Journey Makers: Navigating the Future of Mobility
By Smart Mobility Living Lab
But we’re not just asking questions – anyone can do that. We’ll be trying to answer them too.
Tune into Journey Makers each month to hear experts grappling with everything from insurance to design, emergency services, deliveries, rentals and more.
Join us as we explore not just what the future looks like, but how we’re going to get
Journey Makers: Navigating the Future of MobilityJun 28, 2019
What will driverless vehicles of the future look like?
Exactly what the CAVs of the future will look like is very much still up for debate.
It remains unclear whether form will lead function or the other way round.
Some suggest that designers have an opportunity to shape how self-driving are used by their non-driving passengers.
Others will argue that CAV design will be informed by what the vehicles are used for.
There are some people who believe the introduction of CAVs will lower rates of car ownership and they say that, as a result, it’ll matter less and less what cars look like.
Others meanwhile argue that people use transport as a way to express their identity, and so it follows that CAVs will have their own design hierarchies – just as cars, coaches, and planes do today.
In fact, of all the tricky topics we’ve tackled in this series, it’s fair to say that the design of connected and autonomous vehicles is the one where there’s least agreement.
But that won’t stop us from trying to find some kind of consensus!
What threat will hackers present to driverless vehicles?
It’s July 2015, and Andy Greenberg is driving his Jeep Cherokee through downtown St Louis.
The weather is normal for a summer’s day in Missouri: clear and warm. So Andy finds it a bit frustrating when the windshield wipers start up. Especially as he can’t seem to switch them off.
Then the air conditioning turns up full blast, even though Andy hasn’t touched the controls. Next, the radio switches on, playing music at maximum volume. Andy presses the button to turn it off, but it keeps going.
At this stage, it’s pretty clear what’s happening. Andy’s car has been hacked.
But what might such an attack look like in 2019, conducted on a driverless vehicle? That's the question we're asking in this month's episode of Journey Makers. Welcome aboard.
How will humans interact with self-driving vehicles?
If you grew up in the UK, these words – or a variation of them – should be familiar to you.
Since 1967, they’ve formed the basis of government campaigns teaching children how to cross the road safely.
Everyone from Batman, to Doctor Who, and even a singing hedgehog has been involved in these campaigns.
Being able to interact with other road users around you, of course, is necessary to signal when and where you’re moving. A lot of this is done through body language and eye contact.
In fact, a study conducted by MIT earlier this year found that 66% of pedestrians try to make eye contact with drivers when crossing the street.
But what happens when you go to cross the road and there’s no driver to make eye contact with?
In the future, will we still tell our children to stop, look, and listen?
Will driverless cars be safer than current vehicles?
Debates about how the introduction of driverless vehicles might impact these statistics can be tensely fought affairs.
For many people, safety is the most important consideration to be made about a driverless future.
According to Deloitte’s 2018 UK Automotive Consumer Study, 49 per cent of UK consumers are concerned about the safety of self-driving vehicles.
Interestingly, however, that percentage is falling: in 2017, the same study found that 73% of people had concerns about the safety of self-driving vehicles.
Any conversation about connected and autonomous vehicles will contain some mention of safety.
Indeed, it’s already come up countless times on this podcast series.
But are traditional death and injury reports the only way to measure the safety of our vehicles? Isn’t safety also about how pedestrians and drivers feel too?
We’ve all taken journeys that didn’t feel safe, even if they didn’t end in an accident.
How much of this issue is related to CAV technology itself, and will it ever be possible to eliminate human error? Fail-safes are one thing, but can we ensure that they are used only in the most extreme circumstances?
How can we test to ensure our roads – and passengers – are ready?
There’s no getting away from the fact that this is a huge and complex issue…
So let’s dive in, shall we?
Will driverless vehicles make every car a rental?
By the time you’ve been pootling around in it for a year, it might have lost as much as 40% of its value. Three years later, and your car’s value could have dropped by as much as 60%.
Add in the fact that cars in the UK typically spend about 96% of their time parked up, and owning a car starts looking like a pretty hefty, inefficient expense.
This cost is just one of the reasons that’s been suggested for a dramatic drop in car ownership in the UK.
Of course, plenty of people do still own cars – and there are any number of reasons why that’s still the case.
For some it’s convenience, for some pleasure, and for many people it’s simply the only viable way to get around.
But what if it was possible to alter the traditional ownership model entirely?
What if, instead of owning a car, you could simply access a vehicle on a need-to-use basis?
Or, if you did want to continue having a car of your own, you could balance out some of the running costs and depreciation by hiring your vehicle out to others when you weren’t using it?
Unsurprisingly, I’m not the first person to come up with those ideas, and there are already a number of businesses that exist in the growing grey area between vehicle ownership and traditional rentals.
But what happens when you throw connected and autonomous vehicles into that mix?
Well, listen on, and you might just find out…
How will we ensure that infrastructure can accommodate driverless cars?
Today, Britain boasts an estimated 246,700 miles of road, traversed by as many as 38 million licensed vehicles.
We’ve talked quite a lot about vehicles on this podcast.
This month, we’ll be turning our attention to what they’re riding on: the roads and other infrastructure that allows us to move from place to place...
Find out more about London's Smart Mobility Living Lab at smartmobility.london
How will driverless vehicles affect the future of freight?
Indeed, Adobe Analytics data revealed last month that more than half of UK Christmas shopping budgets will be spent online this year.
A quarter of UK shoppers do their shopping over what’s become known as the ‘Cyber weekend’ that includes the weekend bookended by the American ‘Black Friday’ shopping holiday and its online counterpart, ‘Cyber Monday’.
And why are we talking about all of this on a podcast about driverless cars and the future of mobility?
Well, all those gifts need to make their way to people’s doorsteps (and under their trees) somehow…
Welcome back to Journey Makers, the podcast exploring not just what the future looks like, but how we’re going to get there.
Each month, we take on one of the big questions facing the future of mobility.
In this episode, we’re talking about freight – and the question we’re asking is: how will driverless vehicles affect the future of freight?
How do you legislate for driverless cars?
In each episode, we aim to tackle one of the big questions facing the future of mobility. One question – just one – but a big one. Every month.
This month, we’re looking at policy; and the question we’re asking is: “how do you legislate for driverless cars?”
And the reason we wanted to start with this meaty topic?
Well, it’s policy that will ultimately govern what the future of driverless cars looks like in the UK.
And, as you’ll be hearing later on in this episode: the rules and regulations we put in place today could still be in use hundreds of years from now...
The future's around the corner, but how will we get there?
But we’re not just asking questions – anyone can do that. We’ll be trying to answer them too…
Tune in to Journey Makers each month to hear experts grappling with everything from insurance to design, emergency services, deliveries, rentals and more.
Join us as we explore not just what the future looks like, but how we’re going to get there.