Transport and mobility

Task 1: Analysis and innovation for sustainable and responsible transport and mobility.

In France, the transport sector’s contribution to fossil energy consumption, greenhouse gas emissions and local pollution will be a major issue in the next decade, more than in other countries who obtain their electricity from carbon sources. There are some encouraging signs – personal motorized mobility seems to have stabilized since the early years 2000, however we still need to develop policies and instruments in order to achieve an actual reduction. As far as road traffic accidents are concerned, although mortality has been reduced considerably, new measures and instruments are required to pass under the level of 3000 fatalities per year and reduce the number of injuries, which has become the new challenge for road safety. Flows and traffic are highly concentrated within metropolitan areas and the corridors require transportation systems that are more efficient, economical and sustainable with a view to achieving better energy management, an example being the introduction of electric road vehicles. Transport systems aside, new services and new collective and individual practices are appearing which need to be adopted in order to meet the challenges of sustainable and responsible transport.

Goal 1A

To observe and analyze the transport and mobility practices of persons and goods, as well as techniques for forecasting the transport and mobility of tomorrow.

Context and issues

The issues of climate change first of all make it necessary to limit the transport and mobility of persons and goods. In a situation where new data acquisition technologies are being developed and where new transport practices linked to new devices are overturning old patterns, it is necessary to modify observation and analysis methods. The approaches adopted by the social and human sciences and the engineering sciences complement each other and will permit this linkage between observation/modelling and new data. This complementary relationship is also needed in order to establish the link between the determinants of mobility and the resulting practices and analyze how they will change in the case of both persons and goods.

Goal 1B

To improve transport safety and comfort and minimize health impacts.

Context and issues

After a period during which road mortality fell dramatically, the challenge facing us today is to find new ways of reducing accident rates, taking account of changes in society and travel and transport practices. IFSTTAR will attempt to understand and describe the phenomena and develop and evaluate ways of improving transport safety and comfort and minimizing its health impacts by mobilizing its multidisciplinary expertise and applying a systems approach.

Goal 1C

To manage, optimize and evaluate transport systems.

Context and issues

To operate transport systems it is necessary to take account of a large number of often contradictory constraints: energy savings, low environmental impacts, speed, safety, flexibility, comfort, cost, accessibility, etc. In addition, the topic becomes more complex if one considers that a given transport system is in fact just one link in a multimodal chain whose complete optimization is obviously the ultimate goal. A corollary of all these developments is a refusal on the part of users to tolerate unforeseen events or failures. Thus, more flexibility for users results in greater demands on operators.

Goal 1D

To develop innovative transport and mobility policies, solutions and services.

Context and issues

Portable positioning systems coupled with access to real time sources of information encourage the emergence of digital practices in the area of transport and mobility and the development of a large range of new services: passenger information systems, route guidance interfaces, electronic tolling, ticketing, demand-responsive transport, dynamic car-sharing, communicating vehicles and, more generally, contextual systems that are capable of networking and interacting with their environment. These new systems need to work together in order to manage travel demand by adaptating to transport supply, in view of the need to save energy, space and time.