When our founder, Sandra Phillips, submitted her vision to the Next Visionaries initiative, who asked forward-thinkers and innovators from all over the world for their ideas about the future of mobility, we had no idea we would be selected. We were simply inspired by the initiative, the creative visions of others in our networks, and we wanted to contribute. We are still surprised and honoured that our vision was selected as a finalist in the humanity category.
As we work with the Next Visionaries mentor Maurice Conti and the TED team to prepare our pitch for a panel of experts at the IAA Motor Show in Frankfurt on September 10th, we cross our fingers that our vision may be selected to go even further. The winner for the Next Visionary of the Year 2017 will present their idea in a world-changing TED Talk in New York.
Solving mobility is a problem that we have to solve using technology. And we have made strides on that front: electrification has already arrived in our cities and autonomous vehicle networks are just around the corner. In 2017, more than a third of Vancouverites use carsharing. It’s helped take thousands of cars off the road in the region.
“I have experienced first-hand that shared mobility can transform a society, culture and have a positive impact on the environment.”
a vision of equality for the future of mobility
However, over the past year, Phillips has surveyed the carsharing market with growing concern, realizing that most of the projects we’ve worked on cater towards affluent urbanites living in the biggest cities in the Western world.
Yet half of the world’s population will live in cities of 500,000 citizens or less by 2030. The future growth of these smaller cities determines our success towards an environmentally sustainable future.
Public transit organisations struggle with rapid population growth and always play catchup. Yet unplanned or inadequately managed urban expansion leads to rapid sprawl and pollution.
Electrified and autonomous shared vehicle networks have the potential to provide more options and be safe and more affordable at the same time. If we get them right.
Sandra says that: “We need a vision that uses technology but builds solutions that are focused on humans and solves their needs. If we do that, I believe we have an opportunity to offer options to smaller cities, the less wealthy and for more inclusive demographics.”
Her vision is a future where shared, electrified vehicle networks create safe mobility for everyone, no matter their income, location, age or gender.
“Social mobility needs physical mobility.”
how do we make our vision a reality?
We want our vision to inspire the future of mobility. We aim to spark a global conversation about the opportunity electric and autonomous vehicles can offer to everyone, and we would like to launch a global challenge, where smaller cities with 100,000 to 500,000 inhabitants can apply for a custom-built shared mobility system.
These pilot projects would introduce electrified, autonomous vehicles and we would learn the specific challenges of smaller cities that grow rapidly.
We look forward to connecting with likeminded enthusiasts and people that can transform our vision of shared mobility for all into a reality.
“They say you need a village to raise a kid, and I believe I need a community of visionaries to make my vision reality.”
To read the full article on Next Visionaries, go here.
Questions about our vision? Contact us here.