At the end of 2020, the European Commission presented the new sustainable and smart mobility strategy, within the framework of the European Green Deal. This contains the road map to achieve a fully sustainable EU through a transversal and holistic action plan. Its areas of action range from biodiversity to sustainable mobility, as well as other elements, such as agriculture and industry or climate action.
The transversality of the European Action Plan is the first characteristic that stands out; the transformation towards a sustainable Europe is considered from numerous issues, all of which are interrelated. More specifically, in the field of sustainable mobility, the strategy highlights three pillars : sustainable mobility, smart mobility and resilient mobility.
As the European Commission itself indicated, “By far, the most serious challenge facing the transport sector is to significantly reduce its emissions” (European Commission, 2020). In this respect, the new European strategy sets out five points to achieve sustainable mobility: Accelerate the entry into the market of electric vehicles, from cars and motorcycles to planes and boats; adapt infrastructures for their standardisation, from roads to ports and airports; foster healthy urban and interurban mobility, promoting cycling in particular; act strongly in freight transport, promoting that which is already green, such as rail transport; and create incentives so that citizens use sustainable means of transport.
The technological and digital transition is the other great revolution, along with the sustainable transition. They both represent two of the main levers of the European Mobility Strategy. Smart mobility aims to define passenger and freight transport from a perspective of technological innovation, which allows for greater flexibility, efficiency, sustainability and safety. In the European case, there is a commitment to the implementation of automated and interconnected multimodal mobility, and the use of artificial intelligence and data processing in favour of mobility integrated in the concept of smart city.
The pandemic situation caused by COVID-19 has hit transport hard , leading to an extremely negative impact on companies of this sector, on a financial and operating level. As a result, the European Commission undertakes to strengthen the market with strategic investment, such as the Trans-European Transport Network – TEN-T network.
Furthermore, the European Commission links the new resilient mobility to social justice and safety on public transport. In this way, designing a public transport system with criteria related to affordability, accessibility for persons with reduced mobility and safety is considered necessary.
The European sustainable transport system must be smart, flexible and capable of adapting to constantly changing patterns and transport needs, based on cutting-edge technological advances that provide all European citizens with seamless, safe and protected connectivity.