The Mobility Podcast

#014: SOTU - State of Transportation and Urbanism 2018

January 29, 2018

Ahead of Trump's State of the Union Address tomorrow, Gregs Rodriguez and Rogers got together to provide their own SOTU - the State of Transportation and Urbanism.

It's packed with all the goodies of 2018: autonomous vehicles, electric vehicles, automated buses, TRB vs. CES, and the "Hunger Games" that might be created by Trump's $1T infrastructure bill.

#013: Laura Bliss, CityLab (Live from TRB)

January 12, 2018

Is Columbus living up to the equity promises made in its winning application for the USDOT Smart City Challenge? Why don't trains in the NYC subway arrive on time? And why on earth would people graffiti bar bathrooms in favor of congestion pricing?

BB&K Greg, Eno Greg, and Pete speak with Laura Bliss, a staff writer at CityLab, about all of these pressing questions and more.

Follow Laura Bliss on Twitter @MsLauraBliss and find her latest articles at

Recorded at the 2018 Transportation Research Board Annual Meeting.

#012: Austin Brown, UC Davis Policy Institute (Live from TRB)

January 12, 2018

Dr. Austin Brown joins the two Gregs and Pete to discuss his work on the 3 Revolutions Future Mobility Program, which researches the convergence of vehicle sharing, electrification, and automation. As the Executive Director for the UC Davis Policy Institute for Energy, Environment, and the Economy, Brown and his colleagues work to bridge the gap between scientific researchers and decision-makers.

3 Revolutions website:
Twitter: @DokEnergy

#011: Nico Larco, University of Oregon (Live from TRB)

January 11, 2018

When we adopt new and innovative approaches to mobility, Nico Larco says we should pull back the curtain first. As the Co-Director of the Sustainable Cities Initiative at the University of Oregon, Larco helps public and private entities understand the potential impacts of autonomous vehicles, electric vehicles, and ecommerce on cities.

In this wide-ranging discussion, Larco describes how he evaluates these technologies as transportation issues in order to understand their secondary impacts on health, livability, and housing.

#010: Dispatch from Transportation Prom - Transportation Research Board (TRB) Annual Meeting 2018

January 10, 2018

Coming to you live from the Transportation Research Board (TRB) Annual Meeting 2018, the Mobility Podcast crew discusses new trends emerging at TRB this year and reveals the guest interviews that we'll be publishing throughout the week.

#009: Interview with Jessica Nigro, Daimler North America

December 20, 2017

Jessica Nigro, Manager of Outreach & Innovation Policy at Daimler North America, joined the two Gregs and Pete for a light-hearted yet wide-ranging discussion of automated vehicle policy, Daimler's mobility platforms (Moovel and Car2Go), and one burning question: what is supertruck?

#008: On the Road at NLC City Summit 2017 (Part 2) - Mayor Jake Spano of St. Louis Park, Minnesota

November 21, 2017

Autonomous vehicles and buzzy transportation tech might be exciting, but a well-managed city - a truly smart city - knows what matters to its constituents.

In this episode Mayor Jake Spano of St. Louis Park, Minnesota joins BB&K Greg and Eno Greg for a lively discussion about livability, regional collaboration, and the real-world, day-to-day challenges that cities address every day.

Mayor Spano says that citizens understand the true impacts of their local government's decisions and how money is spent. Residents notice when the trash isn't taken out, the snow isn't plowed, or when a pothole isn't fixed - which is why he focuses on the important daily operations of the city while also planning wisely for the future.

**A special thanks to Brittney Kohler and the National League of Cities for inviting us to speak and the opportunity to record these episodes with innovative city leaders.**

#007: On the Road at NLC City Summit 2017 (Part 1) - Conversations with Councilwoman Kathryn Wilemon (Arlington, Texas) and Mayor Patrick Wojahn (College Park, Maryland)

November 19, 2017

Eno Greg and BB&K Greg took the show on the road this week at NLC's City Summit 2017 in Charlotte, North Carolina. After presenting to city leaders about the challenges and opportunities presented by emerging technologies, we turned the microphone to mayors and city council members to learn about their experiences on the ground.

We first spoke with Council Member Kathryn Wilemon of Arlington, Texas - which used to be known as the largest city in the U.S. without a public transit network until a few years ago. Arlington is now leading the charge in testing automation in transit after it leased two EasyMile driverless shuttles to connect residents and visitors with its thriving entertainment district.

Next we spoke with Mayor Patrick Wojahn of College Park, Maryland about automated vehicles and dockless bikeshare. In addition to being Mayor of College Park, Wojahn is also the Director of Government Relations for the Rails to Trails Conservancy, which is looking at the impact that AVs will have on active transportation - particularly the "heaven and hell" scenarios for AVs.

Stay tuned for part two, featuring a wide-range discussion about mobility, regional collaboration in transit planning, and livability with Mayor Jake Spano of St. Louis Park, Minnesota.

**A special thanks to Brittney Kohler and the National League of Cities for inviting us to speak and the opportunity to record these episodes with innovative city leaders.**


#006: "An AValanche of USDOT News - Automated Vehicles, Connected Vehicles, and Drones" 

November 8, 2017

Eno Greg and BB&K Greg take a deep dive into the U.S. Department of Transportation's (USDOT) work on preparing version 3.0 of the federal policy document on automated vehicles, recent rumors that NHTSA's vehicle-to-vehicle mandate may now be on the backburner, and the implementation of President Trump's memo on the Drone Integration Pilot Program.

Slated for release in 2018, it will cover not only how AVs can be safely designed - but how automation technology can be integrated into public transit networks, commercial vehicles, and all other forms of on-road vehicles. This will go beyond the Obama Administration's Federal Automated Vehicle Policy Statement and the Trump Administration's Automated Driving Systems 2.0: A Vision for Safety.

#005: "When AVs and Washington Collide" 

October 10, 2017

The gang dives into the Senate's AV START bill (S. 1885) and what's in it (and what is NOT in it).  We take a deep dive into the process and policy implications of the bill and where things go from here.  Next we discuss the new for Uber out of London, where Transport for London (TfL) rejected the company's license renewal based on allegations of bad behavior such as failing to report criminal incidents and the use of its "Greyball software" that was used to allude law enforcement use of the platform.

In the HyperLane news roundup, we talk dockless bikeshare in Seattle, Amazon taking over the world (...of logistics and delivery), and DC's Department of Transportation piloting a ridesharing pick-up and drop-off zone in the crowded Dupont Circle area.

Lastly, David takes us on a nice, relaxing patent stroll to review a handful of the latest in patent filings in the mobility world. 

#004: " Pittsburgh, Autonomous Vehicles, and STEMinists" - An Interview with Courtney Ehrlichman of Carnegie Mellon and Roadbotics

September 8, 2017

From the Steel City to finalist in the Smart City Challenge, Pittsburgh sure has come a long way.  Much of this transformation can be seen in the strong robotics and computer science programs at Carnegie Mellon, but CMU is also leading the nation’s efforts to improve mobility through its national University Transportation Center (UTC) known as Traffic21.  

We invited Deputy Director of Traffic21, and all around mobility and PGH tech scene guru, Courtney Ehrlichman to join us and talk mobility, Pittsburgh, and the future of mobility.  

Our conversation dives into the City’s and the university’s efforts, the importance of mentoring women in tech and mobility (and coined the new term STEMinists to describe strong advocates of women in science!).

#003: "Squeezing Atoms" - Electric Vehicles and so much more

August 24, 2017

Hydrogen is the fuel of the future… and it always will be — right? 

This week we discuss the global auto industry’s movement towards battery electric vehicles — we know everyone’s doing it, but what are they doing?

And, seriously guys... why weren't cities, states, and transit agencies ever included in the numerous hearings about autonomous vehicle legislation?

Episode 2: What is the P word? Preemption, patent 'strolling,' and the latest mobility news.

August 13, 2017

In this episode we take a deep-dive into the "P word" - preemption.

The federal government, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), has historically been the sole regulator of motor vehicle performance and design, while states are responsible for managing more local issues like traffic laws, insurance and liability, and vehicle registration. 

NHTSA is waiting until AV technology is sufficiently mature to establish regulations for safety and performance, for fear of stifling innovation. But in the absence of federal government action, 20+ states have been able to establish their own laws around AVs - resulting in the proverbial "patchwork of regulations."

In order to encourage the continued development of AVs, Congress is now considering legislation that will preempt states from regulating AV technology.

We demystify the much-discussed (yet little-understood) process of preemption with a discussion of how it works, including tangible examples how the House AV bill will impact AV policies in New York and Portland, Oregon.

Episode 1: What's in the House Autonomous Vehicle Bill?

July 27, 2017

Bipartisanship is still alive!

By some twist of fate, we are excited to announce the launch of The Mobility Podcast on the same day that the SELF DRIVE Act - which may become the nation's first laws around autonomous vehicles - passed the House Energy & Commerce Committee unanimously by 54-0. 

We explain three major components of the SELF DRIVE Act: federal preemption of state/local laws around AVs, the expansion of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's (NHTSA) authority to grant exemptions to motor vehicle safety standards, and advisory councils that are intended to steer AV development in the right direction.