The evolution of the vehicles now deployed in cities must respond to environmental issues to deal with urban congestion, new environmental expectations and new uses by city dwellers. Mobility today seeks to optimize journeys with on-demand solutions, vehicle sharing, self-service vehicles, etc. The concept of Mobility as a Service (MaaS) now adopted by everyone will continue to bring major changes to our daily means of travel. What will tomorrow’s mobility be like? Here are some projections from professionals in the sector.
The limitation and renewal of the car
A global desire to transform the car of tomorrow
In France, within the framework of the LOM, the objective by 2040 is to ban gasoline, diesel and hybrid cars and replace them with 55 million electric, connected and autonomous cars, if progress allows and if progress is made on the issue of the carbon footprint of the production and recycling of batteries for its electric vehicles. A “Made in China 2025” initiative aims for new energy cars to account for 20% of new car registrations. This category includes electric, cell, fuel cell and plug-in hybrid vehicles.
In a desire to enhance the value of electric cars, there is also the issue of recharging stations. Many cities have set themselves clear and ambitious objectives on the subject. In Amsterdam, for the “electric Amsterdam”, the city is installing more and more charging stations for electric vehicles. In 2011, the city had only 300 terminals, compared with 4,000 in 2019. In China, 2.6 million cars are electric and have more than 330,000 public charging stations, an example that Europe is building on. It is important to note that 60% of electric cars are registered in China.
The car of the future will be connected
Singapore is a forerunner in terms of new mobilities. To preserve everyone’s quality of life, the city has introduced city tolls based on timetables and neighborhoods, to relieve congestion in city centers. There are also very high taxes for people driving vehicles that are more than 10 years old. In addition, the city is investing heavily in the public transportation network, and is constantly testing the use of artificial intelligence tools.
In the Chinese city of Wuxi, there are 1.76 million cars connected to buses, other vehicles, traffic lights, signs, etc. Connectivity brings additional security and services. Indeed, if the driver drives too fast, he receives a notification to slow down. He also receives a notification if there are traffic jams on the road, a slowdown… We talk about Car-to-car when cars communicate with each other but also Car-to-mobile and an infinite variation to write a new mobility where all vehicles interact.
Autonomous cabs and robotic cabs
In the United States, entrepreneur Elon Musk wants to create underground circulation. His new company “The Boring Company” aims to create tunnels under cities for intelligent cars. Currently, projects are being tested in California and the cities of Chicago and Las Vegas have already signed contracts.
He also had the idea of creating autonomous cabs that are cheaper than VTC and self-service cars. Cab robots will find you thanks to your GPS location and take you wherever you want. In Arizona, in the suburbs of Phoenix, since 2018, an autonomous cab service, i.e. a car without a driver, is in place. The Waymo One is used by more than 1,000 people and should be inaugurated in France by the Renault Nissan group within 3 years.
The train remains a key response in the optimization of mass movements of people. That said, the infrastructure is aging and huge investments are needed to revolutionize this historic mode of transportation. A stand-alone train has been presented; it would be nearly 200 meters long, capable of reaching 400 km/h while carrying up to 800 passengers.
Soft mobility for tomorrow’s mobility
The coronavirus has acted as a catalyst for the democratization of soft mobility in cities. Responding to ecological, health and economic challenges, soft mobility has all the assets to develop on a massive scale and become a strong response to the mobility of tomorrow. Infrastructures, innovative vehicles, connectivity and services are being deployed, and progress is rapid, numerous and often disruptive.
Ile-de-France has set up an electric bicycle rental service, Véligo. This service offers 20,000 electrically-assisted bicycles for long-term rental. This is the largest fleet of bicycles for long-term rental in the world. The Véligos allow you to make home-to-work trips with an autonomy of 80 kilometers. These bikes are connected by Velco, in fact, it has a handlebar connected to limit theft, optimize maintenance and obtain key data for fleet performance reporting. This model allows Paris residents to test the VAE for a few months before purchasing it. Very effective since its launch, it will probably be duplicated in other cities and countries in the future.
At MIT in Boston, an initiative around an autonomous tricycle is planned. It is called the PEV (Persuasive Electric Vehicle). The purpose of this tricycle is that it will pick you up wherever you want and take you to your destination, you will also be able to pedal to move the vehicle forward. The vehicle will always be in motion, in fact, it is a shared vehicle. It will recharge automatically at night in its recharging place. During the day, it will carry passengers or goods.
Many NVEIs are appearing in our cities. Find our selection of unusual electric vehicles.
The use of air transport to make land transport more fluid
As you know, many traffic jams are present every day in the city. Since the beginning of 2020, UAV cabs have been in the test phase in Dubai, Los Angeles, Dallas and Singapore. If the tests proceed as planned, these new cabs should be on the market by 2023. For the time being, it is planned that initially the pilots will be responsible for driving, but later the aim is to make the system automatic.
Flying cabs are in design, we discovered the project of Uber and Hyundai for air cab and skyports that could transport 4 people with a driver, with a cruising speed of 290 km/h. An innovation that plunges us towards this aerial future :
The objective of each of its cities and tomorrow’s mobility is to relieve congestion in cities while using new, less polluting transportation that offers additional services to users. The aim is to connect different territories to reduce social divides and facilitate clean travel through technology.