Automobile transportation has dramatically enhanced our personal mobility and helped us realize our aspirations for economic growth and prosperity. The benefits have been substantial, including greater access to jobs, goods, and services, and the ability to go where we want, when we want, while carrying the things that we need.
At the same time, automobile transportation has created troublesome side effects. In our pursuit of personal mobility, we have damaged our environment, consumed our natural resources, wasted our time in traffic, harmed each other in collisions, and created disparities between the haves and the have-nots. These side effects raise increasingly pressing questions about the sustainability of today’s automobile transportation system. Fortunately, rapidly maturing and converging technologies promise to substantially mitigate these negative effects while further enhancing our ability to travel.
Today, as a result of six converging technologies, a new mobility paradigm is within reach. These six technologies are the “Mobility Internet,” self-driving and driverless vehicles, shared vehicle systems, specific-purpose vehicle designs, advanced propulsion systems, and smart infrastructure. Together, they create the opportunity to provide better mobility services, more sustainably and at reduced cost.
Goals and Mission
The goals of the Earth Institute’s Program on Sustainable Mobility are to accelerate the implementation of sustainable mobility, with a focus on connected, autonomous, electric vehicles. Recognizing that no one company, industry or government can achieve sustainable mobility alone, the Program seeks to bring together the relevant stakeholders from automobile manufacturing, information and communications systems companies, energy companies, electric utilities, as well as representatives from government and academia, to share ideas, collaborate, and develop initiatives for implementing transformative change and making sustainable personal mobility a reality.