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Digitalisation and Europe’s sustainable transport economy

336 days ago

3 minutes

Source: European Environment Agency

Digital technologies can offer scope to alleviate the impact that Europe’s mobility sector has on our everyday lives, be it damage to the environment from our vehicle emissions, or the unwavering time we spend in congestions. A new investigation by the European Environment Agency (EEA) has reported that any gains made are circumstantial to the employment of digital solutions and the demand of transport in more general.

New report: Digitalisation and mobility

The EEA’s Transport and Environment Report explores the impact of digitalisation on what is largely one of the most important facets of our lives and the EU economy: transport. Parameters have been set by the European Green Deal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 90% by 2050, but the process is not straightforward.

Sustainability is strived for in the transport sector, and digital transformation can certainly help how it operates. According to the EEA, the effects are still unclear and depend on transport demands, something that has, until recently, off-balanced technological efficiency gains, such as lower fuel consumption.

Perhaps the most effective consequence of digitalisation on our mobility sector is the new data that can be produced and used to create and meet targets that support a better, more objective mobility infrastructure. With the introduction of automated mobility, digitalisation will certainly be an influence, not least in terms of safety and passenger accessibility.

The EEA report goes on to warn that automated technology might, in fact, have a detrimental effect and increase transport demands. Optimised journeys and an eventual reduction in costs will play a significant role.

New briefing: Commuting or working from home?

Teleworking, commonly known as working from home, generates more uncertainties for the mobility sector as it is still a relatively new concept. According to a new EEA briefing, ‘From the daily office commute to flexible working patterns — teleworking and sustainability’, these new-founded working patterns will have an effect on our car-commuting habits and be an influence on the way our towns and cities are developed. However, due to the aforementioned uncertainties, the EEA recommends supporting policies be put in place.

The briefing on teleworking and sustainability is part of EEA’s foresight work that uses horizon scanning to identify emerging issues that can affect Europe’s sustainability efforts. 

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