Take any city and look at the way people move around. There may have been some improvements but the global picture hasn’t changed much in 50 years. It is estimated that by 2050 there’ll be 6 billion urbanites, a startling fact which makes it all the more urgent that we replace single car ownership with cleaner and more efficient ways of commuting. But when will the tipping point happen?
Today, there are still 291 million cars in the European Union and 263 million in the USA. While over half of European cars run on diesel – long thought to be less polluting than petrol – only 3% of Americans cars do. Though car sales remain high – e.g. the Ford F-150 moved 821 000 units last year – they have plateaued. And carmakers are aware of the shift. Ford replaced CEO Mark Fields with Jim Hackett, head of Ford Smart Mobility. It’s a sign that big OEMs are thinking in terms of mobility solutions, as opposed to car sales.
Furthermore, fuel is being replaced by electricity: there are already 500 000 electric vehicles on European roads and 159 000 on American ones.
Autonomy’s ADESA framework makes sense of the new mobility era: Active mobility, Data analytics, Electric vehicles, Shared mobility and Autonomous vehicles. These five factors will create a mobility tipping point in European cities by 2020, with changes reaching critical mass by 2025. Anne Hidalgo, mayor of Paris, and Karima Delli, chair of the European Parliament’s transport and tourism committee, share our vision and have given us their support.
Active mobility – walking and biking – doesn’t get much press because there’s not a lot of money to be made in it. Nevertheless, it’s the best way to move around a city: it keeps people healthy, teaches them about their streets and injects cash in local businesses. Mayors across Europe understand this and are increasingly launching ambitious active mobility plans. Sadiq Khan, mayor of London, created the £ 2.1 billion “Healthy Streets for London” plan to prioritise walking, cycling and public transport. As for Anne Hidalgo, mayor of Paris, she is convinced that “Paris can work without cars” and has committed to invest over 150 million euros in the “Plan Vélo 2015-2020”. This plan extend bike lanes from the current 700 km to 1400 km, and triple the number of bike rides by 2020.
Rideables, a hybrid of active and electric mobility, such as segways and monocycles, are becoming increasingly popular and are also making a name for themselves in the urban mobility landscape.
Data analytics helps us understand trends and adapt solutions and legislation accordingly. One way to grasp the general evolution of mobility is to look at how media consumption has matured. As we went from CDs and DVDs to streaming media online, so will we move from single car ownership to streaming mobility on the streets. Door2door, a platform that allows embedding ridesharing solutions exactly where they are needed, and Citymapper, a transport app which helps urbanites with all the different use cases and challenges of daily commuting, are good examples of this.
Diesel and petrol are deadly – according to the European Environment Agency air pollution causes around 467,000 premature deaths in Europe annually. Hence the increasing number of electric vehicles on our roads and the commitment of many cities – e.g. Oslo, Barcelona, Paris and Mexico – to ban diesel by 2025 or before. France even wants to ban the sale of all combustion engine vehicles by 2040! The priority now is to invest in renewable energy, ensuring clean electricity powers our vehicles.
Shared mobility is well established in most major European cities. In Paris there are car (Autolib’), utility vehicle (Utilib’), scooter (Cityscoot), bike (Velib’), and kick scootering (Samocat) sharing services. In Germany the car-sharing fleet has grown from 1 000 vehicles in 2001 to more than 15 400 vehicles today. But this mobility solution never reached critical mass because it wasn’t free floating. This is starting to change, which is good news as each shared car eliminates the need for 7 to 11 private cars.
Autonomous vehicles have been getting a lot of attention lately. But who will win the race: private or public actors? While OEMs are developing self-driving cars, these are big luxury vehicles, and not what cities need given that they will do little to reduce congestion. But, autonomous shuttles, like Navya in Lyon which can carry up to 15 passengers, are challenging them. Competition is also coming from robo-taxis: the ride-hailing market is worth $ 45 billion today, and studies predict 20 billion rides a year by 2025.
At Autonomy, we believe that single car ownership in European cities will become a thing of the past much sooner than people think, due to the combination of ADESA. The last letter : autonomous vehicles, will only really be integrated in cities around 2030, but that’s still a full ten years before the first countries start banning the sale of combustion engine vehicles. Which is why we are convinced that by the time we reach 2040, these measures will be almost purely symbolic as there will be no demand for traditional car ownership anymore.
Gare de l’Est Mobility Lab
To see how well ADESA can really work, keep an eye on the Gare de l’Est Mobility Lab project. With SNCF Gares & Connexions, we are selecting partners to implement a new mobility lab in this Parisian station which processes over 120 000 travellers a day. The goal is to make the station a ‘city-booster’, improve the experience of people in and around the station, and offer a variety of door-to-door solutions. Learnings and data from this pilot project will then be shared with cities around the world to accelerate the mobility transition.
Autonomy was created to offer a space for the urban mobility disruption to grow and thrive. As an independent platform we encourage private and public actors to collaborate and create a safe, healthy and efficient mobility landscape. If you share our ambition we invite you to join us as an exhibitor, speaker or visitor this October in Paris.
Let’s get our cities moving!