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

Episode 8 - Keeping it Simple

Season 1, Ep. 8
A rare moment of widespread global uncertainty has paved the path and proved the point for one industry poised to transform how we move freight across our planet – autonomous trucking. We speak with one of the leading companies in this space, TuSimple, and their head of government and public affairs, Robert Brown.From finding cost and time efficiencies to improving how we connect in a time of need, TuSimple’s robust sensor suite is doing more than just establishing new technology – it’s mending our planet one automated shipment at a time.On today’s episode, we’ll explore the technology and ethos that make up TuSimple’s vision for bringing autonomy to 18-wheelers. Don’t miss out on this episode of The Next Mile, where we have a conversation about the importance of this game-changing technology to our nation’s infrastructure pipeline.Questions I ask:Why was the autonomous trucking sector so much more appealing than consumer AVs? (01:10)What is the secrete sauce that sets apart the technology being used by TuSimple? (03:00)What are the benefits TuSimple has found so far with truck automation? (6:25)How is TuSimple leveraging partnerships with big logistics companies to prove their position in the marketplace? (7:30)How has the COVID-19 pandemic forced you to reimagine some of the work you are doing? (9:01)How does TuSimple balance the need for a human workforce with automation? (12:57)In this episode, you will learn:Different types of sensors (4:43)How autonomous trucks save time and money (6:30)Where is TuSimple operating routes today (13:05)What regulatory challenges lay ahead (14:59)Connect with Robert and TuSimple:LinkedInTuSimple

Episode 7 - Curiously Refreshing

Season 1, Ep. 7
Just a little bit north of Atlanta, there’s a city that also works as a sandbox for technology and transportation innovation.On any given day, the Lab, complete with infrastructure to support autonomous driving plays host to everything from autonomous buses to teleoperated scooters as they try to create a city that gives new meaning to live, work, play.On today’s episode, I am talking about this tech-haven, with my guest, Betsy Plattenburg, who is the executive director of Curiosity Lab at Peachtree Corners.Don’t miss out, on Season 2’s first episode of The Next Mile, where we have an interesting conversation about the importance of creating test platforms in the real world for the wave of oncoming change in the transportation landscape.Questions I ask:What is Curiosity Lab at Peachtree Corners? (01:13)What makes a public testing sandbox an attractive draw for startups and technology companies? (04:00)How does AV technology force us to reconsider the design of the car? (7:58)How does Curiosity Labs latest test with teleoperated scooters show how quickly tech pivots and adapts? (10:01)What are some of the differences we’d expect to see on the roads where testing is being done versus what we’re used to? (11:45)What makes Curiosity Lab unique as a public government-owned entity? (15:30)In this episode, you will learn:Local Motors Olli autonomous bus at the Lab (4:15)The five levels of autonomy (5:55)What Curiosity Lab looks like (11:30)Curiosity Labs many infrastructure partnerships (16:30)Connect with Betsy:LinkedInCuriosity Lab at Peachtree CornersOther mentions:No one at the Wheel: Driverless Cars and the Road of the FutureLVNG Book

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:LinkedInSam Schwartz EngineeringGridlock SamBooks mentioned:Street Smart: The Rise of Cities and the Fall of CarsNo one at the Wheel: Driverless Cars and the Road of the Future