Is the solution more pedestrians and cyclists?
Apart from the CO2 exhaled by the people, pedestrians and cyclists are free of emissions. Furthermore, these are healthy modes of transport. But many routes cannot be covered by foot or bicycle. To this must be added the fact that cycling is not always a convincing option for everyone in bad weather, snow, rain or ice. In the country, above all, a car is often the only possibility to reach one’s destination within a reasonable amount of time. Overall, 75 percent of Germans could not live without a car according to a recent survey.
Cities have already reached the limits of their public transport capacities, not only during rush hour. If we only wanted to halve the amount of motorized individual transport in urban areas, we would have to treble the public transport capacities, according to a study carried out by the German Ministry of Transport in 2017. An increase of this kind would cost a colossal amount of money and take decades. To put it briefly, in many cases people will remain reliant on the car for years to come.
From the perspective of the German automotive industry, the solution is not to pit individual modes of transport against one another. On the contrary: We demand a well-running local transport system. There is a need for better collaboration between individual traffic and public transport, between bike, bus, rail and the car. Within this network users can then select the fastest or cheapest mode of transport in each case, depending on their budget and needs.
This requires fast and large investment in the infrastructure. And we also need the legal framework for innovative mobility services, such as ridesharing. Incidentally, the German automotive industry helped carsharing to succeed in Germany and thus contribute to saving resources. Their companies are the leaders here, with around 75 percent of the market.
 acatech/IfD Allensbach, „Mobilität und Klimaschutz“, May 2019.