The Movin'On Summit on Sustainable Mobility 2019 is back in Montreal on a mission to move people and goods worldwide using renewable resources. The Summit, originally started with the renowned French tire maker Michelin, now has worldwide partners joining in the quest to reduce fossil fuel.
"If we count on the future to be better, it is time to act right now," said Florent Menegaux, new Michelin CEO in his opening remarks in the Grandé Studios converted warehouse housing the global event by C2.
Ideas and actions were abundant at the event, which was attended by more than 5,000 over three days. Forbes Magazine calls it "SXSW meets CES meets NAIAS, but with a French flair and cutting-edge staging and production."
The three-day event brought shared opinions from global experts on decarbonization, air quality, multimodal urban transit, and goods transportation.
In attendance were stakeholders in sustainable mobility. Thousands of participants from all over the world representing NGOs, public authorities, academics, cities, companies, and start-ups were there to learn and share.
Michelin CEO Florent Menegaux stresses it's time to act
The most common question asked was when autonomous driving will become commonplace. Spoiler alert: it will be another decade before the public will have enough confidence in letting AI control our everyday driving. Experts predict public transport like trains will become autonomous before personal cars.
The summit also featured dozens of electric cars to try out, including the BMW i8 Roadster.
An unusual experience for attendees was the "Slow Lab," where we learned to slow time and appreciate the little things in life that sadly slip away.The "In the Dark" experience pitted us in a totally dark room where we teamed up with strangers to complete simple tabletop models with clay and wood. The purpose was to point out how learning and making sense about ourselves is parallel to the world of machine learning and AI.
Steve tries out the "Slow Lab."
Big and small companies - even countries - with a common dream to make the world a better place, even with climate changes, walked the walk with impressive feats.
Here are some examples.
The smell of diesel fuel drove Costa Rica's Monica Araya fossil-free goals
Monica Araya, who has worked on Costa Rica's sustainability for more than 20 years, focuses on consumer and citizen engagement in renewable energy. She wants Costa Rica to be the first fossil free country in the world. Her trick to winning over old-fashioned diesel fuel lovers? "We bought electric busses as a utility, creating a business-friendly ECO solution," she said, creating a massive following of common workers willing to buy in to her small country's energy challenges.
Thai landscape architect Kotchakorn Voraakhom fights rain floods with with smart city sparks.
Thai landscape architect and CEO of the Porous City Network Kotchakorn Voraakhom inspired with her story. She designs cities to help fight floods. Her idea of developing a massive park in Bangkok that can hold a million gallons of rainwater created a lush green world in the middle of a sprawling flood-prone city. She also converted an unused rooftop helipad in the city's largest hospital to a lush water garden to the delight of millions of visiting annual patients.
Michelin's and General Motors' airless tire will be on cars in 2014
Michelin and General Motors showed their airless Michelin UPTIS which can outlast today's traditional tires, with near zero maintenance. Unlike today's traditional tires, it's unencumbered with correct air pressure issues, has predictable fuel savings, and is virtually indestructible. It will roll out in cars in 2024.
Old-fashioned truck driving know-how and technology saves fuel
Peloton showed off Platoon Pro, its truck transport platooning success used in more than half the states in the U.S. The company uses an old trick of having two trucks closely follow each other at highway speeds, aerodynamically reducing air friction, with a 4.5% per cent fuel saving on the front truck and 10% saving on the rear truck. Both truck drivers communicate with each other using Peloton's patented equipment with built-in safety features automatically distancing the trucks if needed.
Peloton has an even more impressive pricier platooning system doing away with the rear truck driver, in effect being driven autonomously with the guidance of the lone front driver. That saves an additional $20 by eliminating one driver. Peloton's unique business model installs the platooning systems free, only collecting a percentage of the fuel savings after the initial installation is paid off.
Testing the latest electric scooters