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Disruption Ahead: Will Future Transport Systems Benefit Society or Drive It Apart?

Ride-sharing schemes, driverless cars and electric vehicles look set to bring us all kinds of benefits. But how do we ensure that we reap the rewards of these changes and avoid potential pitfalls?

A transport revolution in our cities is under way. Ride-sharing schemes, driverless cars and electric vehicles look set to bring us all kinds of benefits, such as lower pollution, faster flowing traffic and fewer accidents.

But these benefits won’t just fall into our laps. What will we have to do to ensure that we reap the rewards of these changes and avoid potential pitfalls? Will technological change bring us closer together as a society or drive us further apart? Will we the consumers be the ones who make the all-important decisions, or will we be at the mercy of the tech and car companies and the policy-makers? And will these decisions actually result in a lower carbon future? There’s a lot of excitement about the future of cars: will people be prepared to give up the independence of the privately owned vehicle and use hailing schemes? Given that a total switchover to electric vehicles is unlikely to happen within the next ten years, how will a mix of vehicles on our streets affect the way we live? And is all this talk about cars a distraction from much needed investment in public transport?

All proceeds went to Tomorrow’s Engineers, a programme led by EngineeringUK, a registered charity (Registered Charity No. 1089678).


Speakers

Chair

Edith Bowman

TV and radio broadcaster


TV and radio broadcaster. Her radio work has spanned all the major stations, presenting shows on BBC Radio 1, 2, 6 and 5Live as well as Virgin Radio. As a TV host, she has fronted shows for BBC, Channel 4, Sky Arts and MTV.
Featuring

Jamie Bartlett

Author and expert on the politics of the internet


Author and expert on the politics of the internet. He is Director of the Centre for the Analysis of Social Media, a collaboration between the University of Sussex and the think tank Demos, and is the author of The Dark Net: Inside the Digital Underworld and Radicals: Outsiders Changing the World. He presented the recent BBC series ‘Secrets of Silicon Valley’.

Fred Jones

Uber’s Head of Cities in the UK and Ireland


Uber’s Head of Cities in the UK and Ireland, where he leads on Uber’s expansion into new cities and towns and underserved areas. He is also oversees the growth of Uber’s electric vehicle and mobility products.

Eugena Ossi

Creative technologist and innovation consultant


Creative technologist at the Paris-based open innovation consultancy company Five by Five, primarily interested in using program design and code to understand and address problems in today’s urban areas. She is especially interested in technology’s role in the future of transportation and urban living.

Christian Wolmar

Journalist and transport expert


Journalist, author, railway historian who ran in the 2016 London mayoral election. He is a well known commentator on transport, especially as a pundit on Britain’s railway industry, and was named Transport Journalist of the Year in the National Transport Awards in 2007. He is also an advocate for cycling and his latest book is Driverless Cars: On a Road to Nowhere.