At Forum for the Future, we have examined what the future of mobility might look like (www.forumforthefuture.org/projects/megacities-on-the-move
) in light of some of these challenges. On the back of that, we have identified six critical areas we must act on now in order to create more sustainable mobility systems in the future: Go beyond the car.
Current growth rates in car ownership are simply unsustainable. We need alternative ways of getting around, and new business models which encourage on-demand access to cars rather than simply ownership. We need urban planning mandates that prevent further sprawl, make it easy to walk around local communities, and provide access to key goods and services.'Refuel' our vehicles.
Needless to say, cars will still be with us for a long time to come! But not as we know them today. As oil becomes more expensive and more of a security risk, success for the OEMs will be all about dramatically improved efficiency and alternative powertrains. Integrate, integrate, integrate.
Energy, transport, business, public services and food supply can no longer be considered in isolation. We need to create integrated mobility systems that will provide people with choice, flexibility and seamless connectivity - whether they are traveling from one place to another or accessing goods and services in all sorts of different ways. Make the poor a priority.
There are currently 4 billion people around the globe on low incomes, and this trend will increase as much of the world's future population growth will be occurring in Asia and Africa. The mobility sector will have to design tailored mobility solutions that meet these people's needs.Switch on to IT networks.
There is enormous potential for information technology to reduce the energy intensity of mobility by enabling urban dwellers to access more and more services online. Using IT networks to connect and coordinate cars and public transport can also help optimize energy efficiency. Change people's behavior.
Many of our future challenges are shaped by people's values, behavior and preferences. We need to think about ways to influence these social norms in positive ways to promote low-carbon, healthier lifestyles. The leading mobility players of the future will plan today to influence lifestyles, rather than simply relying on putting more cars on the road or developing additional road infrastructure.
None of this is science fiction. In each of these six areas, we can already see the green shoots of 'sustainable mobility' breaking through in cities all around the world. One way or another, it's going to be an exciting ride!