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EU Urban Mobility Observatory
News article11 April 20181 min read

European cities won’t give American tech giants a free ride when it comes to transport

In an interview with Euractiv, Ross Douglas, CEO of the mobility conference Autonomy, spoke about the developing dynamic between European cities and big US tech firms.

European cities seem to be increasingly wary of US-based companies cashing-in on rapidly evolving transport technologies, and their influence on urban mobility systems.

Ross suggests that while Europe dominates the mobility of today (car sharing, multimodality), American tech giants are investing heavily in a data-centric, autonomous vision of vehicle ownership. This difference in attitude and focus is one of the reasons behind Europe cities’ recent wariness of American tech.

In Europe, almost all cities encourage walking and cycling, and aim for an integrated transport system that is efficient and clean. In America, the focus is still on car ownership and as a result we see many US tech firms investing in on-demand autonomous vehicles.

When asked whether we are seeing cities actively push back, Ross Douglas points towards London choosing not to renew Uber’s licence in September 2017. He highlights that cities have the power to decide who operates on their roads and who can access their transport data.  

Source: story first published by Euractiv on 03/04/18

Link to full story: Link to source



Publication date
11 April 2018
  • Policy and research
  • Urban mobility planning
  • Europe-wide