They say we’re on the cusp of a revolution in transportation as big as the advent of the Model T a century ago. As cities become testbeds for new and emerging technologies, I look at how developments like autonomous vehicles, app-based services, connectivity and other technologies will impact the future of how we travel.
My recent work with Autonomic, a subsidiary of Ford Smart Mobility, brought me to the intersections of Silicon Valley and Detroit. The automotive sector is facing an identity crisis, and companies like Autonomic are helping automakers pivot from a model of building and selling as many cars as possible to a model of mobility service provision that relies on ubiquitous connectivity. At Autonomic, we built the back-end for connected vehicle (CV) technologies to allow vehicles to communicate with the cloud and power various apps and services, and my role centred on understanding use cases that would provide maximal benefit to travelers.
The MIT Automated Mobility Policy (AMP) Project
This project brings a joint perspective of urban planning, public policy, engineering and behavioural science to better understand the implications of automated mobility. The AMP is led by Professor Jinhua Zhao at the MIT Urban Mobility Lab.
I collaborated with Prof. Zhao’s team to co-author a paper on how travelers in Singapore may use their time differently in a future of autonomous vehicles (AVs). My co-authors and I found that AVs may enhance the quality of leisure time during travel, but would be less likely to lead to gains in productive working time.
Behavior & Policy: Connections in Transportation
As a teaching assistant in a graduate class at MIT (11.478), I helped develop curriculum and deliver guest lectures for a course that focused on applications of emerging technology in transportation to convey the relationships between policy, technology and behaviour. I mentored student term projects that explored how technologies such as AVs and apps (chatbots, trip planners, etc.) will influence travel behavior.