A New Vision of Urban Mobility
In Paris, the average speed of vehicles of all types is approximately 6 miles an hour. Surprising perhaps, but indicative of the reality of city-centre mobility.
Is free flowing, clean mobility in town a pipe dream? It is certainly a burning question – from politicians who want to improve our towns, city-dwellers who want to combine amenities with lifestyle, voices from industry who want to increase mass production, intellectuals who advocate robotic solutions…
If the powers that be insist on discouraging the use of cars in our cities, going so far as to introduce legislation to back this up, we need to ensure alternatives are available. “The aim is not to stop people from getting around, but rather to improve mobility by moving away from ‘traditional’ thinking and individually-owned vehicles”.
Pierre Lefèvre admits that this would be a gradual change, area by area, in open spaces (such as in Laval where the army’s departure has freed up 50 hectares of city centre space) or on wasteland (such as Seguin Island in Boulogne-Billancourt). only in such places can we begin to test alternatives to ‘traditional’ transport, such as the bus, Paris Velibus, etc…
The final mile
According to Pierre Lefèvre, CEO of INDUCT, there is not one single solution, but a whole host of products and services that is needed to resolve the double-sided dilemma of the need for urban travel combined with a need for reduction in energy consumption. as Lefèvre points out, “Public transport alone is not enough. We need to come up with transport that is accessible, and easily bookable, by phone for example”. the challenge is implementing effective, environmentally sound solutions that will allow us to travel that “final mile” when in town.
“Public transport alone is not enough. We need to come up with transport that is accessible, and easily bookable, by phone for example”
Another figure that’s important here: In town, vehicles are static about some 95% of the time! Whether it is as a result of being stopped at red lights or queuing alongside pavements, immobile traffic creates an eyesore – wouldn’t it be wonderful to change this feature of our urban landscape?
“Let’s imagine a city in which traffic is free-flowing, in which there are no red lights, in which vehicles simply transport their passengers from one point to another”, says Pierre Lefèvre.
This new idea of mobility would create a new idea of personal property. Instead of being someone’s property, it would be a mode of transport and totally free at that!
This vision, which is totally at odds with ‘traditional’ ideas, can only become a reality with the help of technological solutions that are accessible and financially viable.