Mobility has always been a challenge for humanity. The advent of the internal combustion engine has been a boon in cutting down the distances across the globe but it has also created new challenges including climate change.
The future of mobility doesn’t look sustainable without major changes in our travel habits. The number of vehicles on the roads is expected to grow substantially in the near future. There are also a lot of initiatives in various parts of the world on building more roads which naturally means more vehicles.
However, the future of mobility lies in sustainability and things like electric vehicles, for example. Things can’t remain the same. In this blog post, we’ll explore the need for sustainable mobility, how the future looks as well as the key drivers that are expected to shape the future of transportation.
What Is Sustainable Mobility?
There is a common misconception that sustainable mobility is all about reducing emissions but it’s a much broader term.
People and goods need to travel, and as more people in different parts of the world move upwards to enjoy a better quality of life, it is going to put a lot more pressure on the already stressed mobility infrastructure.
The concept of sustainable mobility has been defined by various international organisations but the gist of this term is that the system should be capable of not just meeting the needs of people today but also of future generations. The system should benefit current and future generations in a more efficient, resilient, accessible, affordable and safer manner while minimising its environmental impact.
Some of the key drivers that are likely to shape the future of mobility include shared mobility, public transportation, smart mobility, and zero-emission transportation, among other things.
Why Do We Need Sustainable Mobility?
While there is a lot of hoo-hah surrounding climate change, global warming and other environmental issues, the fact is that mobility remains one of the biggest environmental challenges faced by the current generation.
Transportation has a share of almost a quarter of the direct carbon dioxide emissions generated through the combustion of fossil fuels. Out of this, almost 75% of the emissions are generated from road vehicles.
Mobility isn’t just about moving people and goods from one place to another. It is deeply intertwined with economic sustainability. The manner of travel also has a direct impact on the social cohesion of cities.
Sustainable mobility is needed as it advocates a way of transportation without harming the environment. In short, it’s all about meeting the current and future needs of people without sacrificing safety, affordability or accessibility while also minimising the impact on the environment.
Key Drivers Shaping the Future of Transportation
There are 4 main elements that are going to shape the future of transportation. These include:
- Shared mobility
- Public transportation
- Smart mobility
- Electric vehicles
Shared mobility means using cars, scooters, mopeds, bikes as well as other types of transport on shared platforms. Shared mobility is already a reality in some cities across the globe. It is expected to play a key role in reducing congestion as well as emissions.
Today’s transportation is focused on single ownership of a vehicle that sits idle for most of the day. The future is likely to be where people are more likely to pay per use without owning the means of transportation. Shared mobility is not only going to be super helpful in reducing emissions and congestion but also the need for parking spaces in urban areas.
The growth of public transportation is also likely to be a key driver of the future of transportation. Strong public transportation infrastructure is already a reality in many parts of the world and it has been extremely efficient at reducing congestion and emissions. Many studies have shown that the availability of trains in a metropolitan area has a significant impact on the production and emission of greenhouse gases.
It wouldn’t be wrong to say that future of mobility is smart transportation. With the Internet of things becoming a reality, peer-to-peer and vehicle-to-infrastructure connectivity will soon become a reality. It should help in improving public transportation access and reducing fuel consumption as well as congestion.
Electric vehicles are already making a change. In fact, most manufacturers that sell electric vehicles are not able to build enough vehicles to satisfy the current demand. The only challenge lies in generating electricity through renewable resources instead of using fossil fuels.
The Future of Sustainable Mobility
The future is bright but affirmative action is needed to prioritise public transportation, shared mobility and smart mobility. There is no denying that electric vehicles are the key to sustainable transportation and one of the biggest challenges today is the availability of recharging points.
There should be more investment in public transportation and shared mobility. Shared mobility is already changing the way people travel in many parts of the world and it is likely to continue growing at a fast pace.
Overall, sustainable mobility is all about changing our habits, our mentality and our thinking that we owe a cleaner planet to future generations. The way we travel has a huge impact on climate change and for the future to be sustainable, more sustainable options than private car transport need to be considered across the globe.
While most people want to embrace the electric vehicle revolution, the lack of recharging points is proving to be a big bottleneck. Thankfully, there are government initiatives in Australia that are focused on helping businesses establish recharging points with support from the government in the form of incentives.
There is a lot more that needs to be done to build a sustainable mobility model that is able to connect people without harming the environment. However, things are already changing for the better with more people switching to electric vehicles.
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