3. Future of urban transport is climate wildcard
A new McKinsey report examines the potential climate impact of autonomous vehicles and ride-sharing, based on what city planners do, Axios' Ben Geman writes.
Why it matters: Uber and other companies are already changing the way people move around in cities, while AVs are poised to shake things up even further as the tech takes hold. But right now traffic is still getting worse for all kinds of reasons.
What they did: The report looks at 3 trajectories for how urban traffic and transport patterns could evolve, and what that means for the environment (among other things).
- The best outcome, but hardly a foregone conclusion, is what they call "seamless mobility." This is reflected in the third bar in the chart above.
In essence, under "seamless mobility," they see people traveling further per year than under their other scenarios, yet more efficiently and cleanly.
But, but, but: That won't happen by itself, the report shows. If cities don't act, "the trends related to urbanization, population, and e-commerce are likely to make congestion and pollution worse."
What's next: The report lays out dozens of ways for cities to help manage population growth and the rise of autonomy, including using AV shuttles, electric scooters and bikes to connect people to mass transit, shifting commercial deliveries to off-peak hours, and creating low- or zero-emissions zones.
Go deeper: Read Ben's entire piece.