We are doing science for policy
The Joint Research Centre (JRC) is the European Commission's science and knowledge service which employs scientists to carry out research in order to provide independent scientific advice and support to EU policy.
New transport technologies, on their own, won't spontaneously make our lives better.
We need to upgrade our transport systems and policies to the 21st century.
Transport systems are extremely complex. Their elements influence each other often in unexpected ways.
New technologies on their own may make traffic worse. While decreasing costs, they can increase demand and overall energy use.
Uncoordinated competition among service providers and lack of leadership by transport authorities could lead to increased traffic problems and unbalanced capacity provision.
We need a predictable long term framework by policy makers.
Otherwise, the fear of missing out on the next innovative idea or the whims of the stock market may lead to investment decisions that can create a glut of options in one place and a lack of them in others.
Rapid changes in the transport system can have negative effects far beyond transport itself. For example, they influence:
Demand and supply of workers and skills,
Demand for critical raw materials,
How our data is treated or
Who has access to what kind of transport modes.
Left unmanaged, such changes may widen the gaps in our societies.