The year of ‘brolectrification’, artificial intelligence working its way into car dashboards, a Chinese EV invasion – and Cybertruck’s domination. At the end of 2023, what have we learned? Co-host Sally Dominguez and Special Correspondent Drew Smith sit down with Mark Pesce to augur the entrails of a very weird year, then look forward to the 2024 Consumer Electronics Show.
What is ‘micromobility’? It’s a philosophy that emphasises choice and urban-centered design in our transportation networks and transport options. Drew Smith speaks with Horace Dediu, the ‘father’ of micromobility, about its origins, his critique of the new generation of EV companies, and the way things must change in order to provide a transport future that we can all enjoy. Mark looks at the ‘wheel’ of transportation that takes developing nations from bicycles to scooters to cars – and back to bikes again? Sally Dominguez makes a heartfelt and well-observed plea for micromobility solutions that don’t favour able-bodied young men by design. In the round-table, Mark, Sal and Drew analyse everything they’ve learned in this series: Are we any closer to autonomous vehicles? Pervasive electric vehicles? Commercial hydrogen vehicles? Micromobility solutions that work for everyone? A huge final for this series of THE NEXT BILLION CARS.
In this live interview with Oculus and Anduril founder Palmer Luckey – joined by Anduril Chief Engineer Shane Arnott – we look at the future of defense, geopolitics, and Australia’s future in a transformed Indo-Pacific region. Have we shifted toward a defense-driven future? Recorded at the ArtHouse Hotel, Sydney, 18 August 2022. (Photo credit: Mr Snow)
At the age of 19, Palmer Luckey founded Oculus, bringing a comatose VR industry back to life. Will he to do the same for defense with his new startup, Anduril – and has he solved Australia’s submarine problem? A wide-ranging interview covering everything from the search for the ‘ultimate’ gaming display to the future of warfare.
“Rebooting the Arsenal of Democracy” is Anduril’s own statement about what they’re about.
And an article about the XL-AUV project Anduril is doing with the ADF.
Palmer Luckey is speaking in Sydney on the 18th of August, 2022 – book your tickets here.
At the start of 2021 I made four big predictions for the year about digital currencies, the transition to a sustainable economy, geopolitics and social media. How did I score? (Hint: I got to grade myself.)
TSMC – Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Corporation – now fabricates the best computer chips available at any price, transforming Taiwan into a prize that China needs in order to continue its rise as an economic and military superpower.
To service the growing demand for semiconductors, South Korea has committed nearly $200 billion.
TSMC is planning on investing at least $100B over the next four years.
For sixty years, Intel made the best chips in the world. As of 2020, they no longer do – and a company you’ve likely never heard of now holds the chip-making crown.
One of the key events reported in this episode concerns the firing of Intel Chief Engineering Officer Murthy Renduchintala after the chip maker announced delays in development of its all-important 7-nanometer semiconductors.
Not long after that, Intel CEO Brian Krzanich stepped down.
Prediction: Our long-running low-level spats with China are the new normal, the Chinese superpower rubbing up against the regional power of Australia.
Series 5 continues with some predictions on geopolitics in this decade, when America and China swap positions, and political power tilts eastward.
Prediction: All cash will be digital by 2030, revolutionising how we spend, save and invest.
Series 5 launches with bold predictions for the next decade – starting with the incredible transformations happening to money.
Apps have turned us into ride-sharing, route-planning, ‘micromobility’ experts. We’re all passengers now, with more options than ever before.
LEK Partner Mark Streeting is an expert in ‘mobility-as-a-service’, a new term for the kind of seamless end-to-end transportation pioneered by Uber…
Special correspondent Drew Smith spoke with ZipCar co-founder Robin Chase about how the city has been defined by cars – and what it means to move past that into the age of passengers.
And co-host Sally Dominguez found an intriguing Chinese startup – Grove Hydrogen Automotive – building hydrogen-fuel-cell powered vehicles and offering them to drivers on a ‘subscription’ basis – as a path toward jump-starting hydrogen fueling infrastructure throughout the nation.
Tesla drove electric vehicles from impractical to inevitable. Powertrains will soon feature a mix of hydrocarbons, hydrogen – and batteries.
Co-host Sally Dominguez toured China in a hydrogen-fueled Mercedes:
The history of the automobile isn’t exactly the history of petrol – even if that’s what Carl Benz used in his internal combustion engine, there have always been lots of alternatives, including the Stanley ‘Steamer’:
The London Electrobus Company pioneered electric public transport over a hundred years ago – promoting itself as the cleaner alternative on London’s dirty streets:
Automobiles can even run on compressed air, as in the TATA/MDI OneCat:
Special correspondent Drew Smith talks to automotive design legend Mate Rimac about what it takes to design electric automobiles.
Solar power cost $100 per kilowatt hour when energy futurist Ramez Naam entered the world. Last year, the UAE signed a 20-year contract for solar power at a four thousandth the cost. For Ramez Naam it’s no longer a question of if renewables, it’s a matter of when: the data proves it. Energy has been mixed with politics from the beginning – so over the next billion seconds, how do we talk ourselves out of our coal culture and into a sustainable future? Ramez Naam makes a convincing case for a future where we profit from the sun.
Here’s an excerpt:
There are some amazing things happening in the renewable energy space, as shown in this chart about a typical week of energy generation in South Australia:
Ramez gives a lot of talks about energy futures, here’s a recent one given in South Africa – a nation with some energy problems…
Ramez has also written a series of blog posts on the energy future – the first is linked here.
Finally, here’s that infamous photo of Australian Treasurer Scott Morrison, on the day they passed a lump of coal around in Parliament: