The rapid growth of the number of vehicles in past decades and unbridled urbanization mean that urban traffic has become a sensitive issue in cities around the world. Infrastructure cannot be built to keep pace with traffic. Solutions do exist and others still have to be invented to reduce the number of lost hours, wasted fuel and offer quality mobility for the largest majority.
Urban mobility, be it individual or collective transport, is entering a new phase. All players in the transport sector be they automakers, operators or users are changing their perception of travel.
Today Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) provide us with data on journey times. The progress being made in public transport systems increases its accessibility and popularity. Propulsion systems are all becoming less polluting.
Collective or individual, ownership or user ship, urban travel is facing far reaching change.
Mobility is a major condition for global economic, development and all the stakeholders have a contribution to make to ensure the long-term viability of the transport sector.
Mobility, a factor of socio-economic development
According to the WBCSD’s Sustainable Mobility Project, mobility meets "the needs of society to move freely, gain access, communicate, trade and establish relationships". Mobility is crucial to economic and social development. It is synonymous with progress and is essential to our current and future way of life, whatever the level of development of the region in question. In addition it aims to enhance the quality of life. The demand and the need for mobility of people and goods are increasing at an ever greater rate.
Stakeholders facing profound change
The stakeholders of today’s mobility – energy suppliers, automakers, component suppliers, governments and consumers – are currently adapting to global trends. The economic recession has brought its lot of restructuring and downsizing as well as new objectives for the sector’s traditional players. New companies and start-ups are emerging to take advantage of new opportunities. Governments have at last awakened to the urgent need for new policies to address the objectives and define the framework principles.
Following successive crises consumers have a heightened awareness of the issue and are changing their life style. It has become urgent to act and ensure that the transport sector remains dynamic and capable of addressing today’s challenges.
Challenges to be raised
Given the current context, the challenges and multiple expectations there is no place for complacency or any reason to act timidly. The transport sector has the necessary knowledge, expertise and innovation to push ahead. Although badly hit by the recession, it has emerged restructured and focused on new objectives and confident in the knowledge that it is supported by the policies and framework principles which will propel it along the road to a carbon-free future.