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This article was published on December 28, 2020


Stay at home and listen to these 5 podcasts on the future of mobility

Maybe you need a break from reading

Stay at home and listen to these 5 podcasts on the future of mobility
Matthew Beedham
Story by

Matthew Beedham

Editor, SHIFT by TNW

Matthew is the editor of SHIFT. He likes electric cars, and other things with wheels, wings, or hulls. Matthew is the editor of SHIFT. He likes electric cars, and other things with wheels, wings, or hulls.

Hopefully, this festive period, you’ll have time to relax, unwind, and maybe even listen to a podcast or two.

If you’re into all things mobility tech, let us lend a helping hand and offer some suggestions for you to check out.

1. The Autonocast

If EVs, self-driving vehicles, and autonomy get your motor running, then you should check out the Autonocast

It’s a weekly show that discusses some of the industry‘s most important topics, and is hosted by TechCrunch senior reporter Kirsten Korosec, TheDrive’s Alex Roy, and Ed Niedermeyer who is the comms director at non-profit PAVE (Partners for Automated Vehicle Education).

The Autonocast casts a critical eye on the world of self-driving vehicles, autonomy, and aritficial intelligence.

The Autonocast has previously discussed Tesla’s self-driving technology, women in autonomy and AI bias, and autonowashing.

A personal favorite episode was when the Autonocast interviewed human-machine interaction researcher and friend of SHIFT Liza Dixon about her work into autonowashing.

2. The War on Cars

Now, this might sound a bit off-piste for a publication that focuses predominantly on cars and motorized transport, but hear me out.

We believe that there should be options, and those options should be chosen mindfully. Cars are great and have their uses, but so do trains, planes, and bicycles.

This might be an unexpected suggestion. Cars are good, but they’re even better when we use them properly and appropriately. That’s the center of the conversation for the War on Cars.

The War on Cars podcast takes a look at the effect cars are having on our roads, cities, and quality of life. As cities like Amsterdam and Copenhagen show, car-free roads can work and can make cities more delightful to live in.

Really, this podcast is about challenging the normative belief that driving a car is the best form of transport for all situations.

A great starting point is this episode: America’s love affair with cars. It makes a potted history of how the US got so wrapped up in a world where everyone has to drive.

3. The Mobility Podcast

Those two podcasts were kind of specific, so let’s zoom out a little and take a look at The Mobility Podcast. As its name suggests, it’s a more of a general look at the field of transport and travel tech, with a specific focus on the US.

The mobility podcast is for you if you like getting into the granular legal and infrastructure side of this world of moving things.

On the podcast, hosts have spoken to industry names from the likes of Nuro, Waymo, Segway-Ninebot, and Spin.

The hosts have a background in transportation policy, governance, and strategy and actively look to deconstruct these in pursuit of understanding how new transport tech will impact our societies.

One of my favorite episodes was where the Mobility Podcast took a look at Sweden’s approach to autonomous vehicles. Much of the conversation of self-driving focuses on the US, it’s an important reminder this is a global phenomenon and every culture has a different approach.

4. The Swifty Podcast

If you’re following the conversation surrounding micromobility, in particular escooters, then the Swifty Podcast is for you.

Presented by husband and wife team and founders of scooter company Swifty Scooters, Jason and Camilla Iftakhar, the Swifty Podcast dissects everything to do with the world of stand-on two-wheeled transport.

The Swifty Podcasts provides a fly-on the wall insight into the world of designing, developing, and lauching scooters.

In previous episodes Jason and Camilla have covered how their supply chain works, how they design their scooters, and how legislation and infrastructure impacts their use and uptake. Conversations go into a surprising amount of detail.

It’s all totally unscripted, but after listening to a bunch of episodes myself, I can say that it provides a unique window into the challenges of bringing new modes of personal transport to life.

A personal highlight was episode #18, published in August. It looked at how COVID-19 has affected the UK escooter market and how the areas the nation’s trials of the tech are likely to fail and succeed.

5. BCG: Podcasts on the Future of Mobility

If you’re not in the game of big business and corporate strategy, you might not know BCG, or Boston Consulting Group to give it its full name.

BCG is a business strategy consulting firm, and is the hive mind behind the Boston Matrix, which is used by firms to understand and strategize their product line up. The concept is even taught in universities across the land.

The business world is going to change dramatically as we switch to electric cars, autonomous vehicles, and new models of shared ownership, so it’s not surprising a firm like BCG is keeping an eye on things.

In short, the big wigs at BCG know how the automotive industry works, and in this podcast industry experts explore the impact that these new technologies will have. If you’re deep into the futurism of transport, get this podcast into your ear holes.

BONUS: Car Talk

Car Talk on NPR is an absolute must-listen podcast whether you’re a car nerd or not. Props to my colleague Georgina for getting me on to this one.

Car Talk was broadcast on NPR from the late 1970s through to 2012. Now, re-cuts of original episodes are released as podcasts, under the “Best of Car Talk” moniker.

So, Car Talk is more of a podcast about the history of mobility, specifically cars, but even so, it’s a cracker and you should listen.

It’s hosted by brothers Tom and Ray Magliozzi, AKA “Click and Clack, the tappet brothers.” After a long career as car mechanics, they took to the airwaves to help callers with their own car troubles, and do so always in hilarious fashion.

So it might not be about the future of mobility, but I can guarantee that it’ll bring a smile to your face.


SHIFT is brought to you by Polestar. It’s time to accelerate the shift to sustainable mobility. That is why Polestar combines electric driving with cutting-edge design and thrilling performance.Find out how.

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