There’s a saying about road congestion — you are not sitting in traffic, you are the traffic. And it’s particularly apt today as cities point fingers about the source of our traffic woes. Many cities have decided that ride services like Uber and Lyft are the problem, and that autonomous ride services will be worse. Cities aim to regulate these services with fees, caps or other measures to make them more expensive and inconvenient to use. But ride services are not actually the problem. Cars are the problem. We are the traffic.

Personally owned cars are ~90% of all traffic…


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Season 6 of the Smarter Cars podcast will launch on January 4th — and we’ll be talking about the current state of micromobility in Europe.

In case you missed any of our Season 5 episodes, here’s a recap with links to the episodes:

Jody Kelman
Director of Product Management, Lyft’s Self-Driving Platform

We discuss Lyft’s two-pronged approach to autonomous vehicles. Lyft has partnerships with Aptiv in Las Vegas and Waymo in Arizona, where partner vehicles are made available with safety drivers on Lyft’s platform as an option riders can choose. And Lyft is also building its own autonomous driving system through its division called Level 5.

Jody discusses why…


Cover design by Kostis Pavlou

I’m pleased to share my new book, available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle formats. The New Mobility Handbook is an introduction to the urbanist policies and new mobility solutions we need to reduce our dependence on cars and encourage multimodal transport.

The New Mobility Handbook builds on my work hosting the Smarter Cars podcast over the last three years and writing about transportation policy issues here and on Substack. Many thanks to all the guests on the podcast over the years, especially Robin Chase and Jeffrey Tumlin, whose thoughts have been extremely helpful. In this book, I discuss new…


Photo by israel palacio on Unsplash

We’re midway through Season 5 of the podcast. In case you missed any episodes, here’s a quick peek at the interviews so far:

Jody Kelman
Director of Product Management, Lyft’s Self-Driving Platform

We discuss Lyft’s two-pronged approach to autonomous vehicles. Lyft has partnerships with Aptiv in Las Vegas and Waymo in Arizona, where partner vehicles are made available with safety drivers on Lyft’s platform as an option riders can choose. And Lyft is also building its own autonomous driving system through its division called Level 5.

Jody discusses why Lyft is pursuing both strategies simultaneously, noting it is part of Lyft’s ethos of working collaboratively to move forward in…


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Michael Pollan says to “eat food, not too much, mostly plants.” Seems like a good idea. Pollan has 64 rules which are helpful. Other folks have come up with a variety of more specific plans — slow carb, keto, whole 30, LCHF, Ornish. Which one of these diets will help you lose weight and get healthier?

I don’t think science has a single answer to this question yet, but looking at your personality type might help you decide an approach that will work for you. And of course you should consult your doctor, this is not medical advice.

Abstainer or Moderator?

First, you…


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Even before the coronavirus pandemic confined us to our homes and reduced travel to essential workers and trips, our transportation system was broken. Too much car traffic, no one riding the bus, plenty of pollution, and road accidents. Now, on top of these existing problems, public transit and private transportation companies face existential financial challenges due to the COVID-19 shutdown.

Many believe shared scooter companies will have a hard time surviving in this environment, since they were already losing money on costly operations. But adjusting the regulatory regime in cities could dramatically change the cost equation for scooters. Cities will…


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When the stay at home orders are lifted and we get back to work, will we interact with the world differently? How will we use various transportation modes? Some have suggested that shared micromobility, buses and other shared modes (like carshare and rideshare) will be shunned due to fear of germs. It seems that anything with the word “shared” has a new dark cloud over it — from Airbnb rentals to scooters. But we need to parse the health risks more closely to see why not all shared modes are the same. In fact, the health risk of using shared…


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It feels like a year has passed in the time of the pandemic. But it was just late February when I wrote about the City of Los Angeles using its Mobility Data Specification (MDS) tool for real time tracking of scooter riders. The Los Angeles Department of Transportation (LADOT) requires shared scooter operators to report two types of data into MDS that violate individual privacy rights: individual trip data and real time reporting. These two aspects of MDS turn an otherwise sensible policy tool into a government surveillance and tracking system. At the time I noted:

If you don’t ride…


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Here in California we are early adopters of new technology — and guinea pigs for new ideas. We don’t blink an eye when an autonomous vehicle or one wheeled-scooter-thingy rolls down the street. And most of the time we’re okay with technology companies gathering our data so we can have all the conveniences we love — a ride on demand, anything we want delivered, or recommended movies to watch — as they long as they don’t move too fast and break things. But we don’t feel the same about government. In the age of Trump and ICE run amok, liberals…


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In this episode of the Smarter Cars podcast, we interview Sam Baker, co-founder and COO of Wunder Mobility. Wunder Mobility provides technology to help companies launch and scale shared mobility services worldwide. We discuss Wunder Mobility’s business in Europe, its expansion to the US, the role of cities in encouraging multi-modal transport and how Wunder is like the AWS of mobility, providing back end solutions out of the box for companies looking to digitize assets and provide shared mobility services from car sharing to ride sharing to micromobility.

You can learn more about Wunder Mobility here: https://www.wundermobility.com/

Podcast episode link:

Michele Kyrouz

writer | lawyer | host of Smarter Cars podcast | author of The New Mobility Handbook — Rethinking How We Get Around Cities

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