Automated vehicles, networked infrastructure, innovative services and big data applications are all spurring new approaches to mobility. Such advances are making transport more efficient while also supporting conventional forms of public transport, making multimodal travel easier and more dependable. Throughout Germany and especially in its cities, digital technology is rapidly changing the transport sector and playing an ever-greater role in its decarbonisation.
But the opportunities afforded by new mobility may also bring unintended consequences. Consider vehicle automation. Will it create a more sustainable transport sector, or will it worsen the problems already connected with private car use? Driverless vehicles will facilitate collaborative mobility and help make vehicle operation and traffic flow more efficient. Yet in the absence of appropriate regulation they could also encourage behaviour that produces more traffic. As this example makes plain, active guidance will be needed if digital technology is to make a positive contribution to sustainable transport.