10 Commandments for Making Future Cities More Livable

10 Commandments for Making Future Cities More Livable

February 1, 2018 By: JACK STEWART The term “livable city” has been kicking around since the 1980s, but it’s never had much of a definition. It’s clearly a good thing for attracting residents, businesses, and investors. Yet depending on who wants to live how and where, it entails elements of mobility and sustainability, investment and entrepreneurship. Today, 15 tech companies devoted to reshaping the way we move came together to define the euphemism. These ride-sharing, bike-sharing, and transit companies signed a joint pledge to “prioritize people over vehicles”, lower emissions, encourage data sharing, and other lofty goals that should make cities nicer places to live—if everyone can just get on board. The “Shared Mobility Principles for Livable Cities” is the work of Zipcar co-founder Robin Chase, along with a group of city and transport organizations. They’re heavy on future-gazing talking points. The word mobility comes up a lot. “For most cities, urban planners, legislators and residents, there is a cacophony of advice,” says Chase. She wants the shared principles to cut through it all with simple, sensible guidelines. Read the rest of the article...
“One-way” car sharing grows in the East Bay (KALW)

“One-way” car sharing grows in the East Bay (KALW)

January 30, 2018 By: Eli Wirtschafter Zipcar. Ford GoBikes. Scoot. Shared vehicles are multiplying like rabbits in the Bay Area. Just this month, a company called JUMP rolled its electric bikes onto San Francisco streets. And in Oakland and Berkeley, Gig Car Share, the first “one-way” car share service in the Bay Area, is doubling its fleet of black Priuses from 250 to 500. The service, operated by AAA, has hopes to expand to nearby cities, including San Francisco. KALW’s transportation reporter Eli Wirtschafter talked with Crosscurrents host Hana Baba about the rise of vehicle sharing in the Bay Area.   Listen to the full story...
Susan A. Shaheen, PhD, Awarded TRB’s 2017 Roy W. Crum Distinguished Service Award

Susan A. Shaheen, PhD, Awarded TRB’s 2017 Roy W. Crum Distinguished Service Award

Jan. 4, 2018 WASHINGTON — Susan A. Shaheen, co-director, Institute of Transportation Studies’ Transportation Sustainability Center, University of California (UC), Berkeley; adjunct professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering Department, UC Berkeley; and faculty scientist at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, is the 2017 recipient of the Roy W. Crum Award for her distinguished achievements in transportation research. Named for Roy W. Crum, who served as the Transportation Research Board’s executive director from 1928 until his death in 1951, TRB’s Crum Award recognizes outstanding leadership in transportation research or research administration. Shaheen will accept her award on Jan. 10, 2018, at the 97th TRB Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C. Shaheen is an internationally recognized leader in research on shared mobility and environmentally friendly transportation. Her research has broken new ground in carsharing, bikesharing, and shared-ride services for more than two decades. She has also advanced sustainable transportation research in the areas of smart parking management for public transit and trucks; ecorouting for private vehicles and freight; fuel cell, electric, and plug-in hybrid vehicles and infrastructure; smart cities; and older mobility. She has authored 60 journal articles, more than 120 reports and proceedings articles, nine book chapters, and co-edited two books. Read the full Press Release...
Are we going too fast on driverless cars?

Are we going too fast on driverless cars?

Dec. 14, 2017 By: JEFFREY MERVIS The automakers and high-tech companies spending billions of dollars on developing self-driving cars and trucks tout the idea that autonomous vehicles (AVs) will help create a safer, cleaner, and more mobile society. Politicians aren’t far behind in their enthusiasm for the new technology. “This is probably the biggest thing to hit the auto industry since the first car came off the assembly line,” Senator Gary Peters (D–MI) told a cheering audience of researchers and executives at a recent computing conference in Washington, D.C. “It will not only completely revolutionize the way we get around, but [AVs] also have the potential to save hundreds of thousands of lives each year.” Such predictions, however, turn out to be based on surprisingly little research. While developers amass data on the sensors and algorithms that allow cars to drive themselves, research on the social, economic, and environmental effects of AVs is sparse. Truly autonomous driving is still decades away, according to most transportation experts. And because it’s hard to study something that doesn’t yet exist, the void has been filled by speculation—and starkly contrasting visions of the future. “The current conversation … falls into what I call the utopian and dystopian views,” says Susan Shaheen, co-director of the Transportation Sustainability Research Center at the University of California (UC), Berkeley. In the utopian view, she says, fleets of cheap, accessible AVs offer rides at the tap of a screen. Their ubiquity expands transportation options for everyone. Once AVs are commonplace, traffic accidents become a thing of the past, and enlightened government regulatory policies result in fewer traffic jams...
Generation Z May Not Want To Own Cars. Can Automakers Woo Them In Other Ways?

Generation Z May Not Want To Own Cars. Can Automakers Woo Them In Other Ways?

December 8, 2017 By: NATALIE BETTENDORF Sheryl Connelly has a crazy job. She’s in charge of looking into the future for Ford Motor Co. The automaker is trying to predict how people my age — from Generation Z — will use cars. “I have two Gen Zers at home,” Connelly says. “So my 16-year-old daughter is thrilled, actually. Her car is ready to go. As soon as she has her license, it’s in the driveway. And so she sits in her car and she listens to the radio and she loves her car.” That’s definitely not me. I’m 18 and I don’t want a car. I am from the San Francisco Bay Area. I take buses and trains. I bike, and when I need a car, I use Lyft. Connelly says Gen Z is a game changer. “They don’t really care about ownership,” she says. “They don’t necessarily see that their vehicle is going to be a status symbol. In fact, they’re really savvy customers and can be quite frugal.” Read the rest of the article...