BBC World News launches new series of Horizons with exploration of the future of transport

Date: 23.03.2012     Last updated: 18.03.2014 at 18.07
Category: BBC World News
Now in its second year, a new 10-part series of Horizons starts on Saturday 7 April on BBC World News.

Presented by the award-winning business journalist Adam Shaw and reporter Saima Mohsin, Horizons continues its journey around the globe, visiting destinations including Brazil, China, India and the USA to discover the scientific and business ideas that could shape the future of the planet.

The first episode takes a look at the question of how we balance a burgeoning global population’s increasing demand for personal mobility with the environmental impact; exploring some of the novel approaches being taken around the world to keep us all on the move.

“We’ve been travelling the world looking for innovative and world-changing solutions to some of the biggest challenges the planet faces today,” says Adam, “and in our first show we look at some of the more unusual inventions being used globally to keep people moving in major urban areas.”

In this programme, Adam Shaw visits the Fushida Electric Bicycle Company in Tianjin, China to explore how the phenomenon of the electric bicycle has swept the country. With an estimated 120 million electric bikes already in use domestically, Adam discovers how the latest incarnation of the humble bicycle could provide a solution to gridlocked roads in a country with a population already topping the 1 billion mark.

Adam also travels to the United States to investigate a breakthrough in the use of hydrogen fuel and to meet one of the biggest names in the global automotive industry, William Clay Ford Junior. Ford reveals how his vision for a more environmental approach to the future of the car doesn’t necessarily mean giving up on the legacy of his great-grandfather.

“There is this big issue that people aren’t really focused on yet but they’re going to have to be and that’s one that I call Global Gridlock,” says Ford.

“Today there are about 7 billion people in the world; by mid-century that’s going to be about 9 billion. At the same time, the world is urbanizing, so 75 per cent of those people are going to be living in cities and the question is how are we going to move people in major urban areas in a way that makes their life easy?”

Saima Mohsin finds out how Scotland is leading the field in reducing emissions from the shipping industry as the Minister for Environment and Climate Change, Stewart Stevenson MSP, cuts the first steel for a fleet of diesel-electric hybrid battery operated sea-going ferries.

Finally, Adam explores an alternative to an electric transport future, meeting Professor Stephen Bennington of Oxford-based Cella Energy who is working on groundbreaking research that could revolutionize the storage of hydrogen; providing a low cost, clean and safe alternative source of fuel.

The Horizons series, sponsored by DuPont, airs weekly on Saturdays at 01:30 and 08:30, Sundays at 14:30 and 20:30 (all times GMT). For programme highlights and an insight into the future of global business visit www.horizonsbusiness.com. For all the latest news, behind-the-scenes pictures/videos and updates from Adam Shaw please follow at facebook.com/horizonsTVseries and/or on twitter at @horizonsbiz.

Kay Breeze - Kay.Breeze@bbc.co.uk

Alissa Rooney - Alissa.Rooney@bbc.co.uk