Why Elon Musk, and the Silicon Valley visionaries, has the future of transport so wrong.
Silicon Valley wants us to believe that technology will revolutionize our cities and the ways we move around. Autonomous vehicles will make us safer, greener, and more efficient. On-demand services like Uber and Lyft will eliminate car ownership. Micromobility devices like electric scooters will be at every corner, and drones will deliver goods and services. Meanwhile visionaries like Elon Musk promise to eliminate congestion with tunnels, and Uber help with flying cars. The future of transport is frictionless, sustainable, and according to Paris Marx, a threat to our ideas of what a society should be.
Road to Nowhere exposes the problems with tech’s visions of the future and argues that we cannot allow ourselves to be continually distracted by technological fantasies that delay the collective solutions we already know are effective. Technological solutions to social problems and the people who propose them must be challenged if we are to build cities and transportation systems which serve the public good.
In response, Paris Marx offers a vision for a more collective way of organizing transportation systems which considers the needs of poor, marginalized, and vulnerable peoples. The book also argues that rethinking mobility can be the first step in a broader reimagining of how we organize our social, economic, and political systems to serve the many, not the few.