Global Agenda Council on Personal Transportation Systems 2012-2014
Ever since Henry Ford invented industrial manufacturing, the automobile has been the prime mode of personal transportation. Governments around the world have invested heavily in building the relevant infrastructure to support this system of personal transportation. It has provided individual mobility, employment, innovation and wealth to many nations. However, with dense levels of car ownership in developed nations, tremendous growth in emerging markets and urbanization at record levels, this system has started to fail. Megacities are struggling with congestion and poor air quality. They cannot keep up with needed infrastructure expansion or they struggle to finance its upgrade. New models of car ownership are evolving, governments are strongly pushing for alternative-energy vehicles to improve air quality in cities, and consumers hope that new information technologies will help them to improve their travel experience and reduce time wasted in traffic. However, alternative-energy vehicle sales have been disappointing, sustainable business models for new ownership are still lacking, and the integration of new information technologies and intermodal transportation is still far from being seamless.