A Manifesto for Transforming Passenger and Goods Mobility
Humans are hardwired to move from one location to another. From the origin of the species in Africa hundreds
of millennia ago, humankind has travelled to all parts of the globe. From the planet’s highest peaks to its deepest
oceans – and beyond even to its moon – humans are drawn to what lies over the horizon. Whether it is a transcontinental trip, a commute to the office, a stroll to visit a neighbour, or sending a package, it is mobility that connects us to our world and each other. It is through mobility that we are able to earn a living, access goods and services, and enjoy our friends and family. At its best, mobility enables prosperity and equality.
However, mobility is not always safe and secure, clean and sustainable, or inclusive and efficient. For many, getting
around is a daily struggle that consumes a significant portion of their time, finances or both. Whether navigating
a congested urban environment, commuting reliably from a suburb into a city or determining when an essential package will arrive, the existing transport system can seem as much a hindrance as help. Population growth, urbanization and ageing infrastructure will further strain an already overburdened system in the coming years.
At the same time, a myriad of private sector and government efforts have emerged to address mobility
challenges, often driven by new technologies and the rapid proliferation of data. Ride-hailing, connected traffic systems, “mobility-as-a-service”, autonomous and electric vehicles and many other innovations could contribute to an improved mobility landscape – if they are deployed in a coordinated and collaborative way that aims to optimize the entire transport system. To date, many of these efforts largely fall short of that goal, limiting potentially significant gains for governments, the private sector and citizens. In many instances, they may be exacerbating transport issues, most notably by adding congestion and complexity while also creating inefficiencies between public and private modes of transport.
In 2017, the World Economic Forum and Deloitte embarked on a systematic effort to bring together a cross-disciplinary multistakeholder group of individuals representing start-ups, established companies, governments, academia and nonprofits, to help define how a seamless integrated mobility system (SIMSystem) could better address pressing mobility challenges. Central to this effort has been drafting an initial set of working principles that could guide stakeholders as they begin to work collectively to make the SIMSystem vision a reality.
Our efforts have led us to three key conclusions:
– First, making better use of existing assets and infrastructure will become an imperative for cities and countries facing increasing demand on their transport networks while simultaneously lacking the resources or physical space to add sufficient capacity
– Second, better integration and interoperability across modes, geographies and functionalities will help move
people and goods more seamlessly and efficiently through the transport system
– Third, enabling seamless integration will require an extraordinary level of coordination and collaboration
between the public and private sectors, across modes and geographies
To be clear: without concerted action now, an integrated mobility system will either fail to emerge, fail to emerge
quickly enough to address the world’s looming mobility challenges, or emerge in a way that fails to truly meet the
needs of government, the private sector and users.
This manifesto aims to accelerate adoption of a SIMSystem, drive coordination among all actors and avoid a proliferation of potentially conflicting standards, rules and technologies.
It puts forth the Forum’s perspective on the need for a seamless integrated mobility system, the vision for how
that system could function and its key characteristics, as well as the challenges that will need to be solved along the
way. It provides a set of working principles that can serve as guideposts for the public and private sector to effectively
collaborate, creating a shared understanding of the complex obstacles that will need to be – and can be – addressed.
The Forum aims to catalyse broad-based support from public and private sector leaders to mobilize
their imagination, expertise, capital and resources to accelerate the integration of diverse modes of transport
across geographies and to develop digital platforms that can significantly improve the movement of people and
goods. The impact on quality of life, economic growth, environmental sustainability and health is enormous.
Arguably, advancing public-private collaboration for a SIMSystem will accelerate the realization of other aims of
the Fourth Industrial Revolution. In the short run, the Forum invites governments, enterprises, research and academic institutions, non-government organizations and concerned citizens to join the System Initiative on Shaping the Future of Mobility and the SIMSystem project by expressing their support as a signatory to this manifesto. The Forum envisions this manifesto building momentum to identify candidate sites for SIMSystem pilots as early as 2018 to demonstrate the possible impact.