What future for urban mobility?

The model of urban mobility based on the private car is gradually fading away, giving way to a new landscape.

The 2018 edition of Digital Day took place on Tuesday, September 25 at the. As part of this event, of which two men is a partner (notably with the organization of a Tribunal for Future Generations on the theme. We are publishing several columns on the major digital and technological challenges. Two persons are part of the this team, a startup that develops “A turnkey dispatch solution, which allows players in on-demand transport (taxis, VTC, last-mile delivery, public transport) to optimize the journeys of their fleet of vehicles” for all players in the transport sector. Transport set out in this article their vision for the future of urban mobility.

The last few years have seen many profound and lasting changes in the field of mobility. The model of urban mobility based on the private car is gradually fading away, giving way to a new landscape.

“The evolution of the car will be the driving force behind changes in our daily journeys”

No flying cars or futuristic capsules are dear to movies here. But the evolution of the car will be the engine of the changes in our daily journeys.

The car (and cities) of tomorrow will be green

There is a fundamental trend around the world: the rise of electric cars, primarily toward by municipalities. Aware of both ecological and health issues related to the use of the car, more and more of them want to ban their streets to cars with polluting engines. Therefore, intends to ban diesel completely by 2024.

“The advent of all-electric power will not be a miracle solution for municipalities”

While electric models were previously aimed at a niche market, all car manufacturers are now moving in this direction, To be able to adapt to the changes driven by cities and gradually replace their equipped models and Combustion engine. The goal? Lower costs and optimize production processes to make these vehicles more accessible, in particular thanks to advances in batteries.

However, the advent of all-electric power will not be a miracle solution for municipalities. Their challenge, beyond the problem of pollution, is also to combat traffic jams. The best way to achieve this, together with the development of public transport networks and cycle paths, is to challenge the personal car paradigm. Indeed, a personal vehicle is occupied on average by 1.2 passengers during commuting, which has a real impact on congestion in cities.

Abandoning the model of the individual car and turning to a model of shared vehicles on demand, to optimize their use. Therefore, seems a logical and desirable development. This makes all the more sense as these new electric models will be able to drive longer distances and for longer.

Sharing vehicles to relieve congestion in cities

In recent years, there has been a gradual disinterest in the private car, which is no longer a personal good but a means of transport, which can be booked according to its needs. On-demand vehicle services have flourished in recent years, first with cars, bicycles, then electric scooters and scooters. The use of taxis or VTC services to make trips is also a strong trend. It is indeed sometimes more profitable to use a VTC or a taxi for short one-off trips than to finance the purchase, parking, and maintenance of a vehicle.

We can see here so many positive signs showing the gradual abandonment of the personal car. However, they need to be qualified: if two-wheelers, VTCs, and taxis are credible alternatives to the personal car in town. The personal vehicle remains king in rural or semi-urban areas where there is no other alternative. Car sales are gradually slowing down, but millions of models continue to sell out every year.

The second model of vehicle sharing is that of intra-urban carpooling. For the moment, there are a few local initiatives. But no service has succeeded in establishing its position on the market on a massive and lasting basis, as is the case with long-distance carpooling.

private car

The various experiments that are carried out are all based on a private car model, where a driver accepts to take passengers on board on his route. The main obstacles to this type of initiative are a strong time and geographic constraints that weigh on journeys. Drivers must take passengers who make a journey almost similar to theirs. Also, unlike long-distance carpooling, the financial benefit has little incentive. Finally, intra-urban carpooling requires a balance between supply and demand, and a profound change in mentalities. While the car remains for many a private and personal space.

There is an even more advanced model, in which the vehicle no longer belongs to an individual who rents it or temporarily shares it with others; but to private or public organizations, which organize journeys between several passengers. We are getting closer here to the logic of public transport.

Thus, we can imagine that in very dense urban areas, with many requests for journeys; trips aboard taxis or VTC could be shared almost systematically. An MIT study, carried out using reservation data for New York taxis. It has shown that it is possible to pool 97% of requests for taxi trips, without significantly impacting passenger journeys.

Here we can see the public transport of the future taking shape, based on on-demand buses. This is why we are working at Yugo on the development of a real-time dispatch and race sharing tool, capable of pooling races between several passengers aboard the same vehicle, whether it is a VTC, a van.

urban mobility
Urban mobility

Towards the automation of means of transport

The sharing of a vehicle between several passengers described above greatly improves the average filling rate of the vehicle. And should therefore have a positive impact on the price of the races. During a taxi or VTC trip, the driver’s remuneration represents on average 50% of the price of the trip.

“Urban mobility based mainly on autonomous cars seems inevitable”

To optimize costs, a shift towards urban mobility based mainly on autonomous cars seems inevitable in the long term. This latest development is surely the most ambitious and the most distant. It will take several decades before this approach to transport is deployed on a large scale.

Many car manufacturers and transport players are thus working on autonomous car projects. Experiments are currently being carry out in areas with low traffic, with dedicated lanes, and the presence of an agent on board to reassure passengers. Ultimately, the shuttles will run in total autonomy, but will nevertheless require appropriate signage to warn drivers.

Once well integrate into regulations and the urban landscape, autonomous vehicles could be used on a large scale, in particular, to improve public transport: extended schedules, more developed networks, etc. There are many possibilities, both for urban areas or rural areas, and could help open up areas where there was until then no alternative to the personal car.

Towards the automation of means of transport

The sharing of a vehicle between several passengers described above greatly improves the average filling rate of the vehicle, and should therefore have a positive impact on the price of the races. During a taxi or VTC trip, the cost corresponding to the driver’s working time (gross income excluding costs associated with the vehicle such as maintenance, gasoline; Represents on average 50% of the price of the trip according to the estimates of mediator; appointed by the government in the context of discussions between Uber and VTC drivers. To optimize costs, a shift towards urban mobility based mainly on autonomous cars seems inevitable in the long term.

This latest development is surely the most ambitious and the most distant. It will take several decades before this approach to transport is generalized and deployed on a large scale. Many car manufacturers and players in new technologies are thus working on autonomous car projects.

The potential democratization of autonomous vehicles also raises a question of use; consumers who can afford to buy this type of vehicle will use it even more? For the models which have the highest degree of autonomy (class 5), no longer requiring the presence of a driver; we can imagine that the car becomes an extension of the home or office, where passengers can indulge in their daily tasks.

electric bicycle
electric bicycle

The car (and cities) of tomorrow will be green

A fundamental trend has been observe around the world in recent months: the rise of electric cars. This trend is primarily drive by political bodies and municipalities. Aware of both ecological and health issues linked to the use of the car (air pollution, noise pollution, global warming, and scarcity of petroleum resources); more and more of them want to ban cities from cars with diesel or gasoline engines.

The Cities, an association that brings together the 40 largest cities in the world; set the objective of the gradual disappearance of diesel vehicles. Which are participating in a pilot program, have thus undertaken to make them disappear by 2025.

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