Mobility is central to modern societies. It is an essential part of quality of life and offers a great number of chances and opportunities. It is thus an import factor for prosperity and content. However, despite a multitude of technological developments, the traffic to satisfy mobility needs still results in an enormous consumption of space, energy and resources. In particular affected are metropolitan areas. The omnipresence of – often unused - vehicles and the land consumption of traffic infrastructure cause increasing problems. CO2, pollutant emissions, noise and safety are only some of the problems we are facing today with mobility. Efforts to solve these problems have not yet led to significant success. One important reason for this is the continuing increase in traffic. Efforts made in recent decades to solve mobility caused problems are mostly cancelled out by this. For example, specific CO2 emissions from passenger cars in Germany could be reduced by around 5% between 1995 and 2020 but in the same period the absolute CO2 emissions from passenger car operations increased by 5.1%. The main reason for this is that during the last 15 years the mileage of cars and trucks in Germany increased by 21% and 40%, respectively. The growth in mileage was accompanied by a rise in the number of vehicles. During the same period, the number of cars and trucks in Germany increased by 18% and 52%, although a large number of vehicles are unused and parked somewhere. Even though current technology trends, like electrification, autonomous driving and connectivity can make further important contributions to solve mobility caused problems, this alone will not lead to a real traffic turnaround that is urgently needed. In order to achieve a fundamental shift in traffic, mobility patterns need to be transformed in accordance with sustainable vehicle concepts and a new vision for mobility, which in turn replace the outdated approach of “car-centered cities” with its motorized individual traffic.
The vision of the research initiative is to create a paradigm shift towards “PureMobility”. Traffic caused by the mobility needs of our society should only use minimal space, energy and resources.
To make PureMobility’s vision a reality, we want to research how tomorrow’s urban mobility can be designed in a holistic approach to meet future mobility needs in a clean, essential, sustainable, efficient, and human-centred manner.
The central hypothesis for our specific research approach is therefore:
Given the urban structure, future mobility needs within the city limits can be met
That means private cars and large trucks will disappear completely from the cityscape. Freight and passenger transport will be thought and planned together and ensured via intermodal transport chains (road, rail, water, air) with the inclusion of public transport operations. In addition to public transport, the only vehicles that would then be moved in the urban area would be those that can fully cooperate and choose routes in coordination with each other and transport both passengers and goods. Beyond that, however, the vehicles are specifically specified for the respective transport task (e.g. transporting only 1 person at v<30km/h). In order to achieve CO2 neutrality within the city, all vehicles are powered electrically or with green hydrogen. Since the central routes and operating times of the vehicles are completely determined by a mobility management, a large part of the vehicles will drive autonomously.
In order to confirm this hypothesis, the following basic research questions will be answered using an inter- and transdisciplinary research approach