Panel 6. Transport and mobility

This panel is dedicated to the creation of sustainable and equitable passenger mobility systems and efficient freight transportation.

How can we best take advantage of the efficiency and emissions reduction potential that the transportation can offer to meet ambitious climate and greenhouse gas targets? How can ‘smart’ technologies and emerging-technology-enabled passenger and freight mobility options contribute to the transformation of transportation systems and lead to reductions in energy consumption? How can we integrate land use and transportation planning to ensure sustainable urban development and energy-efficient city transportation networks? How can we make sure that autonomous and electric vehicles will contribute to environmental goals and overall energy efficiency? How can cross-sectoral collaboration between the energy and transportation sector contribute towards this end? How do we ensure that existing and emerging mobility options are accessible to all?

For this panel we envisage contributions under the following areas:

Passenger Mobility Options

The passenger mobility landscape is changing rapidly and dramatically with emerging technology-based options providing alternatives to vehicle ownership. How do we ensure that we continue to create sustainable transportation systems and efficient urban landscapes given the unknown energy and environmental impacts of options like car-sharing and ride-sharing?

Contributions might address:

  • Understanding the interrelationship between mobility and land use and other urban planning policies to encourage the creation of sustainable transportation systems.
  • The role of new and emerging mobility options – best practices and learning opportunities
  • Addressing the role of technology in creating efficient mobility systems and the subsequent energy impacts
  • Behavioural aspects of travellers and firms, mobility cultures and the connection with energy use and greenhouse gas reduction
  • The role of transportation data and its accessibility for evidence-based decision making and planning, traffic management and travel choice purposes.
  • Effective policies for energy efficient mobility and urban planning related to mobility needs and sustainable transport

Clean and Efficient Freight and Service Traffic

Commercial traffic already contributes to significant climate impacts, with its share rising in many countries. Growing long distance freight transportation volumes neutralize efficiency gains in other areas. Cities are challenged by growing service and delivery traffic. However, new technological options for intermodal transport and emission free vehicles, but also the digitalisation of logistics offer new options for efficient freight transportation. How can we reduce the climate impact and energy consumption of freight traffic despite transportation volume growth? Which technological options will enable sustainable commercial traffic?

Contributions might address:

  • Impacts of recent trends in the service economy on freight logistics (e.g. eCommerce, city logistics, evolvement of supply chains)
  • Smart or green freight programs
  • Cutting edge technologies and alternative fuels in commercial transportation (e.g. platooning/automated/autonomous freight, electric vehicles, eHighway) and their impact on energy efficiency and GHG emissions
  • Intermodal freight
  • Cargo-oriented development and the role of logistics in urban and regional planning

Advanced and Automated Vehicle Technologies

A comprehensive approach to addressing transportation energy use and greenhouse gas emissions will require addressing both vehicle technologies as well as the efficiency of the greater transportation system. As electric and autonomous vehicles enter the transportation landscape, we will need to better understand their potential energy and GHG impacts as well as how to ensure they are accommodated appropriately and with consideration of rebound effects.

Contributions might address:

  • Energy efficient vehicle technologies and driving behaviour
  • Role of electrification in addressing energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions in the transportation sector.
  • Incorporating vehicle automation technologies and autonomous vehicles into transportation systems – best practices to ensure a net positive energy outcome
  • Future transport infrastructure needs and limitations and the effect it will have on the success of technology options

Cross-cutting aspects

Understanding the cross-cutting opportunities to address transportation energy use will be necessary if we are to fully tap into the embedded efficiency and greenhouse gas reduction potential in this sector. We encourage addressing the following cross-cutting aspects in Contributions for this panel:

  • Policies and programs that help to create equitable access to mobility options and efficient technologies
  • Cross-sectoral collaboration and stakeholder involvement
  • The role of different jurisdictional levels (local/national/Europe/international level).
  • Effectiveness of incentives and market mechanisms and the need for regulations.
  • Public awareness of the issues and educations programs regarding energy efficient transport
  • Non-energy benefits of smart and sustainable transport solutions

Panel leaders

Shruti Vaidyanathan, American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy, USA

Shruti Vaidyanathan is Senior Advisor for Research at ACEEE and helps coordinate research efforts organization-wide. She has 10 years’ experience in transportation efficiency issues and her work has most recently focused on improving mobility at the state and local levels and on evaluating the life-cycle emissions of vehicles as lead analyst for ACEEE’s In addition to her Transportation expertise, Shruti also leads International research for ACEEE.

Shruti holds a master of science in public policy and management from the Heinz College at Carnegie Mellon University and a bachelor of arts in economics and environmental studies from Grinnell College. She joined ACEEE in 2007.

Axel Wolfermann, University of Darmstadt, Germany

Dr. Axel Wolfermann is a trained civil engineer with a transport planning and traffic engineering background. After six years researching and teaching on transport planning and traffic management at Technische Universität Darmstadt (Germany), he worked at the University of Tokyo and Nagoya University (Japan) during 2010 and 2011. How to make traffic more efficient by different policies and measures including smart planning, pricing and the deployment of intelligent transport systems (ITS) was one of the guiding questions in his work. Urban planning from a Chinese perspective enriched Axel’s experience. In the aspiration to better understand mobility from the viewpoint of the relevant actors, be it travellers or firms, he moved to the German Aerospace Center (DLR), where he lead the team on commercial transport modelling at the Institute of Transport Research. The evaluation of climate impacts of traffic and transport was the main focus of his work. Since 2017 he is professor for transport planning and traffic engineering at the Department of Civil Engineering, University of Applied Sciences Darmstadt. In teaching and research he works on the promotion of sustainable mobility. Axel is member of different working groups of the German Road and Transportation Research Association (FGSV) and of Special Interest Groups of the World Conference on Transport Research Society (WCTRS).

2019 Partners