Driverless cars and “connected technology” are making headlines across the country and right here in metro Atlanta.

But why should any of this interest any but the tech-nerdiest among us?

In this episode, we find out. We learn which metro Atlanta communities and companies are, at this moment, testing vehicles that drive themselves—and the infrastructure that talks to them. Plus, we learn about this technology’s potential impact, such as the ways our communities are mapped, vehicle ownership, the job market, and equity issues. When tech advances, who benefits?

The guests

Wanis Kabbaj, of UPS and Ted Talk fame, gives us a fantastical, sky’s-the-limit vision of what a driverless future could look like. Then Georgia Tech professor Debra Lam, who directs the Georgia Smart Communities Challenge, talks about how smart tech can and should address our most pressing needs. And we get the stats that affect this issue from our ARC data guy, Mike Carnathan.

Will connected technology improve life in our region?

Resources for this episode

Video: Wanis Kabbaj’s full talk at 2017 State of the Region Breakfast

Georgia Tech Smart Communities Cities Challenge

Six Takeaways from ConnectATL Summit on Future of Mobility and Smart Communities

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What’s Next ATL, produced by the Atlanta Regional Commission, is a community resource that explores how metro Atlanta is growing and changing, and how the region is addressing its most pressing challenges.