The future of mobility is dictated by the changes in the current policies as well as the changing trends and challenges that relates to the transportation sector. However, existing policies addresses the concerns about the future of mobility and these policies demonstrate significant impact to that future. Debates surrounding the issue with the current policies suggests that the prevailing policies are rather bias in favor of private vehicles. These policies has immense impact to the future of mobility. Therefore, these policies needs to be reviewed to better understand the context of these policies and to have a clear view of the future of mobility.
1. Decarbonization or Carbon Emission Policy - It is the policy concerning the environmental aspect of mobility. The policy targets to cut down carbon emission and sets of requirement is being imposed to ensure that all vehicles would adhere to the acceptable CO2 emission level. The European Union and other world leaders have signed agreement pertaining to this global policy. The objective is to cut down Carbon Dioixide concentration by 20% in the atmosphere, which generally are coming from vehicles. Policy makers and automotive industry are coinciding to achieve this goal. Certain advancements in the current practices and available technology is necessary in order to promote green mobility. Research and investments are now being focused on searching for alternative energy source that is less harmful to the environment. Alternatives such as electric cars and hybrid units are begin developed by manufacturers in response to the global policy. In Europe e-mobility is being pursued as an alternative avenue to the issue of greenhouse gases from vehicles. However, e-mobility is not only the option being considered for a sustainable mobility. Since the main objective of the policy is total decarbonization, technological neutrality is detrimental in the imposition of the policy. It includes the wheel-to-wheel measurement, avoiding blanket labelling or pigeon-holing of existing technology (2012, Web).
2. Higher level bicycle and pedestrian facilities - This policy refers to infrastructure in which the non-riding public would benefit from. The main objective of this policy is to reduce urban congestion and heavy traffic. The volume of vehicles occupying the main roads particularly during rush hours contributes to a growing problem of traffic congestion. As a response, decongestion efforts are being implemented to address the problem of over crowding of vehicles on the road. The citizens are encouraged to take alternative means of mobility such as biking or walking, especially if the point of destinations is convenient for the alternative mobility option. However, the problem is the lack of available facilities that could accommodate the safety of bike riders and pedestrians alike. Therefore, a policy is being considered to elevate priority in building and improving pedestrian and bike lanes in the urban communities. The impact of the policy will have a positive implication to the primary objective of the policy as well as the policy on carbon emission. The reduced volume of running vehicles on the road targets two initiatives, one is to reduce traffic congestion and the reduce carbon emission from the large number of vehicles running at the same time (2010, p. 21).
3. Multi-optional higher and basic level of public transport – Current policies regarding the provision of public transport infrastructure to cater the financially vulnerable sector of the society has long been implemented. However, it is regarded as the most basic infrastructure. In order to create a better future of mobility, multi-optional alternatives is being considered to provide more possibilities for the riding public. New policies such as the implementation of the four public transport requirements namely fast, clean, safe and sustainable are would allow opportunities for alternative transport system to diversify their transport services. When all public transportation system follows the requirement and design imposed by the new policy, it would create an impression of a higher level system. In that case, public transportation will not only be suitable for the masses, but also to the higher class individuals. Comfort and attractiveness of the public transport entails multi-options for mobility. People will reduce reliance in their personal vehicles and would consider taking public transport for mobility because of the improve aesthetics and characteristics of the public transport system (2010, p. 21).
4. Tax advantage on environmentally friendly cars - The government of the United States as well as other nations are also considering policies that allow car owners to have tax discounts when they buy environment-friendly cars. The initiative is to encourage fuel efficient and carbon efficient vehicles to be the top choice for car buyers. Considering the price of hybrid cars, not all people can afford to immediately change their current vehicles to a hybrid ones. Engine conversion on cars are also too costly for average car owners to consider. As a response, the government is imposing policies that will reduce the actual cost of the vehicle, but the taxes that goes along with it. Since tax rate is one of the main concerns when buying a new car, people would generally pick a less expensive car because the tax is correlated to the car's price. The policy on tax incentives in purchasing hybrid cars is effective in economic and environmental aspect of the future of mobility. The objectives behind the policy target other initiatives of similar policies. However, demand is also being taken into consideration because the number of environment efficient vehicles are limited in production. That is also the reason that the price is quite high in the market. This policy should have a support provision that will encourage car makers in producing more hybrid car units.
5. Technological Integration - This is a policy that targets the motorist's road safety. In some cases, car accidents happen in the presence of vehicle failures. Therefore, safety policies and new manufacturing standards are being implemented for manufacturers to produce safer vehicles. Improved break systems, airbags and re-enforced body makes up the basic technological characteristics of a safe vehicle. However, it is not enough to reduce the number of car accidents due to car failure. In light of that, new manufacturing standards now include features such as sensors that can detect incoming vehicles and smart systems that calculate distance from impact. This technology when applied to an actual vehicle will prevent accidents because breaks are being applied automatically as soon as the sensor detected threat of collision. ITS or Intelligent Transport System spot services and short range communication equipment are dedicated in providing traffic information to all motorists. This system will help the driver to avoid accidents by means of an early warning system in case there is a stopped vehicle ahead. This is helpful during low-visibility due to weather in road curves and highways. Policies on road safety is crucial in reducing accidents and it can be achieved with the help of technology (toyota-global.com, n.d.).
Hodac, Ivan. " Electric vehicles 'no panacea' for decarbonisation." PS Public Service Europe. Publicserviceeurope.com, 18 June 2012. Web. 13 Aug. 2012.
Social-Ecological Research. "The Future of Mobility in the EU." Policy Department B: Structural and Cohesion Policies (2010): 21-24. Print.
Toyota-global.com. "For the Future of Mobility." Toyota. toyota-global.com, n.d. Web. 13 Aug. 2012.