But mobility and transport come at a price, seriously impacting the environment and the climate. The COVID pandemic has reminded us that certain types of transport can be avoided, but others (such as the supplying of food and the disposal of waste) cannot.
Experts agree that the mobility of tomorrow will be provided by a fully integrated multimodal transport system, which gets people and goods from A to B as quickly as possible, while minimally impacting the environment, from a greenhousegas emission and an energy efficiency point of view. No single transport mode is perfect – we need the optimum mix of air, road and rail, to provide a service that is convenient, affordable, safe and environmentally friendly.
Thanks to digital connectivity, customers will be able to book their journey in a few clicks, and will be offered a wealth of information before, during and after their journey to offer them the best travel options and services. The dream is an efficient and fully connected transport network, which runs our decarbonised economy, and offers affordable and safe travel and transportation options to Europe’s citizens.
Infrastructure plays a key role in transport and mobility – infrastructure aspects need of course to be scaled for demand – and for resilience, not least against extreme weather events. When we speak of infrastructure, we usually refer to hard, physical infrastructure such as railway lines, tunnels and bridges. But for transport, soft infrastructure is equally important and digitalisation offers many opportunities to improve the service and reduce costs. For example, 5G mobile communications can contribute to a reduction of fixed cost in infrastructure. Multimodal transport chains fundamentally rely on communication networks and data sharing. These integrated transport chains will then also provide the necessary redundancy for resilience.