Mobility is entering new dimensions. When we talk of the future of mobility it is no longer just about autonomous cars or car sharing start-ups but of a full process of transforming all aspects of society. This made us reflect on the need for a cross-industry exchange of ideas on new innovations, future visions and structural changes in industry, politics and science. Our track Mobility & City highlights, discusses and reflects on the developments in mobility from a range of perspectives.

Are societies and their legal frameworks ready for remotely piloted vehicles? How are the implementations of digitisation and robotics changing our existing concepts of mobility? How can future interactions between humans and machines be designed to avoid long-term relationship problems? In what ways do our urban centres need to be restructured, in order to transform them into empathetic, open and smart spaces? What are the implications for data protection in a fully networked society?

At re:publica 2014, we discussed with Walter Matthias Kunze (trendquest), Helmut Ritzer (moovel GmbH) and Prof. Tobias Wallisser (Laboratory for Visionary Architecture) whether our society is ready for autonomous driving or if we first require a societal change of perspectives. Thomas LeBlanc from Phantastischen Bibliothek expanded our literary horizon with his talk on whether we will still be driving cars in 30 year time. He examined the huge and scientifically sound ideas and future scenarios found in science-fiction books.

At re:publica 2015, we talked with futurologist Alexander Mankowsky about the experimental “F 015 Luxury in Motion” vehicle, the developments in autonomous driving and debated the relationships – and relationship problems – between humans and machines. In a different session, Stefanie Söhnchen and Rob Dawson presented their “Move Forward” project: a network dedicated to collecting ideas and exchanging knowledge on the future of mobility – all fully independent from marketing, brands and products. Philipp Wex's talk “Possibilities for using speech and gesture recognition for the future of mobility” offered insights into the developments and complexities of intelligent voice control systems for cars.

Together with a pool of futurologists, scientists and robotics experts, we will be continuing our journey into the future of mobility at re:publica 2017's Mobility & City track. Mobility & City is powered by DAIMLER. 

Photo credit: Matthias Ripp (CC BY 2.0)