“We have to think again about transportation. We cannot just continue down a dead end (cul de sac) just because it’s convenient and avoids disruption”

Tony Robinson, conference founder

The FoT Conference was one of the first to recognize the potential of ‘getting transportation off the ground’, and examines how soon personal airborne transportation systems will become viable VIP and later mass transportation. The futuristic vision of skyscrapers surrounded by airborne transport for mass commuting could be just a few years away, but are the world’s governments and existing transport providers and operators sizing themselves up for the change and creating infrastructure to enable it to happen?

It goes almost without saying that the FoT conference will be looking at where we may be with autonomous vehicles and their mass deployment. A great deal of possibly over-zealous predictions have been made in recent years. We are going to ask where we are really in relation to anything beyond application-specific uses of AVs and trial projects. What are the realistic timescales for mass autonomy and what are the major hurdles – legislative and technical – that need to be overcome? It’s over 35 years since PROMETHEUS but there remains a long journey, or so it seems.

We know there will be changing patterns in relation to car ownership. A trend away from individual car ownership opens up huge possibilities in the MaaS area but also brings new challenges for the long-standing car brands. Will today’s automotive companies with brands that rank continuously among the world’s leading names be lost in history or will they – as, for example, Mercedes and others have stated – have new ways of differentiating their brands going forward?

We’ll be hearing from startups, leading firms of lawyers, OEMs and established players in MaaS, and we will include a special stream for road hauliers and other logistics-based operators. Plus there will be invited speakers from transportation authorities and city planners, technology and software giants, drone and personal air transportation companies, mass-transit solution providers, business consultants, and inventors of new and disruptive global mobility solutions, all with the common goal of devising better answers to the increasingly demanding challenge of providing safe, efficient, sustainable transportation for the world in 2030 and beyond.

We know the challenges. FoT will define many opportunities and at times will enter the realms of what to many remains the unimaginable. We either do it now or we leave our successors a terrible mess.

Tony Robinson set up UKi Media & Events 30 years ago with a focus on transportation and pushing the boundaries of thinking. His first experience in an autonomous vehicle was as a passenger in a Mercedes S Class driving fully autonomously around the Paris Périphérique at the PROMETHEUS finale in 1994; and he was in attendance at the first autonomous highway demonstration in San Diego in 1996.


"Congratulations and compliments on a wonderful conference – I’ve been to quite a few conferences on autonomous vehicles in the past few years, but I specifically enjoyed my first time at The Future of Transportation. You’ve done a great job at setting up a relevant, interesting and social programme."

Tom Jansen
Global Domain Leader Connected & Automated Vehicles
Ricardo Nederland

"The congress was very interesting for me, both with regard to the contents of the presentations and contributions; and the organisation of the congress itself and of the supporting programme. I was able to make many interesting contacts and received exciting input for our tasks."

Christoph Schreyer
Head of Energy-efficient Transport
Federal Department of the Environment, Transport, Energy and Communications DETEC
Swiss Federal Office of Energy SFOE, Energy-efficient Transport

Tweets from the 2019 event

See more tweets @FutureTransWC

See more tweets @FutureTransWC