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A Top Technology Journalist Looks At The New Transportation World

By Claudia Payne

New York Times journalist Steve Lohr

Rethinking how we get around is, among other things, a commitment to sharing. Sharing vehicles, sharing space and, most critically, sharing information.

Sharing may seem natural if you are a digital native. But, it’s less so if you are among the generations that came of age when a personal office was a declaration of success, and an automobile a declaration of independence.

If sharing is intrinsic to rethinking the way we get around, how are the masters of the information world taking part?

For insight, we turned to a master of information-age journalism: Steve Lohr, the senior technology reporter at The New York Times and a long-time colleague of mine and Micki Maynard’s. He was part of the 2013 team that won the Pulitzer Prize for its look into Apple’s business practices.

As a reporter whose job it is to cast a skeptical eye on the frenzied start-up scene, Steve has always invoked a test of scalability: Does a project have what it takes to grow efficiently and exponentially?

We asked him how the tech world is viewing the new world of transportation. He told us:

“My technologically astute friends who spend a lot of time in cars are big fans of Waze, a crowd-sharing traffic and navigation app.

In case you haven’t heard of Waze, it is what is known as a social mapping service. The basic idea is that users voluntarily allow the GPS data from their smartphones to be gathered and shared, but stripped of personally identifying information. The result is a smartphone application that shows local traffic, congestion and suggests alternative routes. The Waze tagline is: “Outsmarting traffic, together.” Continue reading

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