Urban Movement Labs: Transforming LA’s Mobility Landscape

By Pioneers Production Team

The world is urbanizing, with more and more people moving to cities in pursuit of work, lifestyle changes, and more. The larger these cities become, the more challenging movement within them is.

It’s no wonder that urban mobility has become one of the more challenging issues of our time. How do we move people and goods around in the most efficient, safest ways? It’s a question that has harried city administrators, engineers, businesses, and the average commuter for centuries.

Today, Pioneers host Kevin Blevins talks to Francis Pollara, the founder and former Director of Strategy and Development for Urban Movement Labs. Urban Movement Labs is a first-of-its-kind collaboration between local government and innovators, all committed to the same vision — a Los Angeles where new transportation technologies are tested, proven, and brought to life.

Today you will learn about the work of Urban Movement Labs (UML), a non-profit transportation technology innovation organization. You will also get to hear more about the Humans of New Mobility series, sponsored by Siemens, which features webinars that explore the human side of the mobility ecosystem. 

What You’ll Learn in This Episode:

  • How Urban Movement Labs got started and how it has grown into what it is today. (12:21)
  • Various aspects of urban air mobility (18:09)
  • The challenges facing Los Angeles in terms of mobility and the programs being implemented to address them (25:27)
  • How the use of robots for deliveries in urban areas could change the curb environment, and how cities could adapt to this new technology (30:27)
  • Advice to budding entrepreneurs and venture capital companies (40:52)

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Guest: Francis Pollara

Guest: Francis Pollara

Francis Pollara is a strategy and innovation executive known for leading transformative projects for industry-leading organizations spanning across the public, private and nonprofit sectors. Prior to co-founding Urban Movement Lab, he joined Mayor Eric Garcetti’s office as the entrepreneur-in-residence tasked with establishing a model and organization that could augment government city authority to design and deploy transportation tech solutions in real urban conditions. Francis is an investor and four-time founder with expertise in scaling organizations and establishing structure in startup and core corporate management functions. Additionally, he founded the leading early-stage venture firm Luma Launch, investing in 25+ Los Angeles based tech scalable startups.

Host: Kevin Blevins

Host: Kevin Blevins

Kevin Blevins is the Portfolio Development Executive for SMB and Startup Companies and manages the Siemens Digital Industries Software Startup Program. He works with the Siemens sales organizations as well as Siemens Partners to engage and evangelize the Siemens Startup Program in the Americas. Kevin has spent more than 35 years in the Engineering and Manufacturing software industry. Prior to this he spent seven years in the automotive design industry. Kevin has been with Siemens for 33 years. During this time, he has held positions in Technical Support, Technical Sales Support Leadership, Sales Director for the Automotive Region, Partner Sales Executive, and his current position. Kevin has a Bachelor of Science in Engineering Technology from Lawrence Technological University in Southfield, MI.

Urban Movement Labs is a first-of-its-kind nonprofit collaboration of government, businesses, and the community to design and deploy transportation tech solutions in real urban conditions. UML builds pathways for emerging transportation technology by supplementing city resources as a trusted third space to rapidly develop policy, and scale data-informed, community-driven and tech-enabled mobility solutions. Their work helps communities enjoy a more livable, inclusive and resilient future. For more information, visit Home – Urban Movement Labs

Pioneers: Startups from Dreams to Reality Podcast

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This article first appeared on the Siemens Digital Industries Software blog at https://blogs.sw.siemens.com/podcasts/startups/urban-movement-labs-transforming-las-mobility-landscape/