Lewis Fulton Lecture, “The 3 Revolutions in Transportation”

If you want to read the paper on which Lewis Fulton was speaking, you can see it here.

Passenger Transport Revolutions

  • electrification
  • shared mobility
  • automation

The internal combustion engine keeps being refined but it’s the same basic technology, vehicles themselves haven’t changed that much for a long time either.

Electrification changes how the vehicle operates and feels. Shared mobility refers to on-demand mobility- ride hailing, food delivery etc

At least in the US we talk about shared mobility a lot, but what really happens is single occupancy vehicles. True shared mobility, is that possible? What are the implications of strangers sharing rides? Hands free driving? Driverless cats without steering wheels andnnot having to focus on operating the vehicles

  • 3million EVs on the road right now
  • China has pushed growth of EVs

New types of electric cars, higher range, better quality, more makes and models, so there is reason to believe growth will continue.

Norway has 30% EV market share, why is that? (Tax breaks.)

Ride sharing around the world and on demand mobility; there have been ride hailing services that aren’t new, jeepney system etc, but using apps and mobile phones is a new feature/unlock point in the system

Can you delay or avoid private car ownership with ride hailing services?

Automation will be connected to the electrification of vehicles.

(Is there a reason that the electric autonomous models are all sedans and none are shuttles?)

LIDAR technology has become cheaper, which helps push the technology along. Cost is not going to be a massive barrier to this technology as a result of costs lowering.

When and how should governments let all this stuff happen?

Vehicle “right-sizing”, appropriately sized for the trip in question

The add-up of these effects of combined potentially energy effects…. it could be a 20-% reduction or an 80+% increase

They went with the scenario of “what if driving goes up 20%”

Heaven and Hell Scenarios

Automation: lower per-trip cost, lower “time cost” for being in vehicles

  • longer trips
  • running empty


  • can do the job with an upgraded electrical system
  • might be more energy efficient to keep car running instead  of parking them

Ride Sharing

  • cost savings vs convenience and risk
  • The only obvious way an autonomous vehicle can reduce emissions is to be electric and have no emissions
  • Ride sharing and ride hailing is dependent on financial incentives

When you look at the detailed urban simulations that have been done, in principle you could be moving people around cities the way they currently move now with far fewer vehicles than we use today and we would have enough capacity in vehicles.

In Lisbon it was a combination of 5-seat passenger cars and 8-16 passenger vans. How does this translate into energy use, emissions, and costs? Business as usual case, 2r and 3r scenarios.

Why can’t the shared mobility scenario come before electrification or automation?

KM of system length per capita (measure of transit stats)

In developing countries where energy availability is not secure, it changes the rate of transportation solution adoption

Significant mix of shared vehicles and vehicle types in Europe in 2030.

Vehicle travel in the 3R scenario is “flat” even though there is a significant decline in privately owned vehicles

By making simple assumptions about numbers of people and how vehicles are used, with just a few more options there can be significant reduction in vehicle kilometers and vehicle stock (80% fewer cars)

Costs to deviate across systems

Even if the shared mobility scenario is the healers to implement it is the hardest social construct to break

What is the modeling principle? Scenario analysis and the modeling the rate and speed at which things can develop? Stock turnover is a direct function of sales. There is more analyst judgement on how fast we can introduce new technologies. What the model does well is it does the job of calculating the energy and costs. There is no cost optimization to these models.

From the utility sense, we did not quantify the “disutility” of driving; elasticity literature on time value.

India is an interesting representation of the utility of autonomous vehicles, based on the premise that the financial burden of hiring a private driven and errand-runner is so low, that the effect is almost like having autonomous vehicles. It would be interesting to do real look at how this plays out for society…?


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