Micromobility

Micromobility

MicroMobility explores the disruption to urban transport that comes from new electric, lightweight utility vehicles. Using the history of computing as a framework, we unpack how e-bikes, scooters and more will change how people get around cities.

Hosted by Oliver Bruce and Horace Dediu.



Micromobility

#4: Marchetti's constant and the power-network-intelligence matrix of micromobility

September 17, 2018 at 10:00PM • 59 minutes

In this episode, we look at Marchetti's constant and why commute times tend to aggregate at under 1 hour per day. In this episode we also cover:

- how the 1 hour daily commute has been a constant across time, and how that affects how our cities form.
- What the Marchetti's constant is, and how it has driven the explosion in shared scooters and bikes.
- the Segway, why it failed and what it can teach us about the emergent micromobility phenomena.
- The problems with traditional bikeshare systems, and why new layers of technology have helped this.
- The power-network-intelligence matrix for thinking about emergent trends in micromobility.
- How networks can creatively use incentives to solve for the limitations of the vehicles

Plus a conversation about what both Horace and Oliver think the future might look like in a hidden bit at the end.

Transcript of this show is available on our Medium page.


#3: Getting to here - the historical context of micromobility's emergence

September 10, 2018 at 7:00PM • 38 minutes

In this episode, we refine the micromobility categorisation and unpack why urban infrastructure is a leading indicator to adoption.

We run through:
1) Why the development of batteries and small electric motors underpinned the development of micromobility, the importance of off-the-shelf componentry in providing the basis for innovation and why electric will be the dominant powertrain for the coming 10 years.
2) The history of fuel infrastructure in the US, how hard this is to replicate, and why micromobility provides an opportunity to leapfrog this.
3) The history of transit, roading and tramways in major cities globally, and how they provided the conditions for the development of the car.
4) The significance of the standard bike as we know it today, and the impact that it had on society.
5) The emergence of cars in cities, the safety battles fought, and the development of signals, licensing and traffic segmentation, and the implications on that for alternative vehicle types.
6) How the emergence of micro mobility will terraform our cities in the same way that the car did.

Transcript of this show is available on our Medium page.


#2: What is micromobility, how do we define it, and why is it disruptive?

September 3, 2018 at 7:00PM • 40 minutes

In this episode, we define the term micromobility and what is/isn’t in the categorisation. We run through:

1) Why micromobility can be defined as utility focussed urban transport in sub 500kg vehicles, and predominantly electrically powered.
2) The background of how Horace came to see micromobility’s potential to disrupt the automobile industry.
3) Why e-bikes are some of the best city-based transportation mode option- hint: it’s the fastest way across town and can be parked anywhere.
4) How to think about the categorisation of different types of micromobility devices, and why that matters.
5) How the development of micromobility is paralleling the development of personal computing and why we’re still in 1976.
6) Why car obesity has provided ripe opportunity to develop micromobility options in the marketplace.
7) The key difference between invention and innovation and how this applies to micromobility.

Bonus! Why Horace thinks that riding an electric bike is more thrilling than driving a Porsche.

Transcript of this show is available on our Medium page.


#1: Setting the scene for the great unbundling

August 28, 2018 at 6:00AM • 36 minutes

In this inaugural episode, we outline the key themes and issues we want to address in the show series including:

1) Defining micromobility - what is it, where did it come from and why does it matter?
2) The disruptive potential of micromobility. With this, we will unpack why the current fixation on autonomy with automobiles is misplaced, and what a distributed, connected robot of micromobility vehicles might look like.
3) The great unbundling of the car - what does it mean, and why the micromobility was required to make multimodality a feasible unbundled option for travel.
4) How the emergence of micro mobility tracks the development of the early days of computing, and why we’re still really in 1976 with the emergence of the Apple I.
5) How disruption from the low end induces demand and drives such steep adoption curves. We also unpack why their scale will permit the development of large scale computation platforms, especially vs. traditional car platforms.
6) The impact of the emergence of micromobility on infrastructure and how cities function.
7) How the business models of this might emerge, how securitisation of the assets deployed will enable rapid deployment, and lay the foundations for tokenised solutions that align the interests of users, operators and investors together.

We also hit Marchetti’s constant (time budgets for travel) and log normal distributions of travel time. We end on a thought experiment on how teleportation would change everything.

Transcript of this show is available for commenting and highlighting on the shows Medium page.