Cars might still reign supreme, but things they are a changin’. And companies are lining up to provide new ways — and some recycled ones — for people to get from Point A to Point B.
The past several years have seen an explosion in startups, automakers and tech companies launching and testing products from scooters and electric bike share to ride-hailing, electric vehicles, autonomous vehicles and even flying taxis. Or heck, even space travel.
Even as more mobility startups pop up, the shine of these new new things is starting to fade and companies are facing big technical challenges, regulatory hurdles, hiring and economic headwinds.
TechCrunch is at the center of this mobility storm and we’re bringing some of the industry’s leaders on stage at Disrupt SF, including Bird founder and CEO Travis VanderZanden, Kitty Hawk CEO Sebastian Thrun and Zoox CEO Aicha Evans, to hear firsthand how these companies are trying to change how people and packages move in the world and the challenges that lie ahead.
There are talks related to mobility on every stage, including the main stage and EC stage.
Disrupt kicks off October 2 with a 10:05 a.m. talk with Blue Origin CEO Bob Smith, who intends to return the U.S. to crewed spaceflight. Expect TechCrunch to ask Smith for details on what a ticket for a trip might cost, once it begins taking on paying customers.
Once this wraps up, head over to the ExtraCrunch stage for a 10:45 a.m. sponsored talk by mapping company TomTom to hear about its new partnerships with technology companies.
Back at the main stage, check out a space, autonomy, investment and defense-related talk with Lockheed Martin’s Marilyn Hewson at the main stage.
And for those interested in subscription-based businesses, which if you haven’t noticed are becoming more prevalent in the mobility world, be sure to check out the 3:45 p.m. talk on the ExtracCrunch stage with Alex Friedman from Lola, Eurie Kim with Forerunner Ventures, and Sandra Oh Lin of KiwiCo.
October 2 is filled with mobility-related talks, including a morning chat with David Krane, CEO and managing partner at Gain Insights, a firm known for its bold bets on companies like Lime, Impossible Foods, Uber and Slack.
Don’t miss the mid-morning interview with Sebastian Thrun, an educator, inventor and serial entrepreneur, about the future of flight and Kitty Hawk Corporation, the urban air mobility company he leads. If you’ve ever seen Thrun before, you know not to miss this.
As Thrun walks off stage, VanderZanden of Bird walks on to talk about how the company is faring in scooter wars and it’s is doing to improve its unit economics.
Day 2 ends with an interview on the main stage with Zoox CEO Aicha Evans, who will talk about the self-driving car company and how it plans to work with cities to change how people live and work in these urban areas.
Don’t miss Day 3, because well Simone Giertz is going to be on the main stage. For the unfamiliar, Giertz has amassed a major YouTube following courtesy of her “sh*** robots” and other highly entertaining projects. One of her most recent projects was turning a Tesla sedan into a