BONUS EPISODE. We were so happy with Special Correspondent Drew Smith’s rich and powerful interview with Horace Dediu, we wanted to share an episode featuring their complete, unedited conversation.
Drew Smith sat down for an hour-plus interview with Horace Dediu, the ‘father’ of micromobility – Horace coined the word! – exploring its origins and future. Along the way, Horace offers a blistering critique of the failure of the automotive sector to embody the new design possibilities offered by micromobility: transportation choice in our urban centres, and a powerful framework to rethink our transportation networks and cities.
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.
The number of electric cars in Australia doubled in 2022 – yet it remains nearly impossible to buy the model you want, and the nation’s public charging infrastructure remains on the drawing board. Big things will need to change, quickly. Co-hosts Sally Dominguez and Drew Smith dive into the systemic changes needed to get these ‘batteries-with-wheels’ charged and charging into the future. With contributions from Richard Hackforth-Jones, Joe Simspon and Daniel O’Brien. Can you drive across Europe in an EV? Can you charge an EV in your kitchen? Are swappable batteries the answer for ‘range anxiety’ – or can we try to rid ourselves of this ‘big-is-better-ism’ that automotive manufacturers have used to lure new buyers for half a century?
In 2016, Telsa made a video touting their ‘self-driving’ software – faked. Every major manufacturer promised self-driving cars by 2021 – none are even close. Will the nirvana of driverless cars ever come – or will it remain a temping mirage, forever just over the horizon? Mark is joined by co-host Sally Dominguez and Special Correspondent Drew Smith as we speak to GIO boffin Steve Cratchley, and reconnect with Ken Goldberg – does Ken still believe autonomous vehicles are a decade or more away? Are we advancing toward autonomy – or stalled in the high-speed lane?
Here’s the deeply disturbing footage of the 8-car pileup on San Francisco’s Bay Bridge on Thanksgiving Day – possibly due to a failure in a Tesla’s self-driving feature.
Mercedes goes all in on EVs, with studies now indicating EVs do save 50% of emissions over their lifetime, versus petrol vehicles. Is this enough to keep on course to a low-carbon future? And what about flying cars? Co-host Sally Dominguez and Special Correspondent Drew Smith have some answers.
Special correspondent Drew Smith explores a European car market that appears to have reached a tipping point in sales of electric vehicles. Is it real? Is it sustainable? Can the power grid handle all those new EVs?
Drew asks the experts – and gets some surprising answers.
Drew co-authors the amazing ‘Looking Out’ newsletter – read the latest one here.
After I received my monthly report from PodcastOne Australia, I did a bit of math and realised – sometime over the last 24 hours – I’d cross the one million download mark for THE NEXT BILLION SECONDS.
I can’t begin to express how chuffed (and shocked) I am by this.
THE NEXT BILLION SECONDS has always been a team effort – back in 2011, when it was just a book, Paul Bridgestock gave me excellent editing suggestions, and kept me encouraged.
In 2017, when my agent Phill McMartin approached me to pitch the newly franchised PodcastOne Australia, I had both something to refer to, and something to launch off from.
That’s when I got to meet Grant Tothill – who runs PodcastOne Australia – and started to work with my fantastic producer Alex Mitchell.
It took some time to figure out exactly what I was on about. I had energy, but very little direction in the first series. It was all over the map, precisely because there was so much territory to cover, so much of the future to explore.
In series two we settled down a bit, and dived into some of the deeper issues surrounding modern connected culture. It wasn’t as optimistic as I might like – and a few listeners did tell me that at times it was very rough going. Lesson learned: it’s not about hiding from the future, but neither is it about drowning in it.
Last year I realised that I had the opportunity to turn a single program into a channel of programming: CRYPTONOMICS, THE NEXT BILLION GADGETS and THE NEXT BILLION CARS are the first examples of a ‘broadening’ of the kinds of shows you’ll find under the banner of THE NEXT BILLION SECONDS. Each are concerned with the future, but each also sees that future through its own filter.
There’s much more of that still to come.
It seems a bit surprising now that I had to pitch hard to get everyone onside for “1968: When the World Began”, the miniseries I got to create with my great friend Dr. Genevieve Bell. But they trusted us – and already that series sits very comfortably among the most downloaded episodes of THE NEXT BILLION SECONDS.
We’ve noted your interest – and there’ll be more where that came from.
Right now I’m learning how to coordinate and ‘show-run’ a podcast created on three different continents. THE NEXT BILLION CARS co-host Sally Dominguez lives in California, while special correspondent Drew Smith lives in Sweden. It takes a bit of coordinating (and FaceTime and clever mixing by Alex Mitchell) but somehow we’re managing to pull off a truly global view of the future of transportation.
And it feels as though all of this is just getting started. Podcasting is taking off, and the ability to create and share great stories at scale is growing with it.
That’s all because of you – because you keep listening and sharing and responding. Thank you for that.
CES portrays a futuristic auto industry. Detroit holds onto past glories. Everything automotive is changing: can problems become opportunities?
Meet the experts joining Mark Pesce for THE NEXT BILLION CARS…
Sally Dominguez is a multi-award-winning product designer and architect of the Adventurous Thinking innovation strategy which she has implemented at organisations including NASA, Stanford and Breville. Sally was a judge on ABC TV’s The New Inventors, is a co-host on Foxtel’s upcoming Great Aussie Inventions, host of a yet-to-be-named Foxtel Innovation Challenge, and judges design and innovation internationally. She has over ten years of Car of the Year judging experience with Wheels magazine and Drive and is passionate about innovation in materials, sustainability and transportation strategies.
With a background in automotive design and design research, and a role as a lead strategist at one of the industry’s most exciting brands, Drew Smith is the consummate industry insider. Indeed, he’s helped shape the future for the likes of Lexus, Jaguar Land Rover and Audi. He’s not without critical faculties however, and has long held the industry to a higher standard when it comes to designing for a environmental and commercial sustainability. He is a visiting lecturer at the Royal College of Art, advising automotive design Masters and PhD students, and founded the Automobility Group, a global community of people exploring the future of urbanism, design and mobility. He is also the co-founder of Rising Minds, a global lecture series that explores the intersection of technology, business and culture.
We manufacture two cars a second! Joined by Sally Dominguez & Drew Smith THE NEXT BILLION CARS explores the huge transformations in transportation and asks , “Are we on a road to nirvana – or nowhere?”
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