The Faculty of
Engineering, Architecture and Information Technology

16 February 2018

Emerging transport disruptions could lead to a series of nightmare scenarios and poorer transport systems unless we have sensible and informed public policy to avoid this.

Of course, some foresee a utopian scene: self-driving electric vehicles zipping around our cities serving all our transport needs without road accidents or exhaust fumes.

But the shift to this transport utopia might not be as straightforward as some think.

In a newly published paper, we explore some potential problems linked to vehicle electrification, autonomous vehicles, the sharing economy and the increasing density of cities. We examined what could happen if these four trends are not all properly managed together.

Much has been written about the potential benefits of these disruptions:

  • electric vehicles powered by renewable energy could cut costs and fossil fuel emissions, and eliminate the significant impacts of pollution on public health and the environment
  • shared vehicles could reduce transport costs and traffic
  • autonomous vehicles could eliminate traffic accidents, reduce congestion and increase mobility for everyone
  • increasing urban density could bring significant economic benefits through growth and efficiency gains when people and businesses are closer together.

However, the interplay between these trends could also result in nightmare scenarios. We developed a Future Mobility Disruption Framework to investigate what could happen if even one of these trends is not actively managed.

Read the full article on The Conversation