How will transport and the people who use it change in future?
Wayne Gerdes - CleanMPG
- Jan. 19, 2010
2011 BMW ActiveE BEV Concept with a 100 + miles AER: BEVs are surely one of the best if not the best way to move from place to place in a carbon constrained future.
Current transportation statistics and trends merely reflect today’s status quo and gives little evidence as to what our road and air travel will look like in fifteen or twenty years. However, it is this snap shot in time that is vital in order to both understand and develop the technology and infrastructure that will be needed for our future.
The Munich-based Institut für Mobilitätsforschung (ifmo) has made it its business to solve issues pertaining to the mobility of the future. By fostering collaboration between world renowned scientists from Germany, Europe and other continents, it helps to assign research projects, organizes workshops and stimulated scientifically substantiated discussions. A board of trustees comprised of scientists representing Deutsche Bahn, Lufthansa, MAN and the BMW Group supports the institute’s work while also guaranteeing the highest possible degree of independence. The Institut für Mobilitätsforschung focus is on mobility on not just the land but also the air and sea.
Mobility and modern life are intertwined
The work of the ifmo is not simply statistics and predicting trends. It is the institute’s job to develop scenarios on how social and ecological trends as well as basic current and predicted economic conditions and technical innovations are related to one another.
“Our aim is to contribute towards securing long-term, sustainable mobility under a multifaceted framework of conditions,” explains Hubert Schurkus, director of the institute. “After all, people’s working environment and lifestyles have changed dramatically over the years. The coherence between mobility and participation in social life is stronger than ever before. Both are closely linked with each other and will continue to be in the future.”
The most significant publications include current scenarios dealing with the “future of mobility” and studies comparing road, rail and airport infrastructure in seven European countries. Moreover, surveys have been carried out on the development of the traffic flow between Germany, its western neighbors and Eastern Europe.
More mobile every day
How much will our mobility cost in 15 years? What forms of mobility can we afford and do we wish to pay for in view of increasing prices of fuel and public transport?
These are some of the key questions being considered in the current ifmo study “Mobility 2025”.
Based on possible future incomes, income distribution, mobility costs as well as future population and household growth and composition, scientists have predicted just how “mobile” we could be in future. Perhaps the most important result obtained to date despite rising fuel costs is that we will be even more mobile in years to come than today!
How will we cover increasingly greater distances than we do today? The mobile phone, the internet and other communication technologies will be used as “mobility enhancers”
“Due to the fact that people can contact others via the internet, the desire to meet new people personally is becoming stronger,” explains project manager Irene Feige. “A trend towards a type of “mobility hopping” is becoming apparent. A rising number of people “hop” between different means of transport and make use of an increasingly wider choice of travel alternatives – from local public transport, the railways, air travel, to car rentals and even special urban forms of transport. The fact that individual travel alternatives offer varying degrees of comfort is becoming increasingly less important.”
“Optimizing and harmonizing different types of mobility in order to obtain the smoothest possible “mobility chain” will become one of the most demanding challenges,” Feige adds. “Cooperation between all parties’ technical solutions to obtain better coordination must be found. The car will most certainly remain the major means of transport and continue to serve as an “interface” between other forms of transport.”
Will a future BMW Vision PHEV-31 Concept be more to our liking in 2025
Increasing amount of goods traffic
Engineers and traffic planners will be faced with challenges of a completely different kind with the expected increase in commercial traffic. In the study “East-West Goods Traffic 2030” the ifmo provides evidence that freight transportation between Eastern and Western Europe will almost double from the present 170 million tons/day to 330 million tons/day. In absolute terms, not only will the volume of roadway traffic increase, the amount of freight transported between Eastern and Western Europe by rail and ship will almost double as well.
Although the studies and synopsis are in German, the details and conclusions are interesting none-the-less. You can read more at the following: Institute for Mobility Research