This article was originally published here
Sci Rep. 2021 Jul 20;11(1):14597. doi: 10.1038/s41598-021-93741-4.
Unforeseeable developments will accompany progressive COVID-19 recovery globally. Similarly, science will inform changes amidst its own progress. Social isolation and distancing imposed by the pandemic are likely to result in changed habits, behavior, and thinking paradigms. Inevitably, this should affect the tremendous confusion inhibiting automated urban mobility’s evolution. While mobility often seems magnanimously resistant to change, using international data, this analysis shows road traffic, the largest net contributor to global warming, is responsible for even greater damages. The core claim justifies replacing private cars (PCs) by existing and future public transit (PT) vehicles. In testing 17 major cities globally, 94% of the scenarios proved PT superior or equivalent to PCs for reducing travel time. As a result, a foreseeable, future scenario shows potential reduction in car traffic by approximately two-thirds compared with the current situation. In two arenas, proactive government can promote such sustainable urban mobility: (1) developing autonomous vehicles for PT only; (2) coordinating standardization for seamless urban mobility. These global decisions for improving our lives in the future are likely to be better received and understood subsequent to COVID-19, as the focus of our concerns changes from what preoccupied us under the circumstances prior to the pandemic.