#76 Karos Mobility & Vitoria-Gasteiz: AI-Driven Carpooling for Urban Mobility

Episode 82 May 15, 2024 00:44:12
#76 Karos Mobility & Vitoria-Gasteiz: AI-Driven Carpooling for Urban Mobility
Smart in the City – The BABLE Podcast
#76 Karos Mobility & Vitoria-Gasteiz: AI-Driven Carpooling for Urban Mobility

May 15 2024 | 00:44:12

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Hosted By

Tamlyn Shimizu

Show Notes

In this episode, we welcomed one of the winners of our Urban Shark Tank session: Peter Ball, International Project Manager for Karos Mobility, as well as Juan Carlos Escudero, Head of Mobility and Data Science at the Environmental Studies Centre of Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain.

They presented and discussed the AI-driven carpooling pilot project in Vitoria-Gasteiz aimed at reducing carbon emissions and improving urban mobility, illustrating both the challenges and successes of implementing smart mobility solutions in modern cities.

 

Want to learn more about the co-winning project of the Urban Shark Tank session at Autonomy 2024? Have a look at the Use Case on our BABLE Knowledge Hub.

 

Overview of the episode:

[00:01:45] Teaser Question: "Describe the impact of AI-driven carpooling using three emojis."

[00:06:40] Our guests' backgrounds

[00:08:55] Presentation of the goals of the AI-driven carpooling pilot for daily commuting in Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain

[00:10:33] What solutions did the project bring to the mobility challenges of Vitoria-Gasteiz?

[00:12:44] How was the project implemented? What were the steps?

[00:14:35] What challenges were faced and what was the community feedback?

[00:17:47] What was the AI technology involved?

[00:22:31] How does this align with sustainability goals?

[00:26:32] Are there any plans to scale this project?

[00:38:19] Freaky Friday: our guests switched places and answered a question in each other's shoes!

[00:40:57] Ending Question: "To you, what is a Smart City?

 

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And for more insights, visit our BABLE Smart Cities Knowledge Hub!

View Full Transcript

Episode Transcript

[00:00:06] Tamlyn Shimizu: Welcome to Smart in the city, the BABLE podcast, where we bring together top actors in the smart city arena, sparking dialogues and interactions around the stakeholders and themes most prevalent for today's citizens and tomorrow's generations. [00:00:21] Tamlyn Shimizu: I am your host, Tamlyn Shimizu, and I hope you will enjoy this episode and gain knowledge and connections to accelerate the change for a better urban life. [00:00:31] Tamlyn Shimizu: Smart in the city is brought to you by BABLE Smart cities. We enable processes from research and strategy development to co creation and implementation. To learn more about us, please visit the BABLE platform at BABLE Smartcities EU. [00:00:45] Tamlyn Shimizu: So if you know BABLE, you might have heard us actually mention Urban Shark Tank before, which is a dynamic session that we facilitate on the main stages of events across Europe. And it's all about replication, so which is of course a key goal of the podcast as well. So bringing to life the projects and lessons learned that will help accelerate implementation of the projects. So today we're actually diving into one of the projects with one of our winners of urban shark Tank, Karos Mobility. And so from Karos, I have with me today Peter Ball. He's the international project manager. Welcome, Peter. [00:01:24] Peter Ball: Thank you, Tamlyn. It's a pleasure to be here. [00:01:28] Tamlyn Shimizu: Yeah, pleasure to have you. And with him today, he brought along their project partner from the public sector side, it's Juan Carlos Escudero. He's the head of mobility and data science at the Vitoria-Gasteiz center, which is a public agency owned by the city of Vittoria. Welcome, Juan Carlos. [00:01:45] Juan Carlos Escudero: Hi, Tamlyn. It's a pleasure to be here. [00:01:48] Tamlyn Shimizu: Yeah, absolutely. A pleasure to see you. I was telling also, Peter, before, too, that we've actually ran into each other quite a lot before. So I'm really excited now to learn more about one of your projects. So before we get into that project, I like to start us off with a bit of a teaser question to just get the ball rolling. So for each of you, you will have three emojis to use, and you have to describe the impact of AI driven car pooling with three emojis. So, Peter, you want to start? [00:02:26] Peter Ball: Yeah, sure. I think there is an emoji that might be a group of people, and I think community is one of the best aspects of carpooling in terms of who we target and how the product rolls out. We target people in suburban and rural areas that, you know, might not live in those high density city cores with all the trains and the, the bike routes to get to where they need to go and what carpooling does is it connects people in communities to get to where they need to go. So establishes relationships, connections and helps people to get to work. So that's my one emoji. Do my other two or do one each? [00:03:08] Tamlyn Shimizu: Actually do one each. Sounds good. [00:03:10] Juan Carlos Escudero: One. [00:03:10] Tamlyn Shimizu: Carlos, do you have one? [00:03:12] Juan Carlos Escudero: Yeah, it's more or less the same, but I choose the handshake emoji. Yeah, because I think it represents cooperation, share responsibility, sense of community and. Yeah, I choose this one. [00:03:32] Tamlyn Shimizu: Yeah, handshake sounds good. Good. Back to you, Peter. [00:03:36] Peter Ball: Okay. My second emoji to lock in will actually be the money with wings on it. [00:03:43] Tamlyn Shimizu: Oh yeah, good one. [00:03:46] Peter Ball: But actually not necessarily in a sense of making lots of money, but more from an equity perspective. So what carpooling does is it's not necessarily the most glamorous way of making lots of money. We're not hiring private drivers, but what we're trying to do is make access to work and making access to transport more equitable. So we allow people to sort of discover a new mode of public transport that allows to get them around in a cost effective way and to save money, save money for their car registration, for their petrol costs, and to get around together rather than on their own, burdening all the costs by themselves. [00:04:25] Tamlyn Shimizu: Very good choice to you, Juan Carlos. [00:04:29] Juan Carlos Escudero: Yeah, well, my second emoji could be the globe, the globe emoji that symbolizes the positive impact of the AI carpoulin to mitigate air pollution, congestion and greenhouse gas emissions that are the commitments of the city. [00:04:52] Tamlyn Shimizu: Yeah, yeah, very good. Okay, last ones to lock in, as Peter said. [00:04:58] Peter Ball: Okay, last one for me, it would be some sort of green leaf, maybe similar to what Juan just said, moving around to represent sustainability and reduction of emissions. I think the role that AI has to play in really trying to accelerate the way that we are moving towards a net zero future and we're trying to decarbonize transport. I think the AI elements of this is really trying to decrease single occupancy vehicles to decrease congestion and to decrease emissions for individuals and for cities and for communities. So something green. [00:05:38] Tamlyn Shimizu: Green leaf, like the wind, green leaves coming down. That's a good one. Juan Carlos. [00:05:45] Juan Carlos Escudero: Yeah, the last one could be the car. The car emoji because it represents what is the target of the pilot. They need to optimize the use of private car by enabling multiple users to share rights in a single car. And that's the final target, trying to optimize and to provide alternatives the modes of using the car for the people. [00:06:18] Tamlyn Shimizu: Yeah, yeah, sounds good. So yeah, thanks for playing with me. We'll play a little bit more also later on, but now I want to really learn more about you and the project, so maybe we can start with you. Juan Carlos, what is your background? Tell us a little bit about you and what led you into your position and role today. [00:06:40] Juan Carlos Escudero: Yeah, I have a university degree in technical biology by the Basque Country University. But I've worked for the environmental style center here in Victoria as a urban environmental planner for more than 30 years as responsible for implementing and promoting innovative strategies in sustainable urban planning, environmental information and urban mobility. That's my background. [00:07:13] Tamlyn Shimizu: Very interesting. Yeah, 30 years. Wow, you must really love it. Yeah. Cool. Peter, what's your background? [00:07:23] Peter Ball: Yeah, great, great question. So as you can maybe tell from my accents, I'm originally from Australia, where I grew up and studied and so studies. I was at university for a little while. I have two degrees, one in engineering, where I specialized in transport, and another degree in liberal arts, where I specialized in human rights and political philosophy. And for, I guess, the first few years of my career, I've been working at what I like to think is the intersection between engineering and design and policy and social causes. And that's how I found myself working in transport. I started my career working in government and rail development and network strategy, and then a couple years working in micro mobility, working as, I guess, an urbanist with electric scooters and electric bikes. So I worked in both the startup space and the government space. And I guess my mission has always been to work towards more sustainable and equitable transport for cities and for people through the lens of engineering and policy. [00:08:29] Tamlyn Shimizu: Really. Also, very interesting background. So yeah, nice to get to know both of you a little bit more. Now I want to get to know the project and so I don't know who wants to start here on sharing and explaining a little bit about just the background of the project. How did it get started, what's the goal of it and any, what's really the challenge that it's solving? Is it better to go to start with Peter or Juan Carlos for that one? [00:08:55] Peter Ball: Maybe. Juan, as the, as the city, the city laid, I think would be good. [00:08:59] Tamlyn Shimizu: Yeah, sounds good. [00:09:01] Juan Carlos Escudero: Yeah. What is true is that what is important is to highlight that almost 75% of the energy used by our cars is used to transport empty seats in our cities. Here in Victoria, that is an industrial city, we have every day nearly 40,000 people commuting every day to the industrial areas. And the reality is that according to the data, we have the majority of the people using the private car are traveling alone, using their own car. In the industrial areas that are near to the city, more or less half of the people are in this way. But to other industrial areas, this figure prices up to 80%. So that's really a target to be solved if we want to reduce CO2 emissions and to fulfill what are our target in energy efficiency here in the city. [00:10:24] Tamlyn Shimizu: Yeah, really good explanation of the challenge. Maybe, Peter, you can elaborate on what is the solution then that's helping to solve that challenge. [00:10:33] Peter Ball: Yeah, fantastic. So it was really great for Juan Carlos to sort of set the scene in terms of the significance of transport in contributing to global emissions. And we were really lucky to discover Vittoria Gastes as an incredible place to start this pilot project for some of the reasons that were mentioned. It's an industrial city, one of the most significant industrial cities in Spain, where due to that very nature, a lot of the workplaces are not in the center of the city, they were further away. And when we try to identify a city for our operations, we're looking for cities and for regions that have an unmet need for greater public transport services. And usually what that means is that public transport serves high density areas in the center of the city. But when you get further away and there's less people, people become more dependent on their cars to get to work. That's the reality of our last 100, 200 years of land use development. So what Karos does is we acknowledge the need that public transport, high capacity trains or trams or buses, cannot feasibly operate in these areas. So all we need to do is try to figure out how individuals can be more aware of their emissions and how can they have less of a cost burden for getting to work. So what Karos does is provides an AI solution that can help people to use carpooling as a form of public transport to get to work, where public transport might not actually be able to do that job. So we were really lucky to discover Vittoria Gestez, where there was a huge unmet, I guess, latent demand for this new form of public transport. And we were able to test the technology, test the solution, test the playbook for the first time in Spain for us. And we were met with some really fantastic results and a great community of people that were willing to try the solution and to lend the spare seats in their cars towards people that were trying to get to work. [00:12:27] Tamlyn Shimizu: Yeah, that sounds really good. Now I'm just thinking it sounds really good in theory. How does it practically work? Can you kind of like. Yeah, lay it out all on the table for us. Like, how, how did you get people involved? What were the steps that were taken in the project? [00:12:44] Peter Ball: Yeah, fantastic, of course. So we partnered with the city and eit urban mobility for a launch in around September last year, actually. And, you know, it was really interesting. What Karos do is we commit to always having someone on ground, someone in the community living there and working there, to really understand what the network is, where people are going, how they get their news, how they communicate amongst one another, who the large employers were. And his job, Julian, was to do exactly that. So when we launched, we did a launch with the local government, with the mayor, we contacted local media, we had a few articles in the press, we had a few radio interviews. We visited a lot of the large employees in the region and essentially just told people that Calus is here. The solution is to help with carpooling. They should try download the app and see what happens. We saw a huge peak in registrations, but immediately, not that many trips. We saw a lot of registrations and it was building, it was building slowly, but then suddenly we think around October, November time, it started to just catch on like wildfire. And when we spoke to users, we found that in Spain, it was a very communal area where one person might try it. They were a bit skeptical, but then they told a friend, they told their family member, and then suddenly we had more people signing in every day saying, oh, is there a carpool that I could take to work? Could it save me money? Is this person going the same way as me? And the app in terms of scale, inwardly just built. So that's, I guess, a rough timeline, but maybe one you could add to a bit more of the back end for the city. [00:14:23] Tamlyn Shimizu: Yeah. Juan Carlos, maybe you can kind of elaborate on that, on kind of how the project went, any challenges that you saw along the way, and kind of the community receptiveness to the project? [00:14:35] Juan Carlos Escudero: Yeah, in our case, I think the main barrier probably was the lack of confidence on carpooling as a convenient alternative to the daily use of our private car. And what is the key to generate such confidence in the selection? Probably was to have enough critical mass of users and drivers, and for that, the policy of incentives could be the key. And we tried to do as much as possible in order to incentivize the drivers and users, to test the tool, to test the platform. And this way it was possible to show the potential users about the capabilities, because it was amazing how easy it was to find several match for each of the treatment. The people were introducing in the app. I think that probably was the main challenge we have. [00:15:56] Tamlyn Shimizu: Juan Carlos, can you elaborate a little bit more on which incentives you used? I think that would be really interesting for the listeners what worked and what didn't work. [00:16:04] Juan Carlos Escudero: Yeah, the main incentive goes directly to the driver, that is, providing the car trip. And for instance, in our case for the pilot, what it was established is that each driver will receive 1.5 euro per trip and per passenger. And at the same time, each passenger would pay sixty cents of euro to the driver per the trip. But what is true is that during the first weeks it was established some incentives even for the passengers. For example, we signed agreements with different companies, and for those companies supporting us in the dissemination of the initiative, the passengers of the company using the platform of Caros. For them, the trips were free at no cost as a way to incentivize the first trips to test the platform. And it was really a success. [00:17:30] Tamlyn Shimizu: Yeah. So monetary incentives worked well for you in that way. Cool. Yeah, really interesting. Peter, I'm really interested to learn more about what is the AI part of it, what AI technologies are really behind the carpooling app? Can you elaborate more on that? [00:17:47] Peter Ball: Yeah, of course. So what? Karos, by utilizing AI, provide a significant step change to what most people think of when they think of carpooling. So historically, carpooling, most people have had an experience with it. Most people think, okay, maybe when I was growing up, I would hitch a ride, or I would share a ride to a further city with a friend, and maybe they'd give me some cash and we'd have to organize the routes. And what Karos does is instead of long distance carpooling or one off trips, we're trying to focus on daily commuting. But with this static form of carpooling, that would be an absolute nightmare. For the individuals to be organizing on a weekly basis, they'd have to be thinking, okay, what's our route? Who do I match with? Do I have to find someone at work? And it becomes a lot of effort. And that's why carpooling historically has never really been a reliable modal choice that people could use. So by integrating AI, what we actually do is rather than putting all the effort on the users to be finding their matches, to be organizing their trips. So planning the arrival time, the pickup time, the departure time, what the models do is when you sign up into the app, you put in your home address, your work address, what time you need to be at work, what time you need to finish at work. And what the algorithms will do is based off that. This is one of the matching algorithms. It will quantify and calibrate. Okay, who might be taking that similar trip. And it will recommend for you a pickup location and a drop off location that might work for that user, for that driver. And the driver will have a certain number of rules in terms of how much of a detour they can take, whether part of the trip might be part of public transport and XYZ. So the whole part of the AI is that it matches users, drivers and passengers together and decreases the strain on the drivers and passengers for organization and automates the entire process from a static to a dynamic model. [00:19:42] Tamlyn Shimizu: Yeah, absolutely. Really interesting use of AI in that. And I'd be really interested to learn more about the results in multiple of your pilots. Juan Carlos, I'm wondering, you mentioned that the community response was very positive. Can you maybe also talk about whether concerns that people had, I mean, people are getting into people's cars that they don't know. Maybe people do that anyways with taxi drivers and Uber drivers. Right. Were there any additional concerns that people had? What really was the community response in total? [00:20:20] Juan Carlos Escudero: Yeah, there were some concerns regarding the lack of culture, of selling a car and for the reliance of this selection. Because what happens if suddenly I need to extend my work in the afternoon 1 hour more because I have a last time the commitment and this kind of dapps for that having so many matches, because for many of the trips that are included in the platform, a user could have around 40 different options to choose. So this provides you a certain of confidence about if you are in a hurry and you have a problem and you need to change your timetable, you always will have the chance to find an alternative partner to do the time trip. So that probably was the main concern that people were telling us at the beginning. [00:21:50] Tamlyn Shimizu: Yeah, just the adaptability. But as there's more people joining than that, that concern goes way down. Right. Because the options go up at the same time. Yeah, really interesting. Can you maybe also, Juan Carlos, maybe you can elaborate a little bit more on kind of the sustainability aspect. So you alluded to there being obviously big climate implications in utilizing this. Are you planning to integrate more of it into kind of your climate planning? What is your sustainability plans for this? [00:22:31] Juan Carlos Escudero: Well, the pilot has worked quite well here in Victoria. We are having very good results because we have more than 1300 people nowadays that have been registered, of which one third of the people, around 400 people, are already serving trips. During the first six months. We have around 26,000 trips validated by the platform. And that's more or less around 50 tons of CO2 emissions avoided. And that was one of the targets of the pilot to show that it could be possible to optimize the use of the private car for committing to work. Because that is one of the actions we include in the sustainable mobility plan of the city. But not only in the mobility policies, but also as a city that is a member of the mission of smart cities, of carbon neutral cities, of the European Commission. Within the klemencity contact of the city there are different pillars. One of these is the mobility pillar. And within the different actions we include in this pillar, in the chemistry contract, the exploration and testing different ways to access to the private car, not only using carpooling, but also the different kinds of car sharing alternatives. Peer to peer. The multi proprietary multi unit cars, car sedan are really important. Just because it's so stupid to live in a so compact city like Vitoria. Because we are a quarter of million inhabitant city, but we have no metropolitan area. So all the people are living inside a 3 km radius from the city center. And the city provides a huge offer of walking and cycling itineraries. It's a human scale city and we have a nice public transport offer. But what is true is that we need to offer an alternative mode for those uses. The public transport could not be a convenient alternative in terms of timetables, frequencies, itineraries and in this way to contribute to a behavioral change aligned with our energy climate actions and mobility policies. And for commuting to the industrial areas that are surrounding the city. That could be a real alternative. But we should work deeply in trying to put off the second and the third card in many families, because many of the cars are retained. Just in case I need a car in two weeks time or something like that. So for that alternatives like car searing here in Spain, we have not such a culture with car sediment like in many other countries. Many, many work to be done. [00:26:21] Tamlyn Shimizu: Yeah, absolutely. So this was a pilot, right? So are you planning to scale this up in the city? What are your plans for that? [00:26:32] Juan Carlos Escudero: Well, yes, we are nowadays trying to design what could be the extension of this initiative after this first pilot. And we are drafting what it could be an open tender in order to have a provider for this kind of service. And nowadays we are working apart from the consolidation of this alternative, the carpooling we are working in the definition of new pilots dealing with car sharing, for instance. Why not to try to interconnect the energy communities that are nowadays being established in the city as a potential user to share a car because they agreed to start working together in producing energy, renewable energy. And why not? They could be people really in favor in selling a car or selling a car selling service. And that's one of the pilots we are working now, trying to offer alternatives to the use of the private car and to try to change the behavior of the people selecting in which way to move, not only to commute, but for daily needs. [00:28:19] Tamlyn Shimizu: Yeah, I'll be really interested to continue to watch the space and see how you're integrating that more in the future. Peter? I know Karas, I guess, is working across Europe, I think, in doing a lot of this. So what have you seen across the board from your experiences, and how are you planning to get this initiative into more cities? [00:28:43] Peter Ball: Yeah, it's a great question. So, Karos. Karos actually has been around for a little while, in a sense that we've hit the 7 million trip milestone relatively recently. We have over a million users. And although France is our biggest market, we're growing in Germany. And, you know, Spain was our first test pilot. We're also active in Denmark. And so Vittoria Gastes was our first pilot project in Spain. But we are definitely looking to expand across the spanish market now that we have this. This proof of concept in Spain. And, you know, we fully adapted our product to be capable for the region in terms of language and all the back end logistics. So my role, we're very lucky in France to have been provided with one of the best environments for carpooling. And in 2019, the government invested €150 million into just carpooling alone, which is geared towards government projects, incentive budgets and improvement of infrastructure. And France has some of the most advanced legislation in terms of commuting, where they put responsibility on the enterprises to provide and share in the cost of commuting for employers. So we've been very lucky to have been able to grow off the back of some really fantastic legislation in France. And we're trying to take these learnings from France, both politically and governance wise, then also, obviously, technology and operations wise, into new countries. So now we're trying to work in Spain with local governments and transport authorities and even at the national level, to share some learnings from, from France. And, you know, Spain are about to pass a new bill to help measure and enforce some requirements on employers to monitor their employees emissions and how they're getting to work. And that's a fantastic step change. And we're looking to replicate this at the european level. As well, which will be fantastic for Garros. Emissions from transport account for is one of the most largest contributing sectors to global emissions and commuting alone is a significant portion of that. So the role that Karos can play, I think is significant in expanding across Europe and hopefully globally. [00:31:00] Tamlyn Shimizu: Yeah. What cultural differences have you come across? I'm quite curious because I think of you mentioned Germany versus Spain. I'm actually sitting here in Stuttgart, Germany and I have the feeling that in Spain it's kind of more open, maybe even for bringing random people, let's say, into your car. I don't know what your experiences have been like culturally. [00:31:22] Peter Ball: Yeah, there are definitely always cultural nuances that we have to be aware of. I think sometimes the Spanish are known for being more communal and being more open and Vittoria gastes provided a fantastic pilot city in a sense there are a lot of communal neighborhoods and people are very open and interested in sharing and meeting one another. France is maybe a middle ground and we're also operating in Denmark and Germany where perhaps that initial hesitation to think, oh, do I want to share my car or do I want to try carpooling? Maybe they're a bit more comfortable with their own private car, with their own music and their own silence on the way to work. But often we find that after people try it the first time or the first two or three times they become very open to it in the future and I think it's not too dissimilar to people catching a train or a bus, but an entire carriage is full in that regard. I think with the private car people feel like it's their safe space but in reality it's maybe only one or two other people and it's actually usually a very enjoyable experience across cultures. [00:32:36] Tamlyn Shimizu: Yeah, yeah, really interesting to see those differences. I'd like to give at the end of this main interview part a little bit of an. An open floor for you. If you'd like to take it, you don't have to, but I want to give you space in case we didn't mention something that you think is really important to mention about the project that you really want the listeners to know about. Is there anything on your side, Juan Carlos, that you think is really important to mention that would help the listeners either replicate or take learnings from this experience or anything else? [00:33:08] Juan Carlos Escudero: Yes. First of all I would like to thank the EIT urban mobility and Carlos for the support in this pilot implementation. And yeah, I would like to highlight that our mobility and climate strategies are really committed to optimize the use of cars by enabling multiple alternatives to the handicar carpooling, Carcerin, peer to peer car sediment. And we are on the way to continue with other pilots in this. In this path. We are adjusting a local strategy, as I stated before, and Carcerin and Karpullin, we are having more and more data about how the pilot is going on and using these kPAs to draft the next steps. And yeah, we would like to engage also in the initiative for the next steps, the companies in supporting the initiative to get public trans by the spanish government and by the regional government. Let's see, with Sac City, because it's needed to engage more and more stakeholders in the initiative. And let's see, because we are trying also to apply some of the insights coming from the experience in France. And we are trained to test if it could be possible for island to use the energy efficiency credits by the central government to fund the initiative. French it's a huge academy to learn about the potential of cart sharing because probably it's the leading country in terms of promotion of these kind of platforms. I think they have more than nearly 30 platforms nowadays, working with nearly 40,000 journeys a day. So there is a lot to be learned from the french experience, and we would like to continue working in this way. [00:35:37] Tamlyn Shimizu: Yeah, yeah. Really good. Really good words there. Peter, did you have anything else that you wanted to mention? [00:35:43] Peter Ball: Yeah, for sure. And I think it's definitely along the lines of Juan Carlos's message. I think one of the main reasons for the success of this pilot project was being able to identify really motivated and supportive government bodies that we could work with. And I think having the support of Juan Carlos and the city and through the support of VIT, EB and mobility has been incredibly instrumental in the success of this project, not just for connections with the community or connections with the media, but for recognizing that, I guess what Karos is trying to do is innovative, and it is a big step change on public transport. What we're trying to do is redefine public transport in itself. And it provides a fantastic opportunities for governments to invest comparatively a very small amount of money to what bus networks or rail networks might cost, and to still serve a very large portion of the community, help create more equitable and sustainable societies. And, you know, the government partnership with Juan Carlos and with the it of mobility was a fantastic example of, you know, how innovative teams can sort of work together and have a great impact without needing to spend millions of dollars over a five year period. It could happen quickly. And it has. And we're really looking forward to replicating this across Spain and the rest of Europe. [00:37:07] Tamlyn Shimizu: Yeah, yeah. Really excited to see how this goes. And of course, we will link also to the full use case in the show notes in case any of the listeners you want to check out more details about the use case also in written form. Now we get to move on to our fun segment. The segment that we have chosen for you today is called Freaky Friday. Freaky Friday. Switch places with your co interviewee and answer a few questions in their shoes. So, Peter, you are now Juan Carlos. Juan Carlos, you are now Peter. So, yeah, do a little, I don't know, switcheroo in your head. Good. So now you've switched places and lives. So, Peter, you now work in the public sector and Juan Carlos in the private sector. So now speaking to the new Peter, what would be the most challenging thing for you now working in the private sector? [00:38:19] Juan Carlos Escudero: Yeah, what it was difficult was to start working with a new city. So working with a new city with new culture, it's really always challenging. But what is true is that having Victoria as a pilot, I think was a nice example, a nice challenge to try to design what could be the deployment of our product in new market like Spain. [00:39:01] Tamlyn Shimizu: Yeah, very good. Very good perspective. Yeah, perfect. Now, new Juan Carlos, what do you think is the most challenging thing now working as part of the public sector in this collaboration? [00:39:18] Peter Ball: Yeah, yeah, I guess. Working in the public sector provides a fantastic opportunity to have real impact on communities and society. However, in doing that, we're using public funds and in using public funds means that we have a lot of process and a lot of bureaucracy in terms of starting projects and reasonable timelines and reaching consensus amongst our local governments and our state governments and our national governments. And these can sometimes present hurdles and curveballs. But in navigating this legislation, it might not be 2030 projects a year, but it might be a handful of really high quality ones that we have to be patient with. We're finding mechanisms and opportunities like EIT over mobility or startups that can be a bit more nimble, provide a great opportunity to test projects, to test pilots, and have impact faster than sometimes the larger scale projects might. [00:40:21] Tamlyn Shimizu: Yes, very good, very good. How. Now you can switch back. You can be yourselves again. You can switch back now. How did they do? What do you think? Was it accurate? [00:40:34] Juan Carlos Escudero: Yeah, it's great. [00:40:36] Peter Ball: Yeah, it was great. [00:40:37] Tamlyn Shimizu: Accurate representations of your challenges. Yeah, I agree. Good. Now we get to the final question. It's a question that we ask every single guest and I'll start with you, Peter, and then you can elaborate. Juan Carlos, to you. What is a smart city? [00:40:57] Peter Ball: Fantastic. Starting with me. [00:40:59] Tamlyn Shimizu: Yeah, yeah. Now you're Peter again. [00:41:00] Peter Ball: Yeah, I'm Peter again. What is a smart city? I think a smart city is one that is learning how to use technology in the right way to make the community and their city in terms of how it moves, how it feels and how it looks, to be more sustainable and to be more equitable, one that serves people with technology with purpose, not just for the sake of it. [00:41:29] Tamlyn Shimizu: Very good. Juan Carlos, do you agree? Do you want to elaborate any more on what is your concept of smart city? [00:41:37] Juan Carlos Escudero: That's more or less the same. I think a smart city would be a city that is more efficient in the management of the resources, that works to reduce the footprint, and it's a contribution to the climate change, to become more inclusive, more resilient to the uncertainty of the global crisis. In short, a city that works every day towards a more sustainable future. And of course, using an increasingly efficient smart exercise and operation. But in any case, it's also important, I think, not to miss what is the point that building a smart city should not be placed ahead of the goal of creating a liveable city, as it sometimes per se, because technology should be an instrument, not an end in itself. [00:42:43] Tamlyn Shimizu: Yeah, absolutely. I think that's a theme that I hear oftentimes, and we certainly agree with as well, that it's. It's a tool to use and not the ends of the ends to the means. Yeah, the means to the ends. I got the phrase confused for sure, but wonderful having you all here today. That's all I have for you. So thank you so much for coming on the show. I really, really thought that the project was an interesting look into how we can better equitably change how we're moving around cities. So thank you so much for sharing that perspective. Would love to have you on any time. So, yeah, thank you so much. [00:43:25] Juan Carlos Escudero: Thank you so much. I thank you allotted the conversation. Thank you for this invitation. [00:43:30] Peter Ball: Yeah, thanks for having us and for facilitating the conversation. [00:43:33] Tamlyn Shimizu: Yeah, absolutely. And to all of our listeners, thank you as well. And don't forget, you can always create a free account on BABLE dash smart studies EU. You can find out more about smart city projects like this one, solutions and other implementations. So thank you very much. [00:43:48] Tamlyn Shimizu: Thank you all for listening. [00:43:50] Tamlyn Shimizu: I'll see you at the next stop on the journey to a better urban life.

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