Havas: The Future of NYC Transportation

The next generation of transportation technologies.

We’ve hit a breaking point with congestion and our infrastructure. Data suggests that boomers and millennials alike are gravitating toward cities at an unprecedented rate  At present, 55% of the world’s population lives in urban areas. By 2050, two-thirds of us will (Siemens, 2018). With all these people coming and staying in NYC, how can we keep our transit systems up to par, support the growing needs of this growing population, and ensure businesses can still prosper so those benefits of being at the epicenter of culture and access are not diminished?

Image Credit: Pawel Nolbert

Image Credit: Pawel Nolbert

New transportation products, services, and research have been plentiful over the last few years. We have easy access to Citi Bikes and started leveraging our waterfront with new ferries. We can pick up important packages in our Amazon lockers versus waiting for home delivery. We have wifi on our subways (finally, kind of). We have numerous ride-sharing apps. Waze was designed to help us navigation out of grid-lock two exits before. And Google Maps can predict the exact minute your L train will arrive and even give you directions in Augmented Reality. We are even anticipating driverless cars and smart cities in the near future as well. It’s an exciting time, but it would be naive of us to think that there won’t be some shaking moments in this transportation evolution.

Havas is a company devoted to building meaningful brands and meaningful experiences. While big brand campaigns are needed, we also strive to make a positive impact on real people’s lives and better our communities through building experiences. Impact comes in many forms. It could be utility, inspiration, or support. And a little can go a long way. Key is to be alert to shifting needs and proactively offer solutions and support when they are needed most.

Havas has partnered with 5 teams of graduate students from NYC Media Lab’s consortium of universities to harness the power of technology, emerging media, and data. The effort will inform future NYC transportation needs for commuters, business, or city transit companies.

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Teams are building new prototypes within the context of several key challenge questions:

How will technologies like artificial intelligence, machine learning and computer vision shape the future of transportation in cities? 

How will data and technology transform how we experience, access and move within cities? 

Challenge areas were identified to support the teams as they build solutions:

Challenge Area 1:  Supporting Growing Commuter Needs

Challenge Area 2:  Improving City Transit Efficiencies

Challenge Area 3:  Helping Businesses Embrace Change and Prepare for Future Demands

Teams are meeting weekly with executive mentors from Havas to iterate on their concepts. The teams participating in the program are listed below. More details about their projects and prototypes will be released soon.

University: The New School, Design & Technology
Team Member:
Jacqueline Wu
Jacqueline Wu combines her background in civic architecture with her interests in digital technologies to design urban interventions that address public needs.

Access to Places
University: NYU Interactive Telecommunications Program
Team Members:
Antonio Guimaraes; Emily Lin; Luming Hao; and Rashida Kamal
Access to Places is a team of makers and designers from NYU Tisch ITP program that aims to fix the subway's signage system for blind New Yorkers.

Modular Buses
University: Pratt Institute
Team Members:
Jie Qian; Hiroyuki Kondo; and Sam Shin
Modular Busses is a team of designers from Pratt Institute’s Master of Industrial Design Program, with backgrounds in engineering, economics, and design. Our project demonstrates the future of public bus transport in New York City.

Urban Ghost
University: SVA, Interaction Design (IxD)
Team Members:
Jennifer Wei; Ke Hu; Margarita Yong; and Jason Branch
Team Urban Ghost gathers four creative minds from SVA MFA Interaction Design. We are a diverse group of designers with expertise in building user-centric products, services, and systems that matter to people.

Jaspers Transportation
University: Manhattan College
Program: Civil Engineering Department and Electrical Engineering Department
Team Members:
Mohab El-Hakim; Ahmed Hussein; Matthew Volovski; Issa Dahdal; and Leanna Bonanno
Jaspers team includes 5 undergraduate students from the Civil Engineering and Electrical Engineering departments. The students are guided by three professors in School of Engineering.