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New Technologies and Curbside Changes


New Technologies and Curbside Changes

As AI and new technologies change the world we know into the world of tomorrow, Olaoluwa Adeola takes it to the street level with a look ahead at how curbsides will change.

The curb, the area adjacent to roads and walkways, is set for a transformation in the next era of mobility. Expect to see parking meters, shop fronts, EV chargers, outdoor dining, transit stations, and delivery robots. Drawing inspiration from the Curbivore newsletters, I’ve compiled some of my thoughts on the deliberate planning companies must do to shape the upcoming era of curbside mobility.

The curb serves as one of the purest melting pots for stakeholder involvement, and understanding the dynamics involved will inevitably help communities and organizations make the most of it.

  •         Stakeholders include developers, businesses, municipalities, drivers, pedestrians, cyclists, mobility companies, and other service providers.
  •         Their interactions form a microcosm, around which organizations can optimize for their resources for example, the governance required for traffic lights, parking meters, and corresponding fines must be built around community needs (i.e., traffic flow, congestion considerations, and appropriate enforcement) to function properly.
  •         A base understanding of the stakeholder needs will allow service and infrastructure providers to develop sustainable solutions (e.g., lasting impact, profitability).

It may not always seem possible to address all the dynamics all the time, but that doesn’t permit ignorance to be an excuse for negligence. You need to have thought thru the risks, even though your best path forward is the one you’re already on.

  •         Community considerations are often mixed in with governance, but the neighborhood level fidelity of insights can be tough to prioritize (e.g., prioritizing between local business needs and citizen concerns).
  •         Off the curb, there are other considerations for service providers that may not always be apparent – e.g, talent acquisition, technology infrastructure, data privacy.
  •         Each of these has a different priority level at a given time, but the winners on the curb must address all of them appropriately. Better to be proactive than reactive.

Great execution looks like vehicle share programs that bring in a mix of community goodwill, positive climate impacts, and preferable economics (e.g., LA’s carshare, Zipcar, Turo, Chicago’s Divvy bikes).

  •         The early days of connectivity enabled ride share, and provided an example of what collaborative execution looks like (maybe because that’s what the model relied on), where companies like Zipcar partnered with communities & universities to make shared vehicles available.
  •         The mutual benefits where exalted by all parties involved, allowing similar programs to become part of the transport infrastructure in major cities around the world (e.g., bike shares, LA city car share).


Key points include:

  • Contactless toll payments
  • Robo deliveries
  • Urban air mobility solutions


Read the full article, Curbside Thoughts on the Mobility Transition