Transport accounts for almost 25% of all CO2 emissions in Europe (source). In comparison with other sectors where improvements have been observed, greenhouse gases resulting from transport in the EU have constantly increased over the last years. Even with all measures Member States are and will be taking to curb that trend, predictions state CO2 emissions from transport will not return to their 1990 level before 2029 (source). In addition, road traffic represents the sole source of excesses in air quality in six Member States between 2014 and 2020 (source). Moreover, privately owned vehicles have notorious low degrees of utilization: the average occupancy in the EU is between 1.2 and 1.9 passengers per trip including the driver (source), while occupying valuable surface in dense urban centers.

These challenges prescribe a better utilization of available resources by pooling more people in the available vehicles. However, such a change should not come at the price of disenfranchising vulnerable groups. Social inclusion is crucial in ensuring mobility: pupils need flexibility in getting to school, elderly citizens need reliant and continuous transport, the disabled need accessible transport solutions that do not entrench their disadvantage, citizens living in rural areas need a convenient possibility to move around, etc.

How to embrace and combine these two challenges? Shared transport, especially in rural areas, often lacks the flexibility of a private vehicle since it usually follows fixed routes at few fixed times a day. This mode of operation is usually the only financially viable way of providing shared transport coverage in less dense areas. However, this is inconvenient and leads to the use of private vehicles remaining the preferred option for many citizens. What is needed is a solution that combines the efficiency of shared transport with the convenience of private vehicles while being inclusive but still viable in terms of costs for the public.

Such a tool seemed historically out of reach because it appeared too complex. It required major computational resources not only to calculate the most efficient routes based on transport needs but also to inform all passengers and drivers of the optimized outcome. However, latest developments in mobile technology and real-time optimization algorithms have facilitated the development and implementation of such solutions. And Savvy Mobility has been one among these “On-Demand Mobility” technology pioneers that allow passengers, in a nutshell, to order a shared trip via mobile app, phone call, or a web-booking app that is then dispatched to the best available vehicle depending on service settings and other passengers’ previous bookings – a solution that combines the convenience and flexibility of a private car with the efficiency of shared modes of transport.

We can no longer accept a fatalist mind-set about global challenges because we have at least some of the tools available to overcome these. To facilitate and push for this change, that is why On-Demand Mobility is necessary.

Let’s shape the mobility of tomorrow together and act towards a more sustainable world!