Urban strategist explores how the Internet of Mobility can support a transition away from single-occupied vehicle dependence in cities

Boyd Cohen is an urban strategist focused on the areas of urban innovation, entrepreneurship, smart cities and the Internet of Mobility. A Fellow at the Singapore University of Social Sciences, Cohen will deliver a keynote talk at IFA’s future mobility event SHIFT Automotive today. IFA International caught up with him ahead of the keynote and started by asking him about iomob, a start-up he co-founded in 2017.

Iomob stands for the Internet of Mobility. If IoT (Internet of Things) is about how devices in cities or elsewhere can be connected to the Internet, and then to each other to seamlessly connect things, the Internet of Mobility, or Iomob, is a company focused on providing the enabling infrastructure so that mobility devices (scooters, bikes, cars, trains, buses etc) can be connected to the Iomob protocol and then to each other to enable seamless mobility for users around the globe.

Can you tell us about the key themes of your presentation at SHIFT?

I will highlight where I believe the future of mobility is going. I will also explore the role of Mobility as a Service (MaaS) and the Internet of Mobility in supporting a transition away from single-occupied passenger vehicle dependence in cities.


How do you see the future of mobility?

I believe this will vary greatly around the globe. In North America, we will likely see an acceleration of ride hailing services and autonomous passenger vehicles. In Europe, I believe we will continue to see an explosion in micro-mobility and shared mobility and in cities erecting barriers to single occupancy vehicles. In Europe, autonomous will be about multi-passenger liquid bus experiences. This explosion in services will require new infrastructure (for charging, for dedicated lanes that separate pedestrians, people powered micro- mobility and motorised micro-mobility) and of course drive demand and use of seamless MaaS services that can roam with the user.

Who should come to your talk?

Anyone interested in understanding the present and future of MaaS, how passenger vehicles might shift towards becoming liquid parts of a seamless mobility ecosystem, and the role of micro-mobility.

Why is it important to have a conference like SHIFT?

The automobile industry has played a significant role in the history of personal freedom and economic wellbeing. The industry is being challenged to rethink its role in light of climate change, congestion and general trends in urbanism and shifting consumer values on access, ownership and quality of life. Shift Automotive aims to bring these tensions to the forefront and provide a vision of the role automobiles and other mobility devices will play in the future of cities.

You have written a white paper entitled The Future of Urban and Regional Mobility. Can you share part of its message?

Traffic congestion costs more than $300bn to the US economy annually and reduces quality of life. Emissions from transportation in the EU represent 25% of Green House Gas emissions in the region. Furthermore, the car-dependent suburban life has exacerbated obesity while air contamination leads to five million deaths worldwide annually. At iomob, we believe that cities need to embrace experimentation while regulators can catch up to the pace of innovation and understand the implications of new mobility solutions.

Date: Tuesday, 10 September
Time: 11:05 am
Location: Hall 26b – GRAND THEATER

Photo: Boyd Cohen CEO, Iomob