While we shake our heads about all the worrying climate change news, good things are happening too. In the mobility field our eyes were drawn by the news that all electric trains in the Netherlands are 100% powered by wind energy since 1 January 2017, one year ahead of its targets. It means that train travel in the Netherlands is absolutely carbon free.

More great public transport news comes from Belgium, where the company ABB is installing twelve charging stations for public buses throughout the cities of Charleroi and Namur. The charging stations at the end stop allow buses to recharge their batteries in just four minutes. The intention of public transport group TEC is to have 90 electric hybrid Volvo-buses driving through the cities by next year.

Self-driving shared cars

The year 2018 is promising to become an historical year too for the city of Eindhoven, where car sharing start-up Amber Mobility plans to have the first self-driving on-demand car service up and running. Amber has teamed up with several development partners and the Dutch municipality of Eindhoven to make the city the first in the world to implement self-driving cars for large commercial use.

The Amber Mobility car-sharing service is designed to offer both business and private users across Europe on-demand access to a car at all times, for just 33 euros per week. It just arrives at your door by itself, and after you’ve arrived at your destination continues its journey to the next user. Who still needs a car of their own?

Activation sessions

Public transport accounts for just a small part of CO2-emissions by transport, but specifically public diesel buses are causing air pollution in cities. Greening transport in cities is the topic of the activation session ‘The city will keep us cool’ on day 2 of WDCD Live Amsterdam with former mayor of Mexico City Marcelo Ebrard and bicycle activist Aline Cavalcante fron São Paulo.

We’re particularly curious to hear their experiences with fighting the dominance of car traffic in their South American mega cities. What does it take to get people on their bikes and in buses and other public transport? And what role can designers play in this field?

The activation session ‘Damn the rear-view mirror’ might help you to answer that last question too. The session with TU Delft professor Matthijs van Dijk learns you how to use the Reframing method he developed together with Paul Hekkert to create new and innovating concepts in the mobility realm.

Take the train, or jump on your bike and head towards the Muziekgebouw aan ’t IJ on 23 & 24 May. Tickets are available at www.whatdesigncando.com/shop.


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