It’s the home of Henry Ford and the first moving assembly line, rightfully earning the nickname “Motor City.” Known the world over as a leader in transport innovation, Detroit, Michigan put the world on wheels, says Alisyn Malek, an urban mobility expert and a native of the metro area.
It’s these inventions of the past that could help inform the future, leading the way for new scalable and accessible modes of transit – ones that will look very different from what began rolling off Ford’s assembly lines more than a century ago.
Transportation is among the largest contributors of carbon production, responsible for about 37% of global greenhouse gas emissions. As urban planners look to the future, many are focused on sustainability, including a shift away from traditional gas-fueled vehicles.
As the managing director of Newlab Detroit, a global mobility innovation hub, Malek is part of a team that brings together different expertise with the aim of creating transportation solutions.
CNN recently spoke with Malek about what travel will look like by 2050.
The following interview has been edited for length and clarity.
CNN: What are some of the key pillars of mobility?
Malek: Some of the key pillars that are a really critical for that to be successful are accessibility. How easy are the mobility solutions to get to? How frequent are the services running? What areas are covered? Can people really get to where they need to go or have their goods brought to them easily? It’s really making sure that everybody has a couple of options. And as we look towards the future, we also need to think about sustainable transportation.
CNN: In 2050, how do you envision people getting from A to B?
Malek: As I think about 2050 and how we’ll get around, the thing that gets me most excited is really the variety of options that we’ll have at that time. People will still be biking, people will still take buses – but really, it’s about the ability to choose the best option for the trip that they needed to take.
When I think about 2050 and the types of technologies that might be brought to bear in transportation, I think we’re going to see…
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