• Sat. Jul 13th, 2024

The ticket to better transport


Jul 9, 2024 #ticket, #Transport

Recent technological innovations in the transport sector are breathtaking: Global electric car sales went from almost none in 2010 to 13 million in 2023. In many places, door-to-door transport services spanning multiple modes are available within mere minutes after a simple swipe of your finger on a smartphone screen, be it for a passenger or a parcel. And yet, significant challenges still lay ahead for the transport sector to reduce its climate impact and to bring the benefits of transformative technologies to more people worldwide. Transformative technologies – ones that truly shift the paradigm and make the impossible possible – are putting effective solutions within closer reach.

Transport currently accounts for almost a quarter of direct CO2 emissions from fuel combustion. But recent innovations have enabled new mobility services and business models that could significantly reduce the sector’s footprint. Shared mobility solutions, for instance—such as carshare, bikeshare, etc.—would not be possible without the wide use of smartphones and ubiquitous access to wireless data. Likewise, the modern green logistics system heavily depends on the digitization of transactions and the seamless tracking of freight.

More broadly, the convergence of technological innovations in digital connectivity, data platforms, automation, and alternative energy has the potential to transform the sector in a fundamental way, making transport not only more efficient but also greener, safer, and more inclusive.

Before these benefits can materialize, however, there are a number of critical questions that need to be addressed: What makes a technology innovation transformational? How to harness the most benefits and mitigate potential negative impacts? What are the roles of the public and private sectors in technology adoption? How can we make these solutions relevant to the context of low- and middle-income countries (LMICs)?

So far, this latest wave of technological innovations has happened mostly in advanced economies, although exciting examples are also emerging across the developing world. A World Bank study on the electrification of Shenzhen’s entire bus fleet shows that an electric bus in China emits 37.56% fewer greenhouse gas emissions across its entire lifecycle compared to an equivalent diesel vehicle. By gradually replacing traditional paper-based driving licenses with a smart chip-embedded card, Kenya has reduced the wait for applying for a driver’s license from six months to a few days, increased the reliability of the driver’s license service, and improved the management and security of its transport system. The social benefits were particularly visible during the COVID-19 pandemic. In the Sahel region, the Bank analyzed the potential for electrification of two- and three-wheelers, which play a vital role in public transport in Mali and Burkina Faso. In Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan, the electronic tolling introduce user-pay principles along the corridor and become an important sustainability component of the regional connectivity and development project.

The World Bank, through its expertise and global reach, has a critical role to play. It can effectively support developing countries in capitalizing on leapfrog opportunities for digitalization and asset management, integrating digital technology deployment with Intelligent Transportation Systems innovations, embracing electric mobility, and ultimately driving sustainable development in the transport sector.

Our recent global report, Transformative Technologies in Transportation, takes a close look at these cutting-edge technologies and examines how they can help pave the way for better transport while reducing negative impact from the sector. The report provides both a panorama of recent technology-driven innovations in the transport sector and detailed takeaways to advance the policy dialogue on this topic, building on concrete examples from developing countries. It also investigates their potential contributions to solving existing and future developmental challenges by addressing 10 important questions:    

  1. What makes a technology innovation transformational in the transportation sector?
  2. How can technology improve the efficiency of the transportation systems?
  3. How can technology help support the decarbonization of the sector?
  4. How can technology help ensure a just transition toward climate-smart transportation systems?
  5. Why do transformative technologies in the transportation sector matter to development, and how can developing countries get ready for the technology adoption and leapfrog?
  6. What are the roles of the public and private sectors in technology adoption, and how can governments create an enabling environment for the adoption of technologies?
  7. What are the main technology trends in passenger mobility and how can governments enable large scale technology adoption?
  8. How can technology improve public transit services, and what is the best approach to managing the data generated by technologies?
  9. How can innovation in digital infrastructure maximize the potential from multimodal integration platforms?
  10. What are the main technology investment areas in transportation at the World Bank and how to scale up the engagements in transformative technologies?                                        

We hope this work can shine a light on the transformative potential of technology and help policymakers navigate the quickly changing landscape of transport innovation. Although different countries may need to prioritize different solutions based on the local context, one thing is for certain: no matter where you live, technology is bound to have a profound impact on the way you move. With the right tools and policies in place, this provides a rare opportunity to make transport better, greener, and smarter.


By admin

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