The Next Mile

A podcast about the future of transportation

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  • Darin Givens of ThreadATL

    In today's episode of The Next Mile Podcast, Pouya Dianat is joined by Darin Givens, the cofounder of the urbanism advocacy group thread atl, based in Atlanta. He is also the ATL urbanist, and has been writing about urbanism and transportation for many years.Key Points from this Episode:The difference between suburban and urban environments, and how they impact our daily livesThe design of our roads and public spaces, and how it affects our behaviorThe potential for Atlanta to learn from other cities when it comes to transportation and urban designTweetables:“The great thing is that answers are out there, and we know what makes better places in terms of transportation, engineering and road design. We know what makes safer places and less hostile places for walking. The hurdle is getting people on board with making those design changes.” – Darin Givens“Instead of expanding capacity on Interstate highways, we could take the capacity that we have right now and dedicate some of it to bus rapid transit lanes and really dedicated purely to bus rapid transit lanes, so that those become just as speedy to use almost as as a rail line, yet less expensive to operate.” – Darin GivensLinks Mentioned in Today’s Episode:ThreadATLThreadATL on TwitterDarin Givens on LinkedinDarin Givens on TwitterDarin Givens on InstagramDarin Givens on YouTube
  • David Clapper of ScamperVan

    In today's episode of The Next Mile Podcast, Pouya Dianat is joined by David Clapper, cofounder and CEO of ScamperVan. Theirs is a company that promotes driving without a destination in mind, and wonders what exploring the open road has to offer.Key Points of This Episode:The origin of ScamperVanThe resurgence of the van life movement and the community around itThe healing and freeing experience of being on the open roadTweetables:“Just the freedom of not having to worry about catching a flight, going through security, all the things that come along with that.” – David“... but when I'm driving and I don't have anywhere to be, I love just turning offroads. I have no idea where they go and just see where they go. Because it's oftentimes, those moments, that you'll find things that you never expected you'd find.” – David“ And what a lot of people who are living the van life full time, they're realizing, "I don't need 25 shirts. I don't need 8 pairs of shoes. I don't need all this stuff." And that is allowing people to simplify their lives and get more connected with the things that matter most in daily life. And that's just your connection with the people you care about and the people with the earth that you live on.” – DavidLinks Mentioned in Today’s Episode:Scamper VanDavid Clapper on Linkedin
  • Sam Schwartz of Pedestrian Traffic Management Services

    In today's episode of The Next Mile Podcast, Pouya Dianat is joined by Sam Schwartz, a man who has been in the transportation industry since the late 1960s. He started as a cabby from New York and rose to become the traffic commissioner and the DOT’s Chief Engineer. He popularized the term “gridlock” and changed the way New Yorkers thought about traffic.Key Points from this Episode:How will autonomous vehicles affect communities?The poor transit system in the USHow citizens should take a more active role in this discussionPutting greater emphasis on system maintenance than on simple repair issuesTweetables:“…in the United States, I never opened with science when I'm trying to sell a plan to some community or state or federal government, it's always the economy. We open on the impact on the economy.” - Sam Schwartz“The planet is on a collision course. We can't keep using the same amount of energy. We can't keep emitting the same carbon footprint. We can't be so selfish that we only count on what's good for ourselves. We have to start thinking collectively what is good for our planet.” - Sam Schwartz“We see transit systems spending too much money on basic repair issues when, had they been able and had the money in the first place to maintain the systems, they could have done it for a lot less money. So, the public should take a real interest because when you allow infrastructure to fail, you pay an enormous price in so many ways.” – Sam SchwartzLinks Mentioned in Today’s Episode:Sam SchwartzSam Schwartz on TwitterStreet Smart: The Rise of Cities and the Fall of Cars on AmazonNo one at the Wheel on Amazon No One at the Wheel: Driverless Cars and the Road of the Future on GoodreadsStreet Smart: The Rise of Cities and the Fall of Cars on Barnes & Noble
  • Jeff Lane of Lane Motor Museum

    In today's episode of The Next Mile Podcast, Pouya Dianat is joined by Jeff Lane, the director of the Lane Motor Museum in Nashville, Tennessee. The museum is focused on cars that are unique and interesting, with a collection of 500 cars from all over the world.Key Points from this Episode:How cars have changed and been designed throughout historyThe different types of propulsion used in carsHow our circumstances change how we try to travelTweetables:“So the thing is, you got to have the dream, but then at some point, you've got to have the technology to make it work.” – Jeff Lane“And the thing is, driving a car is pretty easy. Flying an airplane is pretty easy, but you have to land, and that's not always an easy thing.” – Jeff LaneLinks Mentioned in Today’s Episode:Lane Motor MuseumTesla
  • Betsy Plattenburg of Curiosity Lab

    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 Corners
  • Robert Brown of TuSimple

    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?What is the secrete sauce that sets apart the technology being used by TuSimple?What are the benefits TuSimple has found so far with truck automation?How is TuSimple leveraging partnerships with big logistics companies to prove their position in the marketplace?How has the COVID-19 pandemic forced you to reimagine some of the work you are doing?How does TuSimple balance the need for a human workforce with automation?Connect with Robert and TuSimple:LinkedInTuSimple