Hop, Skip, Go: How the Mobility Revolution Is Transforming Our Lives
Urban expert John Rossant and business journalist Stephen Baker look beyond the false promises of the past to examine the real future of transportation and the repercussions for the world's cities, the global economy, the environment, and our individual lives.
Human mobility, dominated for a century by cars and trucks, is facing a dramatic transformation. Over the next decade, new networked devices, from electric bikes to fleets of autonomous cars, will change the way we move. They will also disrupt major industries, from energy to cars, give birth to new mobility giants, and lead to a redesign of our cities. For Rossant and Baker, this represents the advance of the Information Revolution into the physical world. This will raise troubling questions about surveillance, privacy, the dangers from hackers and the loss of jobs. But it also promises startling efficiencies, which could turn our cities green and, perhaps, save our planet.
In an engaging, deeply reported book, the authors travel to mobility hotspots, from Helsinki to Shanghai, to scout out this future. And they visit the companies putting it together. One, Divergent3d, is devising a system to manufacture cars with robots and 3D printers. PonyAI, a Chinese-Silicon Valley startup, builds autonomous software that perceives potholes, oncoming trucks, and wayward pedestrians, and guides the vehicle around them. Voom, an Airbus subsidiary, is racing with dozens of others to operate fleets of air taxis that fly by themselves.
Hop, Skip, Go is about us: billions of people on the move. Underlying each stage of mobility, from foot to horse to cars and jets, are the mathematics of three fundamental variables: time, space and money. We measure each trip we take, whether to Kuala Lumpur or the corner drugstore. As the authors make clear, the coming mobility revolution will be no different. As they unveil the future, the authors explore how these changes might revamp our conception of global geography, the hours in our days, and where in the world we might be able to go.
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About the Author
John Rossant is the founder and CEO of CoMotion, the Los Angeles-based event and media platform on new mobility. CoMotion is the organizer of CoMotion LA, the prestigious annual gathering in Los Angeles of public and private sector leaders of the Mobility Revolution. CoMotion is also behind CoMotion MIAMI, a new annual event on new mobility in the Americas and is preparing the launch of the CoMo3000 EV Rally - a New York-to-Los Angeles Electric Vehicle rally that will be the first and longest such rally in the world.
In 2010, John founded the NewCities Foundation, which he continue to chair. He believes it is imperative that different stakeholders work together to improve the quality of life and work in 21st century global cities. From the outset, NewCities mission has been to shape a better urban future for all by generating and scaling ideas and solutions through events, research and urban innovation projects.
John had previously been Executive Chairman of PublicisLive in Geneva, responsible for the production of some of the world's most prestigious events, in particular the World Economic Forum's Annual Meeting in Davos and other WEF events around the world. In 2010, the President of France asked him to organize the e-G8 Forum on the future of the internet.
A former journalist and magazine editor, John held several senior editorial positions at BusinessWeek, including Europe Editor, as well as Paris, Rome and Middle East correspondent. He has received a number of prestigious awards, including the Overseas Press Club Award and the German Marshall Fund's Peter Weitz Award for Distinguished Reporting. John holds advanced degrees from the University of Wisconsin, Madison and the American University in Cairo. He is a member of the board of the Fondation Tocqueville in Paris, Humanity in Action, and is a member of the Advisory Board of NEOM, a large new city development in north-western Saudi Arabia.
Stephen Baker is author of The Numerati (Houghton Mifflin, 2008) Final Jeopardy (2011), and the dystopian novels, Dark Site and The Boost (Tor Books, 2014). For ten years, Baker was a technology writer in Paris and New York for BusinessWeek magazine. He worked earlier as a journalist in Mexico City, Caracas, and El Paso, TX. He was born outside Philadelphia and lives in Montclair, NJ >
"The automobile era is giving way to a new form of networked mobility, driven by digital technology but involving everything from electric, driverless vehicles to bicycles to our two feet. In this engaging and important book, Rossant and Baker tell the eye-opening story of the mobility revolution and what it means for our society, our planet, and each and everyone one of us."--Richard Florida, author of The Rise of the Creative Class
"Mobility is about us: enabling billions of people on the move with a new promise for freedom and choice. Rossant and Baker tell us stories of 3-D printed cars assembled by robots, accessible at your fingertips through ubiquitous apps and moving autonomously guided by networked devices. Mobility is the killer app for the fourth industrial revolution."--Klaus Schwab, professor and founder and executive chairman of the World Economic Forum
"How we live in cities--how we experience cities--is a direct reflection of how we move around. In fact, a city's very identity is intimately connected to transportation--from the Paris Metro to London's double-deckers and black cabs to the freeways of Los Angeles. Hop, Skip, Go paints an extraordinary portrait of the profound revolution underway in mobility--and the dramatic impacts this will have on the twenty-first-century city."--Daniel Libeskind, architect