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Podcast: How can business help curb congestion?

Grid of animated cars


There are essentially two avenues to take when confronting logistics and transportation issues surrounding the cities of the future.

The first one is conventional: Build a better mousetrap.

Leg by leg along the supply chain – from manufacturer to consumer – you scour every resource and process with careful analysis to develop the most productive logistics machine possible.

Have you factored in all of the delivery points? Accounted for demand shifts and trends?

How about emissions?

And finally, which emerging technologies might improve efficiencies and create less impact in congested environments?

That search for new tech actually leads down the second, more disruptive path.

It’s taking the discussion beyond efficiency toward a completely novel approach: thinking about your business mission without preconceptions or guardrails from the past.

Wrapping up our three-part series on urban logistics, we spoke with Thomas Madrecki, director of urban logistics and mobility at UPS, and Peter Harris, director of sustainability for UPS Europe, about the balance between efficiency and self-disruption – and what it’s starting to look like at UPS.

Note: You can download the first two episodes in this series on iTunes, Stitcher or right here on Longitudes.

Moving Urban Logistics Forward, Part I: John Davies, GreenBiz

Moving Urban Logistics Forward, Part II: Matthias Winkenbach, MIT

Transcript: How can business help curb congestion?


Brian: This is Longitudes Radio, a podcast with today's leading experts about the future of technology, global trade, sustainability, and logistics. From Atlanta, I'm Brian Hughes.

James: And I'm James Rowe.

Brian: 00:00:41 – James, today we're wrapping up or urban logistics series. I like to call this one the Big Brown episode because we're delving into what it is UPS is actually doing to meet the challenges of urban logistics.

James: That's right. The first one hit the problem. The second one we delved into the solutions through the lens of MIT. If you missed that, you want to check that out. And now we're landing on kind of the boots on the ground episode of what is UPS actually doing.

Brian: And here's who we're talking to, to answer that very question. The first guest today, one of two, is Thomas Madrecki. He is the Director of Urban Innovation and Mobility at UPS. On a side note, he also has a great TED talk you guys might want to check out. But Tom is going to get into the nuts and bolts of urban planning; why it's so important, why it shouldn't be seen as boring, and why things as small as curbs can make a major difference.

James: 00:01:35 – And we've also got Peter Harris. He's Director of our sustainability for UPS in Europe. He's going to look at this through the lens of what's sustainable, what can we actually do that's executable and repeatable.

Brian: So let's get to Tom and Peter and what it is UPS is going to do to confront this challenge head on.

James: We appreciate you guys joining us. We have Tom Madrecki and Peter Harris from UPS. Thanks for dropping in to talk to us.

Peter: Thank you.

Tom: Thank you.

Brian: Thanks for being here guys. We appreciate it. I think this will be a very fitting conclusion to our look at the future. It's a popular place these days.

James: 00:02:13 – We're specifically, in this series, talking about the cities of the future and what role urbanization will have on how they're created and how they'll function. We've had some great conversations so far, but what we would like to do is really kind of dig into some of the things that UPS is doing.

Brian: Yeah, the Brown Kool-Aid so to speak, the UPS way. I think this will be good because we talked a lot about how companies are going to need to be the ones bringing their resources and expertise, and we can talk about it, but if we don't walk the walk too, then what are good are we.

James: That's right. We'll start off with a question for you, Tom. In your role, what are some of the things that you're starting to see in terms of how businesses are kind of docking into these bigger plans for creating cities of the future?

Tom: 00:03:01 – This is very much a work in progress. We talk about cities of future, it's really cities and companies coming together, having partnerships perhaps with academic allies or outside external stakeholders. They're really experts in the field. It's really all sit down and think about, how do you account for the fact that by 2050, more than or approximately 60% of the world's population is going to be urban. And those people in an e-commerce environment are going to be ordering a lot of packages and they're going to want those packages relatively expediently. And there's a lot of strain and demand on a traditional operating network. And so what we need to do is really sit down with cities and think about, how do you manage your curbside? How do you better integrate modes of transportation, especially if cities want to be more walkable and bikeable. So you have your different demands on the transportation network there.

00:03:55– And then on our side it's really reimagining how do you deliver in a city environment that's very dense. Is the way that we've always delivered or we think about the way that an iconic Brown package car goes down the street, is that actually the most efficient mode? And so there's a lot of different interplay between cities and companies like UPS and then academic partners as well that needs to take shape in order to facilitate those future solutions.

Brian: Peter, let me ask you this. It's obviously a massive problem and is something that we all have to tackle collectively. Tangibly speaking, though, if you were building kind of a to-do list of the top priorities for how UPS can tackle this challenge, what would you put at the top?

Peter: 00:04:40 – I would certainly agree with Tom that this is a work in progress and we absolutely do not have all the answers at this stage. But I do think you can break the problem down into essentially two key parts and that's sometimes helpful in terms of getting to the right answer.

00:04:55 – The first key part is how do we do what we do in a conventional sense as efficiently as possible that allows us to then reduce the number of trucks we're using, reduce the miles, reduce the emissions, reduce the congestion, make the city operate without fundamentally changing the nature of our business. How can we do what we already do, but drive the efficiency agenda forward? That's problem number one. We could talk a lot about that. There are a lot of new technologies coming into that arena that are really quite exciting.

00:05:24 – But there's a second whole piece, which is equally important that layers on top of that efficiency challenge, which is how do you go beyond the efficiency and do things a completely different way and ways that don't use diesel and in some cases don't even use trucks. And that's where we would start to talk about all new ideas around cycle logistics and electric vehicles and smart grids and all that kind of stuff. So, yeah, I think it's sometimes helpful to break the problem down in those two ways and that would be the way I would approach it in terms of a wish list.

James: You kind of mention there that we're working more with institutions, educational institutions, and that's what Matthias told us in the last podcast. Who are some of the leaders in that kind of world and how are they engaging companies like UPS?

Tom: 00:06:14 – Well, you mentioned Matthias at MIT, his lab, the Megacity Logistics Lab. He's really doing some exciting work in this space. You have people like Barb Ivanov at the University of Washington's Urban Freight Lab. Rensselaer Polytechnic University is doing some cool work in this space as well. And then you also have companies like McKinsey that are looking at just in terms of the solutions that they are able to provide or the consulting expertise that they're able to lend. So there's a lot of different folks that are doing some interesting work, I would say.

00:06:42 – But in terms of engagement with companies like UPS, so UPS is a partner, a founding member of the University of Washington's Urban Freight Lab. But I would say that a lot of the interesting research is taking place. And when I say interesting, it's pretty geeky and nerdy by a transportation perspective or from like a last 50 feet of delivery perspective. So you have graduate students, for example, literally timing how long a freight elevator stays open to think about like what is the optimal length of time that an elevator should stay open so that somebody with a handcart can get in, but then it doesn't stay open so long that it's delaying that person from going up to make their deliveries. Or how did the door function in terms of the outside, can you get through a building quickly. Because all of that, that interplay in that last 50 feet of delivery affects how long a truck is parked on the curbside, which is something that a city then cares a lot about.

00:07:37 – I'll give you another example. UPS partnered this past summer with Georgetown University. They have an urban planning graduate program. They also have a data science program. And so we sort of formed a joint summer studio class with their data science students, with their urban planning students, and then also partnered with the Washington DC Department of Transportation to sort of pool together a bunch of real world data, both from UPS in terms of the delivery in three neighborhoods -- Cleveland Park, the Navy Yard, and Georgetown -- and sort of compiled all of that data along with some information from the DCD OT and let the students sort of like run wild with that to say how could you reduce congestion and optimize delivery just with this set of data.

00:08:22 – And the results that we got were really sort of inspired. You to have the students that have never had any – like the no background in logistics. But they were proposing ways to even further optimize Orion, for example, by instead of tracing routes geographically or grounding them that way that you would actually ground routes based on the topology of the built environment. So you could have a retail corridor route or a sort of business-centric route or a neighborhood route and then based on that you could select the optimal delivery vehicle or the actual mode of delivery to sort of capture any missing efficiency. So some of it, it just comes down to supplying eager, bright minds with the right information.

Brian: Tom, first of all, I want to issue kind of a disclaimer for all future guests on Longitudes Radio. You never have to apologize for being geeky. If you did that…

James: We like the good stuff.

Brian: If that were an issue, we would not have a podcast, I assure you. So that's not a problem at all. Peter, I was going to ask you, too, because I think this is kind of a good segue. At the end of the day a lot of this is about numbers and actual reduction of carbon emissions. Could you kind of contextualize what UPS has done to date and what you expect in the years ahead?

Peter: 00:09:41 – So you're right that it is a lot about numbers and I think it helps that UPS is essentially a company of engineers. We have a long history of providing engineered solution to the problem of logistics and essentially that's what this challenge is all about. So the challenge of being sustainable or at least the challenge of being efficient in order to be sustainable, that's been one that we've been tackling for decades. It's not new to us at all. And it starts with some really quite basic stuff in terms of just the way you design your operating model.

00:10:17 – The fact that we have a globally integrated hub and spoke network that allows us to make sure that the assets that we use, whether they are airplanes or trains or ships or delivery vehicles on the road, can all be optimized in terms of their size. In other words we're able to fill them. That goes a huge way towards making what we do efficient and reducing the emissions and congestion that are generated as a result. And our ambitions haven't stopped there. We've made huge progress also on that second piece of the agenda that I mentioned going beyond efficiency and two different ways of doing things with an alternative fuel fleet that we call our rolling laboratory of over 8,000 vehicles.

00:11:02 – So we've come a long way and I think we've picked a lot of the low hanging fruit. There's still a long way to go to tackle the full breadth of the sustainability challenge, but we're on the right road and I think we understand the scale of the problem. And as technologies emerge we're ready to grasp them and stay at the leading edge to confront the challenge.

James: So Tom, I kind of want to get back to the geeky stuff here.

Tom: Shocker.

James: You talked a little bit about this kind of being more in the lab right now. We've got students at universities, professors who are looking at this, at the issues all along the delivery cycle. But are we starting to see some of this roll into what we're actually doing in cities? So maybe you can kind of shift in that direction of maybe more practical of what are some of the things that we're actually employing right now.

Tom: 00:11:56 – Well, and I know that Peter is in a great position to talk about a lot of this because the cities in Europe, I would say are leading the way when it comes to thinking about these issues, mostly because of a lot of them are older, sort of medieval town squares or cities or city streets that are winding. It's difficult to bring a traditional, larger vehicle down them anyway. Then you also have air quality issues dating back to some of the use of diesel in the 90s to Europe's embrace of diesel technology then as an allegedly clean field. It sort of has lingering effects today.

00:12:29 – Europe, in sort of their regulatory approach and how they're thinking about this, is pushing for different restrictions, different ways of doing business, and the part of companies like UPS. And in turn, we now have 20 plus pilot projects or tests of different technologies, for example, our e-trike that was first sort of pioneered and pushed in the City of Hamburg that's really met with a ton of success and I'm sure that Peter can expound on that as he's on the operational team there. And the Sustainability Group there has really achieved a lot with that model and actually rolling out the next iteration of that soon.

00:13:04 – I'd say that the way that US cities have sort of always thought of themselves and the importance of an automobile, so to the US mindset impacts the way or the shape that a lot of this is taking place in the US. And so right now UPS is already looking at partnerships with certain cities around the US. We've tested an e-trike in Portland. Just north of our border we just rolled out an e-trike in Toronto. And there's more to come just in terms of the types of solutions that we're looking at. And when we talk about solutions, it's not just e-trike. It also starts to include things like alternative delivery points, access points or locker technology.

00:13:41 – And the interesting things with the urban delivery and sort of the space as a whole is that the solutions run an incredibly wide gamut. So you have things like the sort of the physical vehicle that you can change. So you can think about is it an electronic vehicle, is it a hybrid electric vehicle? You sort of start to think about all the different ways that a vehicle can be conceptualize. You could start to incorporate things like, does drone technology fit, does robot or rover technology fit. You could have lockers, you could have access points, you could have things like My Choice or ways of looking at data to actually impact consumer demand and how people order. I always give this example, the handcart even. The handcart basically in its design hasn't changed at all since whatever standardized industrial model was produced and that UPS purchases. So could we design a better handcart and could that then enable people to move more conveniently in the cities.

00:14:37 – Or the other example that I use a lot with cities, too, is that the actual curbside. You think about a curb. A lot of packages go on a handcart have to go up and over a curb. So just the simple addition of additional curb cuts into the side of a street can actually make the delivery process much faster, which could increase efficiency if those curb cuts are put in the right space, which then goes back to sort of that big data question of can you optimize where those curb cuts go or could you optimize where loading zones go based on sort of deployment of big data. So there's a lot of interesting questions that we were asking ourselves.

Brian: Tom, I've got to tell you as a teenager who operated a handcart in a warehouse every day and did so with very mixed results, I would have appreciated that level of innovation and questioning back in the day. It would have made my life much easier. I'm curious, Peter, from your perspective, because Tom mentioned that you're working on the ground, are there certain projects or initiatives in Europe that stand out to you?

Peter: 00:15:39 – There are. So Tom's right that a lot of the new thinking on this is in Europe, but he's also right that a lot of reasons for that are because we kind of created our own problems over here. So the headlong rush towards the use of diesel over the past two decades has given us an air quality problem. And, as Tom said, we have some pretty old cities over here that just aren't suited to a modern, large goods vehicle. So we kind of have to be thinking about these things.

00:16:10 – So in terms of what really works, I think there are some great ideas out there on the horizon, but in terms of what we can do today that can be really effective, I would nominate a few different technologies. Let me pick a couple of here. So firstly the electric vehicle. There's a great synergy between urban logistics and the electric vehicle. So some of the challenges that either you have in terms of range and the need to be plugged in for a long time to recharge, they all kind of fit with urban logistics. We operate relatively short routes. Our vehicles are back at pace. They can be plugged in overnight. So these work well for us, but there are challenges with making them work that are essentially engineering challenges that we've been tackling.

00:16:54 – So for example, the vehicle manufacturing sector doesn't make vehicles of the type that we need in electric form, so we've been busy creating our own solution to that problem. We've developed a conversion program from diesel to electric of existing vehicles and we're now partnering with a small manufacturer to develop a kind of an innovative way around the problem from scratch, thinking how would you design an electric vehicle from zero if you threw away the diesel rule book. So a lot is going on. There's a big challenge with power supply infrastructures that we've been working with and developing things called smart bridge, which are more intelligent ways of using the power that comes into your building. So all of that's kind of circulating around this concept of the electric vehicle, which I think will continue to be very powerful.

00:17:47 – And another one that I would certainly nominated that Tom already touched on there, is the whole concept of cycle logistics. So it's not instinctively a great fit when you look at carrying a lot of, in some cases, quite large physical goods around. You don't immediately think about bicycles that were tricycles. But it turns out that it can work really well as long as you get the operating plan right and you get the choice of technology right. So you have to find a way to shift what it is that is going to be delivered into the city first. You can't operate a tricycle from an out of town delivery operation, which is where a lot of our delivery centers are based that our trucks operate from.

00:18:31 – But if you can physically move the goods to be delivered into the city center and station them in a mini depot or an eco-hub, as we sometimes call it, which could be a container, could be a trailer, could be a storage room, that it's surprising how effective the tricycles, especially if they're electrically assisted and being operating from those mini depots because in many cases what you find is that the conventional truck is restricted in what it can do. It has to park a long way from the end customer because it can't park where it wants to park. The tricycle is not restricted in that regard. A lot of cycle lanes are available now in Europe in particular that our e-trikes can access that the trucks can't. Even some pedestrianized areas are accessible to tricycle solutions. So the trike ends up being surprisingly efficient. And, of course, it is also – get to the core of the challenge here. It emits nothing and it doesn't generate the congestion that a truck generates.

Brian: I have an approach question for both of you, and I'll start with Peter. I wanted to ask, and you can correct me if I'm wrong, but I am sensing a tinge of optimism from both of you in terms of solutions and our ability to actually get something done. I'm curious, how much of that is shaped by the fact that so many of these solutions are local based. And by that I mean without antagonizing our friends in Washington, it can be really difficult to get something big done on a national scale. Are you encouraged that some of the most wide ranging solutions do seem to be coming from the local level and working their way up?

Peter: 00:20:14 – Yeah, I that's actually an important point. It certainly, in my observation, cities can be quite dynamic places to work. City mayors recognize that they need solutions to problems like emissions and congestion because they are fundamental to whether or not their city remains attractive to businesses and to residents. So they're prepared and determined to do, if necessary, quite radical things to make that happen. And they can respond perhaps, in some cases, more rapidly and more flexibly than the national or regional governments can, which tend to be subject to more bureaucratic machinations.

00:21:01 – So yeah, I think that the city's is an exciting place to work. There's a challenge, though, or there are a number of challenges, but one of the challenges is, of course, it's inherently a very decentralized environment. So whilst there is some collaboration between cities and there are various sharing groups that exist to facilitate that like C40, the mayors also value their independence and they liked to be able to do things in different ways and stamp their own brand on different types of solutions. So for an organization like us that you get that operates globally, that's a big complexity because I don't know how cities there are in the world, but it's many, many thousands and it becomes very challenging for us to work individually with all of them.

00:21:50 – So I think the way forward therefore for us is really about determining a kind of a menu so that we can operate with different cities in different ways, but within a framework that we determine to be broadly the most effective way _____ from a generic perspective and then we would tailor that to the generic framework depending on the particular circumstances that we're in. So a lot of exciting work to be done, but certainly the city space is a great place to be in terms of dynamism.

Brian: And Tom, do you have any thoughts on any advantage the local perspective might have?

Tom: 00:22:25 – The ability to brainstorm, to have a conversation, to think about the problems affecting cities. City government and the way that cities are sort of structured and are prone to, I think attracting both politicians and then staff that's very forward thinking, it lends itself to sort of innovation and pilot project testing to – not that their city is a playground for new technology, but that it is an opportunity to sort of see like what works, what doesn't. To analyze, to assess it, and then recommend or to establish or in some cases over the course of working in different cities, what are the best practices in urban delivery or in congestion mitigation that can then be shared with other cities and then multiply it out. And so a lot of our engagement strategy and how we think about which cities to partner with, it's all informed by that sort of dynamic aspect, as Peter mentioned, about how cities operate and work together.

00:23:27 – And it's the challenge, like Peter said, is also that is decentralized. And as part that, every city operating environment is entirely unique. And so when we're trying solve city problems, every problem in a way has its own – we can identify aspects of it that are similar to other environments and we try to do that by defining neighborhood topologies or characteristics of the built environment that are similar between this retail corridor and that retail corridor and then the one in New York or wherever. And there's some way of starting to codify or say, oh, this suite of solutions fit this type of environment and this suite of solutions fit this type of environment, but every city is fundamentally different. And so the exact deployment of solutions and the recommended regulations or processes or things that we could leverage that we could pull are going to always be different as well. And so it's both fun and challenging, I guess is the best way of putting it.

James: So could you guys describe, and maybe I'll hit you first, Tom, with this, is could you describe kind of how we interact with other companies that are being engaged by – like let's say if MIT is starting a project in city x. We're brought in and we're doing some things that might affect entree to buildings. What about the companies that are actually building those buildings? What kind of interaction do you guys have or is it's through the university?

Tom: 00:24:52 – So a lot of this I would say, in addition to universities, there's sort of different incubators or accelerator labs. You have all this sort of Silicon Valley talk about like how do you collaborate and bring together the private sector to work on and engage with cities on issues of importance. I'll give you an example. In Chicago there's a group called UI Labs City Digital that convened a recent workshop around urban logistics and brought together some various folks, including UPS, FedEx. Sort of startups. One of them is called Sherpa. So they do some more like innovative or like new age ways of delivering. And then also companies like MasterCard that have a stake in cities.

00:25:33 – One of the outcomes of that is that by collaborating with different private sector entities, including somebody that's outside the delivery space like MasterCard, would there be a way to, by using UPS data, by using MasterCard data, by using city data to think about ways to influence or change consumer demand when it comes to e-commerce or could you – what are sort of the levers that you could pull to incentivize somebody to bundle shipments or to change even the day that they place or the day the order ships or do they need it directly sent to their home or would they be willing to accept it at a consolidated delivery locker or something like that. So then thinking about like all those things.

00:26:10 – And then I'll give you another example is there's a lot of opportunity to think about partnering with developers when it comes to real estate or to apartment buildings, especially in cities because as e-commerce surges, you have a lot of residency buildings ordering package. There's frankly no room for the packages to go because package room space to most developers is not the optimal use of their money because they want to get the best bang for their buck. But at the same time they need to acknowledge that the packages do need to go somewhere and that for UPS or another delivery company go door to door within that apartment building could contribute significantly to the on road congestion issue or a truck parked outside or something like that as we go door to door inside.

00:27:01 – So working with large real estate developers or the multifamily housing council or other entities like that. There's also an opportunity to think about like what's going on in the inside space of an apartment building and how can we create amenities for residents that allow for their e-commerce ordering habit and that sort of mutually benefit everyone. Does that make sense?

James: Yeah. And Peter, what does collaboration look like for you so far in your projects? Have you gone to the table and you're working with a city and you have the different companies to your left and right. What does the collaboration look like for you?

Peter: 00:27:40 – It's a many faceted thing. Tom's given some good examples. Let me give you an example of some of our current ongoing collaboration initiative. So we've spoken a lot about cities and they're really important in this space, but actually national government has a role to play here as well. So there's an organization, for example, called Innovate UK, which is part of the UK government's Department for Business. And it is a collaboration platform and that we've actually found it to be an effective way of joining up with other potential partners to work on, for example, electric vehicles, smart grids, cycle logistics, and other areas.

00:28:27 – So we're engaged in an Innovate UK platform right now with an electric vehicle converter, a distribution network operator -- that's an organization that manages and constructs local electricity grids -- and as a consortium of London local boroughs, all working together with UPS under the auspices of Innovate UK to develop a more effective way of getting power to electric vehicles in a dense urban environment. So that kind of thing is going on. And it's really just a case of horses for courses. There are some other partnerships, which are simple tandem arrangements, one-on-one, which is UPS working directly with the city. It's a case of defining what is the problem that you're trying to solve and who is the most innovative and imaginative and willing partner in the space. Now there's no sense trying to set out to work with somebody who's not going to be able to think outside the box, but finding that most willing and appropriate partner and then structuring the arrangement around that.

Brian: Tom, as we're winding down here, I kind of want to give you full opportunity to geek out as much as you want. I know you've been clamoring to do it. But you kept talking about curbside management. I know this is, at the risk of going too in the weeds, I'm curious, what is good curbside management? And then secondly, when you go to cities and you're traveling around the world, do you find yourself literally walking around the streets observing curbs and remembering what cities beat others in terms of curbside management? How far does this go with you?

Tom: 00:30:19 – So Peter and I were just in Paris and throughout the event I was periodically mapping between two points on my phone just to conceptually see whether it was faster to walk, bike, take transit or drive in a city as hyper-dense as Paris because I'm just that nerdy and really wanting to make various notes and observations to myself.

00:30:42 – So when we talk about curbside management, basically you have a lot of demand for the curbside throughout cities. So you have people that want to park. You have perhaps a bike lane. You have sidewalks or you have retail corridors along those sidewalks and you'd have shop owners that want people to go to their stores. So hypothetically they want a loading zone out in front for their goods to arrive, but they might also want personal vehicle parking out front so that people can get to their store. And you have a bus that wants to come through, so you have a city interest. And so there's a lot of just like competing demand or uses for the physical space and that can only be occupied, say at any given point, by one vehicle or one thing. It's limited in terms of its capacity.

00:31:27 – And so some of this comes down to then how do you design and sort of think through just like what happens on a daily basis to better manage that demand. So do you have a separated bike lane or do you have an integrated bike lane or how do you combine different transportation modes? And some cities get it right, some cities get it wrong. And a lot of it, it's there's transportation engineered design theory or different ways of even building a street or thinking about it. And some of it's just common sense, quite frankly, by sort of going through the operating or like the mode sort of thing like what plays out in the situation or how does this work?

00:32:10 – But then a lot of times when we think about what does a city of the future look like, and even going back to that sort of original frame of this whole conversation. DC, which we've really been engaged with their DC Department of Transportation a lot, recently looked at the number of loading zones compared to the number of personal vehicles spaces in the district. And the number is something like 1 in 5; 1 compared to 500. So for every one loading zone you have about 500 personal vehicle spaces. And in a city of the future that type of ratio is frankly unworkable because as people shift to e-commerce, their need for a personal vehicle should hypothetically go down and like the curbside use, it should no longer just facilitate pulling up out in front of the shop in Georgetown and going inside.

00:33:05 – Actually some of that personal vehicle parking along the really congested retail corridor should be repurposed for loading zones. Perhaps even automated enforcement loading zones. I mean you can imagine something, a situation of the future, where you have like almost like sensor equipped and red light camera equipped loading zones that allow for auto enforcement of that loading zone. You have new transportation network providers, like wherein Lyft that are competing for the curbside, so maybe they have a spot or a pickup spot. And you have public transit, you have bike lanes, and so the actual curbside in the future starts to look very different than it does today where you just have sort of a row of vehicles along the side.

00:33:44 – There's a lot of other perhaps better uses of that curbside that a city could employ. It's politically challenging for a lot of cities because the first person that's going to push back is the neighborhood commission that says, hey, you're taking away our parking. But that is, I think like quite frankly, where the biggest gains can be made in terms of managing congestion and just the flow of traffic.

James: I think when we – speaking of cities of the future, when we set off to really do the series, Brian and I were thinking Jetsons, for those who are fans, but definitely not a Blade Runner kind of future.

Brian: Well, not with the optimism we just struck today.

James: Right. Right. I mean it's definitely a lot more positive. So we appreciate you guys joining us today to talk about all the details and some of the cool things that we're working on.

Brian: And just to be clear for people in my generation, what are the Jetsons again?

James: That's right. That's right. It is a little dated. I'm sure you guys have heard of it. But anyway, it sounds like a pretty positive future that we have and although we won't be flying immediately, we'll be grounded and work in the curbs.

Brian: And Tom will be down there by the curb. Thank you guys so much. We appreciate you being with us today.

Peter: Thank you.

James: Thanks.


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