper then closes with a short outline of why public transport is the future of cities and presents the term transit fusion as a new way of explaining how developments in our past will enhance the future of public transport in cities.
Driverless Cars: Future or Fantasy
Christian Wolmar, Christian WolmarShow Abstract
The Driverless car dream has now been hyped for more than a decade but how come we seem to be nowhere seeing it becoming a reality? Christian Wolmar, one of the worlds leading rail history researchers and authors and the author of a new book; 'Driverless Cars on a Road to Nowhere' suggests it never will.
Lean into the Wind: Defending Our Cities from Technology Hype
Jarrett Walker, Jarrett Walker & AssociatesShow Abstract
As inventors chase venture capital and customers, it is inevitable that inventions will be oversold. They may also be pitched to narrow markets such as the wealthy without regard to their larger impact. Jarrett Walker, who engaged in a heated social media debate on hyperloop with Elon Musk which gained national attention, provides simple tools for sifting technology pitches, and ensuring that we choose products that build the city that we want.
Positioning Transit to Compete as Technology Transforms Transportation
Steven Polzin, University of South FloridaShow Abstract
Where transit has logistics and other advantages, how it can leverage technology within transit, and the risks of transit doing nothing based on “hype” scenarios of technology deployment.