1616: Stefan Heck

Stefan Heck is a Stanford professor and the founder of Nauto. He subscribed to FoT in January 2015.

1) What change do you want to see in the world of mobility by the end of 2016?

Three changes should happen by end of 2016:

1) We stop planning transit and road transportation separately and plan to multi/intermodal systems. The worlds are rapidly converging as sharing models blend public transit with private cars, and the current autonomous pilots only further speed up this convergence. Reality is people mix and match — taking zip cars, electric two wheelers, personal cars, and trains and all of these trips can be planned on apps like Moovit or Citymapper.

2) Stop free parking. We complain about subsidies for transit, but reality is our land use policies provide massive subsidies in the form of free parking everywhere. 1/3 of urban traffic, 25% of urban land all gone to waste in the coming era of autonomy. It’s time we applied the lesson of Southwest Airlines who stopped trying to cost cut their way to airline profitability and instead realized the way to make airlines profitable is to make sure the planes are flying as much as possible and spending less time parked at gates — we won’t get better transportation efficiency until we drive asset utilization and right now asset utilization is pathetic: 2.5% real utilization of our cars, 0.5% utilization of of our roads and parking.

3) We need a network to ensure cars, drivers, and cities can learn from the best drivers. It’s crazy that we are willing to let each person learn to drive from scratch and accept 33,000 fatalities and hundreds of billions of dollars in economic damage from crashes — they are not accidents, they’re a flawed transport system. We don’t allow this for ships, airplanes, space ships, or school teachers. Why cars?

2) If you had to drop everything right now and build something that had the greatest impact on mobility, what would it be?

I did drop everything to start this network to help each car and each driver learn from the others how to be safer, better, more productive. Nauto is just getting going and with the first fleets to understand safe driving in real conditions before we tackle data that helps you find your way, park easier, and time your commute better. It’s a movement to change all movement, to reclaim cities and streets for all of us, making them safer, and a more human experience, rather than a scary, frustrating experience every day.

3) Send me brief bio that we can use to describe your work; include any links you wish.

Stefan Heck Bio
CEO of Nauto, the mobility information network for the next generation auto. Author of Resource Revolution a map to capture the biggest business opportunity in a century. More articles and talks here.

1616 is a compendium of ideas from 16 FoT subscribers about our near-term mobility future. You can read all 16 entries here; you can sign up for FoT here.