27 Feb 2020 / urban mobility

The urban mobility transformation

As urban populations grow, congestion is rising in cities around the world, which poses health, environmental and economic risks. The fast growth of e-commerce is exacerbating this trend further, with ever more commercial vehicles delivering packages to our doors.
The environmental and health consequences of congestion include air pollution, carbon emissions, loss of green space to concrete sprawl, and traffic accidents. And the economic costs are massive, estimated to be $305 billion in the US alone in 2017.

The answer to this costly conundrum lies in a combination of seamless mobility and smart technologies to save our cities. New, integrated mobility concepts, including shared mobility, self-driving autonomous vehicles (AVs) and the switch to electric vehicles (EVs), will all play an important role in the urban mobility transformation.

Seamless solution
Seamless mobility solutions could provide cleaner, more convenient and more efficient urban mobility. Pooled AV shuttles could account for 25% of the market by 2030, with privately used autonomous taxis making up some 30% percent of passenger-kilometers and private cars down to just 30%.

Seamless mobility could accommodate up to 30% more passenger-kilometers while reducing average time per trip by 10% and lowering cost by 25% to 35% per trip. And, if the AVs are electric, which is the most likely scenario, they would lower carbon emissions in urban areas by up to 85%.

But just what is seamless mobility? The consultancy McKinsey describes it as an environment where “the boundaries among private, shared, and public transport would be blurred, and travelers would have a variety of clean, cheap, and flexible ways to get from point A to point B.”

At the same time, this presents an opportunity to reform urban planning, with cities designed to accommodate and facilitate the movement of people rather than cars. With more AVs on the road, more efficient and precise congestion charging could be introduced, taking account of time of day, location, traffic level, vehicle type, number of passengers, etc.

A greener future
Some will say that autonomous vehicles will cannibalize public transport and widen the socio-economic gap in cities. However, AVs can also be used for the ‘last mile,’ moving people to and from railway and other public transport stations, making public transport more viable. And, with the switch to shared AVs, cities could reallocate space currently used for parking for housing and green parks instead.

In fact, seamless mobility offers myriad possibilities of harnessing the most practical and efficient forms of mobility depending on the need. A glimpse into this future is already available in cities like Helsinki and Antwerp, where an app can guide users to the best form of transport for a particular journey, whether it’s a tram, a bike- or car-share, or some combination of any of these. A new era of urban mobility is dawning and it will integrate electric, autonomous transportation solutions, freeing up resources and cleaning up the environment.

Find out how Domo is partnering with vehicle manufacturers in the new mobility space through, for example, our brand new Technyl® ORANGE offering for e-mobility.

Our Technyl® portfolio of polyamide (PA) materials is also ideally suited for a wide range of renewable energy applications and photovoltaic technologies, in particular.

And, our innovative chemistry is being harnessed by our Move4Earth project for a better, recycled future.