In this update on my research on Digital Economy and Sustainability, I want to give you an overlook on how technology changes our mobility.
Our entire system of mobility is going to change soon (7-10 years). Not only are there more and more electric cars (e-cars) but also self-driving ones. These cars are no longer just on a drawing board, at this very moment they are rolling on our street. This fast progress is mainly, because there are a lot of big names from the IT and automobile sector involved and they are getting closer and closer to automating our entire mobility system.
Imagine a world for a moment where: traffic pollution is reduced to zero, as there are only e-cars driving around, and so are accidents (or at least nearly zero), because there are no humans behind the wheel, but very smart computer algorithms equipped with dozens of sensors to find the most eco-friendly way to your destination and to avoid accidents. Is this all too good to be true?
And I must say yes, as there is also a dark side to all this development. If there are just self-driving cars a lot of people lose their jobs, e.g. truck and taxi drivers, as they are no longer needed. Furthermore, if there are more e-cars, our consumption of electricity would increase which would have to be produced somehow. In 2016, this mainly happens trough coal and gas. This could lead to an offset of the reduction in emission in traffic by an increased amount of pollution from generating electricity, unless we focus more on renewable energy, of course.
I hope you noticed, that to solve a big problem with new technology, you have to see the bigger picture and consider all the possible outcomes to make a sustainable change for our society.
Cheers from your Associate,