Mobility is a basic human need
Mobility represents quality of life, social participation, prosperity and security of supply. Now more than ever, the mobility system must adapt to our changing environments and become more resilient. The ongoing digitalisation as well as environmental and climate policy objectives must be taken into consideration. Innovations and refraining from favouring any particular technology are required to develop suitable technical solutions. The implementation must be tailored to meet the everyday needs of the population, with the benchmark being the mobility requirements of the people.
The integration of these interests is one of the major political and societal challenges of our time. Ultimately, we can only shape the mobility system of the future together, based on facts and science-based knowledge. For this reason, mobility has long been a point of focus of the Academy’s work. For example, the Academy initiated, presided over, and coordinated the steering committee used by the federal government from 2018 to 2021 National Platform Future of Mobility (NPM) as a platform for discussing strategic agenda-setting in the area of mobility.
In order to create the mobility system of the future, it is crucial to have all stakeholders on board. The future of mobility will not only be shaped by technological developments and legal frameworks but also by the extent to which new mobility solutions address user needs and gain everyday adoption.
Thomas Weber, acatech President
Lots of people want the mobility transition and environmentally friendly transport. But they need solutions that are suitable for everyday use and that meet their needs, which differ greatly on a personal, individual and regional level. It is not enough to want to bring people round to ready-made solutions. They must be listened to, asked questions, and given a central role in shaping the situation on the ground. Sustainable mobility can only succeed if all people see themselves as being the drivers of change and are active as such.
Jan Wörner, acatech President
Given its high priority in politics and society, acatech has made the topic “future of mobility” a fixture of the Academy’s work since the beginning of the 2000s. As far back as this, mobility experts from science and industry did studies on the increasing traffic and its human and environmental consequences, as well as on electric mobility and autonomous driving. These studies were targeted at policy makers. Today, these topics are an integral part of all debate surrounding the transformation of the mobility system.
Henning Kagermann, Chairman of the acatech Board of Trustees
What people expect and want from the mobility of tomorrow
The acatech Mobility Monitor
The success of a sustainable transformation in mobility will largely depend on whether it is accepted by the population. People need customised offers that meet their mobility needs. For this reason, it is crucial to understand the perspective of individuals and their circumstances and to factor these into the discourse on the mobility of tomorrow.
The Mobility Monitor, undertaken by the Allensbach Institute (Institut für Demoskopie Allensbach) on behalf of acatech, has been studying mobility behaviours as well as what people expect and want from mobility in Germany since 2019. The annual survey enables the identification of trends and changes in attitudes. The results make a valuable contribution to the project work that acatech does in the program area of mobility, feeding into public debate through the press and media outlets.
Thinking of mobility and space as two sides of the same coin
Individual mobility behaviour is heavily influenced by the physical structures around us. Where we live and work, where we go to school, and how we spend our leisure time all have an effect on our mobility. Urban planning – both for new and existing developments – has to take account of the traffic-inducing effects that the spatial distribution of facilities and amenities will have. Mobility planning must factor in changes made as part of urban development.
The project (in German) looks at key aspects of the successful integration of the key themes “urban development” and “mobility” in local and regional governance. The theory is that if planning focuses on accessibility and proximity, the volume of everyday traffic can be reduced and the quality of people’s time spent in urban areas can be enhanced. Residents get new mobility opportunities and more freedom of choice in their individual mobility decisions – paving the way for a new culture of mobility.
Sharing and using mobility data fairly
Mobility Data Space
Smart parking, shared mobility and smart traffic management: the future of mobility is user-friendly, sustainable and digital. To promote fair competition for innovative and data-based mobility applications in Germany and Europe, the Mobility Data Space (MDS) was created on the initiative of the German federal government as an independent marketplace for mobility data. The Mobility Data Space, which offers all who want to help shape the mobility of tomorrow a safe and reliable infrastructure for sovereign data sharing, has been operating in the market since January 2022. The operator DRM Datenraum Mobilität GmbH is financed by many stakeholders in the mobility sector and acatech, which is the founding and majority shareholder. This structure ensures that the Mobility Data Space is neutral and open, and creates the necessary confidence in the fair and sovereign trade in mobility data.
European Mobility Data Space
Improved data use and integration can help make the entire mobility system more efficient, more environmentally friendly and more resilient. The European Union has therefore made it an objective to facilitate cross-border and cross-sector data sharing towards its aim of achieving an internal mobility data market.
The project (PrepDSpace4Mobility) launched in October 2022 is doing the groundwork for the development of a common European mobility data space. 17 European partners are mapping existing data ecosystems and are laying the foundations for a suitable technical infrastructure. The aim is to achieve simple, cross-border access to data on the movement of people and logistics. acatech is coordinating the project and, in conjunction with other partners, is supporting the development of appropriate technical infrastructure.
Electric mobility as part of a circular economy
The battery passport – using the circular economy to drive electric mobility forward
As the number of electric vehicles grows, so does the need for lithium-ion batteries to power the electric motor (traction batteries). Because they are an essential component of the electric vehicle, the sustainable production, use and recycling of these batteries is hugely important. Digital product passports in particular can help to manage traction batteries in a way that is consistent with a smart circular economy.
In the project entitled Battery Pass, acatech, along with other consortium members, is developing cross-industry standards for the general and technical elements of a digital battery passport, which will be demonstrated in a pilot project. The battery passport supports seamless documentation of the battery life, from production to use and re-use as well as recycling, thus facilitating the sustainable and circular management of traction batteries.
Bringing the transformation of mobility to life (HORIZONS Mobility)
When we think of mobility, what tends to spring to mind is the car, bicycle, bus or train. But there is so much more to mobility: it enables us to get to work, go shopping or to the doctor, to visit friends and take our children to school. In other words, mobility allows us to participate in life. At the same time, mobility creates traffic and this, in turn, has serious consequences for the environment. How can we shape a mobility that caters to the needs of all people but, at the same time, helps to achieve the climate targets? What role do technologies and new mobility models that are more about use than ownership play in this? What can we learn about modern urban planning from the bicycle capital Copenhagen? The HORIZONS publication on the transformation of mobility deals with this and other interesting issues.