At the 2018 Geneva Motor Show, Renault exhibited the EZ-GO concept ‘robo-taxi’, designed for future cities filled with perpetually moving, non-personal transport devices, shared by many and capable of autonomous door-to-door travel.

Right now, the auto industry feels beleaguered, despite annual global sales nudging 100 million units, and ideas such as the EZ-GO attempt to blend ride- on-demand culture with the certainty of a familiar badge. Car companies are looking to fully join the ride-sharing economy.

The downside of this is that we’ll be making a potentially irreversible transition from using a public facility to a private one. For example, if autonomous vehicles manage to dodge the many obstacles in their path to public embrace, one casualty might be the traditional city-wide transit network. Instead, our streets will be filled with a cacophony of brands, all vying for our daily commutes. Tomorrow’s tech might be tantalisingly close, but it doesn’t pose a straightforward route for urban transit.

Read part one of ‘Next stop’, where we ask: ‘Are smart homes making us stupid?’

Read part two of ‘Next stop’, where we discuss the future of the medical makeover

As originally featured in the June 2018 issue of Wallpaper* (W*231)