Tech Won’t Save Us host Paris Marx breaks down the flaws in Silicon Valley’s technological visions for transportation, and makes a compelling argument for deep structural changes to create a sustainable mobility system that serves the public good.

Advance praise

The last decade has been a trainwreck for Silicon Valley's dreams of mobility. Paris Marx’s invaluable new book explains how and why big tech’s utopian transit projects crashed and burned, why these disasters will keep finding funding if they are not opposed, and what the alternative might look like. The path to a better, more equitable future of transit begins with the Road to Nowhere.

- Brian Merchant, author of The One Device

An astute and engaging critique of Silicon Valley’s visions for transportation, Road to Nowhere highlights the problems of technology being driven by the needs of capital and crafts a compelling vision of a world where technology is instead used to deliver social good.

- Wendy Liu, author of Abolish Silicon Valley

A lively summary of the ways Big Tech has distracted us from the urgent task of making our cities work for everyone.

- Jarrett Walker, transit consultant and author of Human Transit

Paris Marx has written a probing look at the origins of automotive supremacy. A good storyteller and a ruthless critic, Marx shows us how corporate interests created our highly irrational modern-day mobility regime, and how Silicon Valley threatens to summon even stupider transportation futures. If you care about how your body moves through space, you should read this book.

- Ben Tarnoff, co-founder of Logic Magazine and author of Internet for the People

By combining intriguing histories with criticism of modern technology, Marx becomes our indispensable guide for understanding how those in power are shaping our transport landscape. This book is a persuasive account of the many problems with the tech industry, but also a compelling case for how we can change the physical environment in service of people and the planet, rather than capital.

- Lizzie O’Shea, founder of Digital Rights Watch and author of Future Histories

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Why Elon Musk and the Silicon Valley visionaries have the future of transport so wrong

Silicon Valley wants us to believe that technology will revolutionise our cities and the ways we move around. Autonomous vehicles will make us safer, greener, and more efficient. On-demand services like Uber and Lyft will eliminate car ownership. Micromobility devices like electric scooters will be at every corner, and drones will deliver goods and services. Meanwhile visionaries like Elon Musk promise to eliminate congestion with tunnels, and Uber says it will help with flying cars. The future of transport is frictionless, sustainable, and, according to Paris Marx, a threat to our ideas of what a society should be.

Road to Nowhere exposes the problems with Silicon Valley’s visions of the future and argues that we cannot allow ourselves to be continually distracted by technological fantasies that delay the collective solutions we already know are effective. Technological solutions to social problems and the people who propose them must be challenged if we are to build cities and transportation systems which serve the public good.

Paris Marx offers a vision for a more collective way of organising transportation systems which considers the needs of poor, marginalised, and vulnerable peoples. The book also argues that rethinking mobility can be the first step in a broader reimagining of how we organise our social, economic, and political systems to serve the many, not the few.

Press, interviews, and reviews

Road to Nowhere has also been recommended by CBC Books, Fast Company, Business Insider, Alta Journal, The New Press, and Drawn & Quarterly.

For more podcasts and interviews, see this list.

About the author

Paris Marx is Canadian tech critic and host of the award-winning Tech Won’t Save Us podcast. Their work has been published in Business Insider, NBC News, CBC News, Jacobin, Tribune, and many others. It has also been translated into more than ten languages.

Paris earned a Master’s degree in urban geography from McGill University, researching Silicon Valley’s efforts to transform how we move. They’re currently extending that research as part of a broader examination of how tech is shaping the future as a PhD candidate at the University of Auckland.

Follow Paris on Twitter or visit their personal website.

About the publisher