‘How Uber changed my life, twice’

Turntable with hologram messages (photo by Jikke de Gruijter)
Platforms to the people (2036)

"Julien van Iersel, current Mobility Coordinator of the City of Rotterdam, presented the Mobility Museum with a turntable that, in his own words, “tells the story of my life.” The hologram messages reflect how his attitude towards mobility drastically changed between 2017 and now. In his autobiography, published this year, Julien described how the following notification from 2036 was pivotal:

'Dear [Julien_00], thank you for your service as a faithful Uber driver these years. Our fully-autonomous cars will take it from here. We welcome you back as a customer.'

This marked the end of his 12-year-long career as an Uber driver. In Julien’s view, it shows his complete dependence on a monopolized corporate mobility system: 'To Uber, I was nothing more than an ‘expendable object’, that was simply replaced by an automated vehicle.' It was exactly because of this frustration that he became a ‘co-operactivist’. From 2036, Julien and his former Uber colleagues united in the Co-operaction movement and took to the streets. They blocked off major roads in Dutch city centres, rolled over Uber’s autonomous vehicles, and launched hack attacks on Uber’s applications. The value of Uber’s self-driving cars was universally recognised, and the former Uber drivers asked similar recognition for themselves. They demanded to be in charge of organizing mobility in their own neighbourhoods, instead of leaving this to Uber’s ‘black box’ algorithms.

Source: conceived by Julien van Iersel.

Curated by: Martijn Gerritsen, Rianne Hadders, Ywenne Kleiss & Valeriya Ryazanova."

Text from the Mobility Museum 2050