Redefining mobility services as automated driving is expected to debut by 2020

Technological change will drive the move toward on-demand automated vehicle services

Boulder, Colo.—Around the world, major cities have been setting targets to combat the negative effects of local transport on public health, local pollution, noise levels, and GHG emissions. Sustainable mobility plans are counting on heavy investments in public transportation and biking infrastructure to compensate for the loss of personal vehicle mobility. However, Navigant Research reports that three key trends — automated vehicles, cleaner powertrains, and the mobility as a service (MaaS) model — could make personal passenger car use compatible with cities’ sustainability plans.

Highly automated driving is expected to debut by 2020 and start to grow rapidly as soon as 2025. That technological change will bring about shifts in the economics, convenience, and safety of personal mobility and will drive the move toward on-demand automated vehicle services. If coordinated as part of a multimodal transportation ecosystem, that shift could lead to reduced traffic congestion in cities, lowered demand for parking spaces, and beneficial energy and environmental impacts. Moreover, there are clear synergies between automation and electrification (both for battery electric and fuel cell powertrains). Automated on-demand fleets that run on those clean powertrains could be competitive with or cheaper than other transportation options available today, driving consumers toward MaaS.

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