Mobility Policy

    Moving sustainably and efficiently through the city

    Cities offer the greatest potential for uniting all transport offerings. To this end, concepts are needed that take the relevant local conditions into account.

    Cities offer the greatest potential for uniting all transport offerings. To this end, concepts are needed that take the relevant local conditions into account.

    Involving all modes of transport

    Ensuring a high quality of life in cities and rural areas is a common social goal. In the future, livable and sustainable cities will be climate-neutral and resource-efficient, have good air quality and attractive public spaces, and enable needs-oriented, efficient, affordable, and safe mobility and logistics processes for both their citizens and businesses.

    The automotive industry supports this vision. Implementing measures that demonstrably contribute to these goals is essential to ensure the optimal sustainable mobility for people.

    Holistic concept needed

    The use of private motorized transport will continue to play an important role in urban mobility in the future, if everybody's needs are to be met. Especially in an urban-rural context, the private car is often the only mobility option for many people, and this should be taken into account in further discussions. Nevertheless, the way cars are used will change; it will adopt an optimized and more efficient form, namely increasingly with zero local emissions, networked, automated, and supplemented by sharing and pooling.

    From the automotive industry's point of view, it is crucial that all measures to shape urban mobility are embedded in a holistic concept and based on dialog among all stakeholders. In general, potential measures should be carefully evaluated and, if necessary, adapted accordingly. The goal should be to consider the various modes of transport in combination, and to interlink them sensibly and intelligently. In doing so, it is important to develop concepts that are tailored to the local conditions – conditions in small and medium-sized towns, for example, are often different from those in cities.

    Automotive industry as a driver of sustainable urban mobility

    The automotive industry is driving the transition toward sustainable mobility. With innovative technologies and offers, the industry is contributing to the development of livable cities. Electromobility, for example, already allows for quieter vehicles with zero local emissions – thus helping to achieve air-quality and climate-protection targets while reducing traffic noise. Advances in linking vehicles with each other and with the infrastructure – such as communication between vehicles and traffic lights – can make traffic more efficient, smoother, and even safer. Automated valet parking can help reduce the need for parking lots because the space can be used more efficiently, while approaches such as community-based parking enable the vehicles to collect and share information on available parking spaces. Systems like these can significantly reduce the number of vehicles searching for parking spaces. And mobility services, such as car and ride sharing, help to improve people's mobility by closing the current gap between public transport and private car ownership. In this way, they serve the mobility needs of all those who only occasionally need a car.

    Politics must set the right conditions

    For innovations to flourish to full effect, however, politics must also make its contribution and set the conditions accordingly. This includes supporting the development of a charging infrastructure on both public and private properties. User benefits, such as those enabled by the Electric Mobility or the Car-Sharing Act, help innovations penetrate the market. The digitization of urban infrastructure is essential for the implementation of connected and automated driving, helping to make cars even safer and smarter and to improve traffic flow overall. Multimodal solutions require the data to be available and need to be supported by the physical linking of transport modes, for example, by expanding Park + Ride services.

    Address the needs of commercial traffic

    Any overall concept for urban transportation also needs to address commercial traffic. And here, too, innovative solutions are necessary. The automotive industry contributes with low- or zero-emission delivery vehicles of all sizes and with tailored logistics solutions. However, suitable conditions are also required for the freight transport of the future. For example, special delivery zones that are reserved for commercial traffic at pre-defined times, or can be reserved online, and are monitored accordingly. To ensure the electrification of delivery and distribution vehicles, there is also a need for a sufficient charging infrastructure in urban areas. The special requirements of these vehicles (e.g., space requirements for parking/charging) must be taken into account in their design.

    Urban Mobility Platform

    The automotive industry would like to develop further solutions for future-proof and sustainable urban mobility together with all stakeholders and with the cities themselves. To this end, the VDA has launched the Urban Mobility Platform, in which nine major cities are currently participating alongside companies from the automotive and supplier industries. The aim of this platform is to develop a common understanding of how to shape future urban mobility, and use this basis to jointly initiate implementation steps. The topics covered range from electromobility, via connected and automated driving, traffic management and optimized land use, right up to mobility services, urban logistics, and commercial mobility management.

    Contact person

    Dr. Michael Niedenthal

    Head of Transport Policy Department

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