Did you hear that Uber  launched its ride sharing service in Newcastle only a couple of weeks ago?  This is just one of the trends in transport which make us think about the future of cars and the expectations that people may have about car ownership and, simply, getting around.  More on that later.

The last Newcastle Institute Forum on April 13th was particularly well attended, and the audience thoroughly enjoyed Professor Michael Ondaatje’s expert discussion of the US politics and elections.  For those not there, he discussed the rising influence of ‘Fear and Frustration’ in US politics (which is also notable in Australia).  He bravely predicted that Donald Trump would win either win the Republican nomination, or stand as an independent and split the Republican vote.  The Republican party has become dominated by ‘angry old white men’ and it faces a demographic challenge with the rise of the Hispanic population.  He noted that voter sentiment towards Obama’s Presidency has been improving.  He concluded that these combined influences made the Democrats likely winners.

The next Newcastle Institute forum on May 11th will feature Kyle Loades, CEO of the NRMA, and Garry Ellem of Newcastle University’s Tom Farrell Institute for the Environment.  The topic will be ‘The future of cars’ and includes discussion of the massive changes looming in the way we use and own cars and other transport systems.  Uber; Go-get hire; Car-pooling services; Autonomous vehicles; Self-driving cars; new mass transit systems, and the influence of all these factors on the development of our cities.

Wednesday 11th May 6pm at Souths Leagues Club, Llwellyn street, Merewether.    Everybody is welcome at our events.  We simply request a small donation to cover or costs.

Future meetings:

8th June – Cyber Security and state-sponsored cyber crime

May at the Newcastle Institute
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