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The Next Mile

Transportationis such an underrated and typically unsexy topic, but you’re wrong. We like whining about traffic and leaving it behind with us at the watercooler, but, in reality, evolving how we move will make us a bette... More
Latest Episode
2019-9-23

Episode 6 - From AVs to Zombies

Season 1, Ep. 6

Cars have come a long way since they were first conceived.


By introducing these kinds of horseless carriages, no longer would people have to hassle and care for the animals that came along with travel.

As the idea of driving became more likable to the public and cars became more advanced, their role in society grew. But as cars gained the spotlight, other community infrastructure began to lackluster.


On today’s episode, I am talking about the impact of the AVs on our society, with my guest, Samuel Schwartz.


Samuel Schwartz has been in the transportation industry since the late 1960s. He started as a cabbie in New York and rose to the ranks of traffic commissioner and the DOT's Chief Engineer for the Big Apple. He popularized the term "gridlock" while pushing New Yorkers to think differently about traffic. At one point, he even toyed with the idea of banning cars altogether in certain red zones. To say the least, he knows a thing or two about traffic and transportation systems as a whole. The years have only honed his focus on how to solve the Rubik's cube of Transportation.


So don’t miss out, Episode 6 of The Next Mile, where we have an interesting conversation about the evolution of cars, and how they will impact our future.


Questions I ask:

  • How do we make sure that car companies don't steer us in the same decisions that really only help them, but rather use the car for what it should do, which is connect us in a more meaningful way? (06:22)
  • Right now a lot of cars that are coming out on the roadways, newer cars from many companies that we all know, have some level of partial automation. How are those technical elements going to help us? (08:56)
  • Why do you think that citizens should take a more active role and a more serious role in talking about transportation? (11:26)
  • At this point in your career, with a global consultancy, do you feel like countries that are just now starting to put in that infrastructure, are they ahead of the curve or behind the curve of the United States in building for what this new future will look like? (14:00)
  • In "No One at the Wheel” you outline that the car of tomorrow may look very different and it may help a family live a more normal life, where not everyone has to build their day around the availability of a vehicle. Can you talk through some of those scenarios? (27:12)
  • Do you see the average American giving up their personal vehicle? (33:05)


In this episode, you will learn:

  • The mistakes we’ve made in the past 100 years, with regards to vehicles. (01:24)
  • How shifting city focus to cars created inequality between public transit and those who could afford car ownership. (04:13)
  • The benefits of AVs. (05:06)
  • The types of pedestrian injuries that we see in this age, and why they have worsened. (10:36)
  •  How the population is affected by poor infrastructure maintenance. (12:41)
  • A child’s opinion on Autonomous Vehicles. (16:40)
  • Why AVs are compared to zombies. (31:03)


Connect with Sam:


Books mentioned:

2019-9-23

Episode 6 - From AVs to Zombies

Season 1, Ep. 6

Cars have come a long way since they were first conceived.


By introducing these kinds of horseless carriages, no longer would people have to hassle and care for the animals that came along with travel.

As the idea of driving became more likable to the public and cars became more advanced, their role in society grew. But as cars gained the spotlight, other community infrastructure began to lackluster.


On today’s episode, I am talking about the impact of the AVs on our society, with my guest, Samuel Schwartz.


Samuel Schwartz has been in the transportation industry since the late 1960s. He started as a cabbie in New York and rose to the ranks of traffic commissioner and the DOT's Chief Engineer for the Big Apple. He popularized the term "gridlock" while pushing New Yorkers to think differently about traffic. At one point, he even toyed with the idea of banning cars altogether in certain red zones. To say the least, he knows a thing or two about traffic and transportation systems as a whole. The years have only honed his focus on how to solve the Rubik's cube of Transportation.


So don’t miss out, Episode 6 of The Next Mile, where we have an interesting conversation about the evolution of cars, and how they will impact our future.


Questions I ask:

  • How do we make sure that car companies don't steer us in the same decisions that really only help them, but rather use the car for what it should do, which is connect us in a more meaningful way? (06:22)
  • Right now a lot of cars that are coming out on the roadways, newer cars from many companies that we all know, have some level of partial automation. How are those technical elements going to help us? (08:56)
  • Why do you think that citizens should take a more active role and a more serious role in talking about transportation? (11:26)
  • At this point in your career, with a global consultancy, do you feel like countries that are just now starting to put in that infrastructure, are they ahead of the curve or behind the curve of the United States in building for what this new future will look like? (14:00)
  • In "No One at the Wheel” you outline that the car of tomorrow may look very different and it may help a family live a more normal life, where not everyone has to build their day around the availability of a vehicle. Can you talk through some of those scenarios? (27:12)
  • Do you see the average American giving up their personal vehicle? (33:05)


In this episode, you will learn:

  • The mistakes we’ve made in the past 100 years, with regards to vehicles. (01:24)
  • How shifting city focus to cars created inequality between public transit and those who could afford car ownership. (04:13)
  • The benefits of AVs. (05:06)
  • The types of pedestrian injuries that we see in this age, and why they have worsened. (10:36)
  •  How the population is affected by poor infrastructure maintenance. (12:41)
  • A child’s opinion on Autonomous Vehicles. (16:40)
  • Why AVs are compared to zombies. (31:03)


Connect with Sam:


Books mentioned:

2019-7-15

Episode 4 - Blasts from the Past

Season 1, Ep. 4

When we think of transportation, cars are probably one of the first things we think of.

It’s a mode of transportation we see, if not use, on a daily basis.

These days, the existence of cars is hard to escape,

And this comes as no surprise.


They've been a part of society for over a century and they’re not going anywhere soon.

On today’s episode, Jeff and I are going to take a journey through time to see how we arrived at today’s modern automobile. 

Jeff Lane is the Director of the Lane Motor Museum, in Nashville, Tennessee. He has been a car enthusiast ever since he was a kid. He began restoring his first car—a 1955 MG TF—when he was a teen. His personal collection was the donation that began the foundation. 

Jeff not only knows a lot of things about cars, but he has some great insight into the many ways they have been designed and produced throughout history.


So listen to Episode 4 of The Next Mile, to understand how people developed cars that worked for the area and the time period that they were in, and where we’re headed in the future. 


Questions I ask:

Can you tell me about some of your favorite cars in the collection? (07:31)

Can we talk about the Dymaxion? (14:48)

Do you feel like the collection that you guys have, captures perfectly in a bottle what it was like to try to design cars when there were no standards? (20:20)

Do you guys have any vehicles that were designed specifically for a certain type of person? (24:29)

What does it take to get into your collection? (33:39)


In this episode, you will learn:

The type of cars exhibited at the Lane Motor Museum (02:15)

How Jeff became a car enthusiast. (03:12)

What an amphibious car is. (10:40)

How the road size is an impediment to making bigger cars. (14:00)

Why the flying cars didn’t „take off” (25:50)


Resources:

Lane Motor Museum Website

Facebook

2019-6-19

Episode 3 - The Pissed Urbanist

Season 1, Ep. 3

Placing one foot in front of the other can take us pretty far.


Before we had cars, before getting from Point A to Point B could be done conveniently behind a wheel, a lot of people walked.


As more convenient modes of transportation become readily available, walking becomes more and more obsolete.


We've created an infrastructure that is no longer conducive to foot travel, forcing people off the sidewalks and into various other modes of transportation.


But is all this for the better?


What do we lose when we turn our backs to the original form of transportation?


On today’s episode, we’re talking about urbanism and its relationship to transportation, with The ATL Urbanist, Darin Givens. He’s the co-founder of the urbanism advocacy group, ThreadATL, based here in Atlanta. He shares his thoughts on how we could improve Atlanta’s roads and what are the main obstacles in doing that.


So, listen in, and learn how step-by-step, urbanism advocacy can actually change us for the better.


Questions I asked:

  • What is an Urbanist? (05:55)
  • What got you interested in urbanism in the first place? (08:05)
  • Are there any people, internationally or globally, that are achieving the standards that you feel like we need to have as a society? (15:50)
  • Why does opening up new lanes does not solve everything? (24:15)
  • Who is the most important voice in the journey that’s ahead of us, that’s redefining how we travel and how we move? (30:20)


In this episode, you will learn:

  • What ThreadATL is. (02:15)
  • How Darin came up with an amateur urbanist theory according to which the design of our roads brings the worst in people. (10:00)
  • What the biggest obstacle is on making the right design changes. (13:20)
  • What Atlanta could learn from New York City. (16:00)
  • How parking decks negatively influence traffic into the city. (21:35)
  • How politicians should approach transportation. (31:55)


Connect with Darin:


Other resources:

2019-5-20

Episode 2 - A Ray of Hope

Season 1, Ep. 2

Have you ever taken a look at your carbon footprint or taken into consideration how your transportation methods affect the world around you?


That’s one of the many reasons why electric and autonomous vehicle development, innovation, and implementation is so important today.


There’s a non-profit foundation called The Ray, which ultimately seeks to bring together companies, policymakers, and people on the ground to drive forward innovation in the realm of advanced mobility. So many companies are working toward a better future for transportation, but the work being done at The Ray is real, tangible, and on the ground today.


Advanced mobility will save lives and reduce negative environmental impacts. Still, the idea of AVs really scare the general public.


That’s why on today’s episode of The Next Mile, I talk with Allie Kelly, Executive Director of The Ray. She shares information about how the foundation is tangibly working toward reducing waste, increasing productivity, and transforming the everyday transportation experience for Americans.


So, listen in to learn more about how today’s innovative technologies are changing the world as we know it.


Questions I Asked:

  • Tell us how The Ray began. (06:05)
  • What are your favorite projects that The Ray has worked on? (10:00)
  • How do The Ray’s innovations help society and the earth? (22:50)
  • When do you see innovation becoming everyday technology for the public? (25:00)
  • What conversations are you having with policy-makers to make innovation possible? (33:00)
  • What do you think is the toughest debate that we have around reshaping mobility? (34:50)


In This Episode, You Will Learn:

  • How The Ray is impacting innovation today. (01:20)
  • How The Ray aims to reduce waste and increase productivity on the roads. (10:05)
  • How Wattway uses roads to harvest solar energy to produce energy. (16:10)
  • How The Ray is creating durable, crack-resistant roads that reduce the height of the sound barrier. (18:10)
  • How The Ray’s innovations are working toward a safer driving experience. (23:30)
  • How The Ray’s prototype uses connectivity technology to gather data directly from the literal road. (28:55)
  • Why America needs an intentional psychological shift to accept autonomous vehicles. (34:50)
  • What industries will be affected by the implementation of AV into society. (37:10)


Connect with Allie Kelly:

LinkedIn

The Ray: Allie Kelly

Twitter


Other Resources:

The Ray

Wattway