Urban and extra-urban transport will be fundamentally affected by the need to create more resource-efficient, clean transport technologies and to deploy and maintain sustainable transport systems. A long-term transformation of transport infrastructure and services will be required in to meet climate mitigation challenges as well as the travel needs and requirements of a rapidly growing global urban population, but also to enable more sustainable freight transport and logistics links between urban agglomerations and their periphery, as well as within rural regions.
Climate change, demographic trends, urbanisation and resource scarcity are drivers for mobility systems deploying alternative propulsion technologies. At the same time, advances in ICT enable new service and delivery models like Uber, Lyft, Zipcar or car2go, impacting both freight distribution and passenger transport. Autonomous vehicles and autonomous delivery drones have made great advances in the last couple of months.
The combined effect of these developments will have far reaching impact on the way public transport, private mobility and logistics will be organised in the future. Which combination of road, rail and aerial mobility systems will become possible with new materials, renewable propulsion, and new information technologies? Will new mobility-on-demand and autonomous systems be more widely deployed to increase utilisation of both individual transport and logistic modes? Can they reduce the overall ecological and economic footprint of fixed transport infrastructure (such as overall emissions, efficiency of goods distribution, space consumed by parking cars or road surfaces)?
These developments require a systemic view of the evolving transport transformation and the smart integration of different infrastructure sectors such as energy, transport, urban design and logistics. A radical transformation of transport systems is not only required but appears to be evolving rapidly and will become a significant policy challenge.
Shaping this new world will be a strategic opportunity and challenge for companies, cities, regions and governments globally.