Prioritise shared and electric cars over autonomous – to slash emissions by 95%
Cities must use all new mobility options, starting with shared and electric vehicles, if they are to decrease vehicle emissions by as much as 95 per cent by 2050. Focus on autonomous vehicles should come after immediate groundwork has been laid with shared high occupancy and electric options.
Cities should prioritise shared and electric mobility policies; autonomous vehicles should only be considered an option “when feasible”, said the World Economic Forum. Combined, shared, electric and autonomous mobility (SEAM) can free up nearly 90 per cent of parking spaces, as well as reduce vehicle emissions by 95 per cent.
The World Economic Forum has released a set of mobility policy guidelines to help cities alleviate congestion and reduce pollution. It will also convene a new mobility coalition of automotive companies, manufacturers, start-ups and academia, in the autumn to tailor establish a framework for selected pilot cities.
A new SEAM policy library has been compuled with input from BMW, Ford, the World Bank, UC Davis and ClimateWorks. It includes ‘space and cost levers’, and ‘public and private action’. Cost levers include tax exemptions, parking fares and central district tolls. Space levers include passenger load and drop-off zones, dedicated lanes, zoning and parking.
Policies are further divided into those that can be introduced by cities and those by the corporation responsible for the movement of many people within the city.
Maya Ben Dror, project lead at the World Economic Forum, said: “With this framework, decision-makers do not have to start from scratch. They can pick what is projected as impactful and feasible for their unique context and design it to maximise emissions reduction as well as societal benefits. It anticipates that some cities are more advanced in one of these three categories. But it is flexible enough that a city with no mobility policies can save valuable time and leapfrog ahead.”
Joseph Chow, deputy director of the C2SMART transportation center at New York University, said: “The mobility of the future is looking more and more like it will include automation, electrification and shared capacity. As local governments grapple with ways to address challenges arising from implementing solutions, this study may provide guidance and lessons learned.”