What will mobility look like in the future? Find out more with Open Lab MCB founder, Patrick Oliva.
WHAT IS SUSTAINABLE MOBILITY?
Patrick Oliva /Think of mobility that is accessible to all and whose long-term development is compatible with society's demands. Today, those demands include preserving our health –which for mobility means clean air – and ensuring our safety, with fewer accidents. People also want to limit greenhouse gas emissions to attenuate global warming and reduce urban congestion so they waste less time in traffic. All of that taken together is sustainable mobility, and it concerns all of us.
PRACTICALLY SPEAKING, WHAT NEEDS TO CHANGE TO ACHIEVE SUSTAINABLE MOBILITY?
P. O. / First, we all need to think in terms of reducing overall CO2 emissions, notably with regard to transportation and especially in cities, because that's where 70% of the world's population will be living in 2050. That's where the major transitions will be happening. Open Lab MCB is therefore promoting what are known as "disruptive initiatives", like the creation of ultra-low emission and enhanced road safety zones in cities. The city that launches a low emission zone project will be responsible for deciding which vehicles will be allowed in. London, for example, is aiming to create a low emission zone in 2020. If several cities follow suit, it could create a new market.
DOES THAT MEAN THAT INITIATIVES PROMOTING MORE SUSTAINABLE MOBILITY HAVE THE POTENTIAL TO DRIVE ECONOMIC GROWTH?
P. O. / Clearly they do. As François Michelin liked to say: "What's good for society must be good for businesses." To give an example, the Open Lab recommends more effective coordination of the last mile of the supply chain – in other words, the last link that ends with delivery to the consumer. Things are already changing, with certain e-commerce sites leveraging networks of small merchants. This is an area that is becoming very profitable and enjoying sustained growth. So this is where we need to innovate, by testing pilot solutions in real-life conditions. Another market that could expand very quickly is door-to-door transportation solutions for individuals. I'm thinking of small driverless cars, for example, or other types of solutions that could get you from one station to another, or from a station to your home. Given the rising number of seniors in the population, there are very attractive opportunities here too. Look at carpooling or carsharing1: these are door-to-door solutions and they're more popular than ever.
WILL SUSTAINABLE MOBILITY BE ADDRESSED AT COP21?
P. O. / Yes, the topic will be discussed on December 3 and 6 during the LPAA Transport Focus event and the Transport Day that Open Lab is helping to organize2. Although climate change is not the only issue involved in mobility, it can be used as a lever during COP21 to get sustainable mobility on the table. In addition to achieving a negotiated global agreement among the world's nations, the climate talks are an opportunity for civil society to present its initiatives for keeping global warming below 2°C. When I say "civil society", I'm referring to cities, businesses, NGOs, etc. At COP21, they will be able to throw their support behind ambitious innovation-focused projects, or even launch new ones themselves.
OPEN LAB MCB BRINGS MAJOR INDUSTRIAL PLAYERS TOGETHER AROUND THE ISSUE OF SUSTAINABLE MOBILITY. WHAT DOES A PARTNERSHIP LIKE THIS ALLOW YOU TO ACCOMPLISH?
P. O. / When you get several companies representing all the different facets of transportation together, it gives your message greater credibility and gets your recommendations heard. The basic idea behind Open Lab MCB is to share a forward-looking vision of a positive future. When Michelin, Faurecia, Air Liquide, Solvay, Total and others speak with one voice, this future is possible. We are joining forces to develop and defind a vision. Together, we have every chance of making this vision a reality.
Total partners Blablacar and Ouicar, two French start-ups involved, respectively, in carpooling and peer-to-peer carsharing.
The U.N., France and Peru selected MCB and SLoCaT (Partnership on Sustainable Low Carbon Transport) to organize the "LPAA Transport Focus" event on December 3 in Le Bourget near Paris. On December 6, MCB and SLoCaT will organize "Transport Day" in connection with COP21. Although not on the official agenda, this day of conferences on the future of transport is supported by the U.N.