Special Issue "Environmental Evaluation of the New Forms of Mobility: Electric, Shared, Autonomous"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Sustainable Transportation".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (8 February 2021).

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Cristina Pronello
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Interuniversity Department of Regional and Urban Studies and Planning (DIST), Politecnico di Torino, 10125 Torino, Italy
Interests: travel behavior; intelligent transport systems; smart and sustainable mobility
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

We are calling for papers for a Special Issue of the journal Sustainability on research to shed light into the environmental impacts of the so-called new forms of mobility.

Shared mobility, especially electric and, in the future, autonomous is a very hot topic today in transport research and practice and is one of the solutions suggested by the European Commission to make mobility more sustainable. However, the sustainability of this emerging trend in the transport sector is more of a hypothesis than a proven reality. Indeed, sharing mobility is continuously challenged by the dynamic forces of the context in which it operates:

  • complexity of predicting customer demand;
  • consumerization of digital technologies;
  • economic and environmental constraints;

so that those providing shared services need to adapt their business models to meet customer expectations in a more efficient, convenient, and sustainable manner.

The sustainability orientation of sharing economy platforms represents an early phase of the development of the platform. Then, the development from early ideas of sharing and accessing to transactions and professionalization is a transition on the platform level in which platforms potentially become increasingly focused on issues other than sustainability as they develop and attract other users and producers.

The reason is that the business models of shared mobility need to have large markets to expand the business and make it profitable, but the more users there are, the less sustainable the transport system is.

Thus, the research needs to evaluate: (a) to which extent this form of mobility that is taking more and more place in our cities is or is not sustainable; (b) what the real impacts on transport demand and modal share are; (c) what the effect is on mobility habits and if and how the relationship with the car is changed and how this mobility relates with public transport. Indeed, the role of shared mobility in the market competition among transport modes is a key issue, because it can strongly influence the modal share and, consequently, the sustainability of mobility. Contributions focusing on all these issues to shed light into the relations among modes and the consequent environmental impact are welcome.

Special attention should also be given to the evolution of the car fleet used on shared mobility, to electric and, ultimately, to autonomous. Proposed papers for this Special Issue may analyze how impacts of shared mobility can change or not if migrating to a different car fleet and how this would impact on the environment, concerning the entire life cycle of the transport system. Papers should concern whether and how the adoption of electric and autonomous vehicles could impact air quality and which effect it could have on climate change (expected impact on global GHG emissions).

Prof. Dr. Cristina Pronello
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1900 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Shared mobility
  • Electric mobility
  • Autonomous vehicles
  • Environmental impacts
  • Sustainable mobility
  • Air pollution reduction

Published Papers (7 papers)

Order results
Result details
Select all
Export citation of selected articles as:

Research

Jump to: Review

Open AccessArticle
The Effects of Mobility as a Service and Autonomous Vehicles on People’s Willingness to Own a Car in the Future
Sustainability 2021, 13(4), 1962; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13041962 - 11 Feb 2021
Viewed by 524
Abstract
Car ownership is one of the key factors affecting travel behaviour and thus also essential in terms of sustainable mobility. This study examines car ownership and how people’s willingness to own a car may change in the future, when considering the effects of [...] Read more.
Car ownership is one of the key factors affecting travel behaviour and thus also essential in terms of sustainable mobility. This study examines car ownership and how people’s willingness to own a car may change in the future, when considering the effects of public transport, Mobility as a Service (MaaS) and automated vehicles (AVs). Results of two citizen surveys conducted with representative samples (NAV-survey = 2036; NMaaS-survey = 1176) of Finns aged 18–64 are presented. The results show that 39% of respondents would not want or need to own a car if public transport connections were good enough, 58% if the described mobility service was available and 65% if all vehicles in traffic were automated. Hence, car ownership can decrease as a result of the implementation of AVs and MaaS, and higher public transport quality of service. Current mobility behaviour has a strong correlation to car ownership, as respondents who use public transport frequently feel less of a will or need to own a car than others. Generally, women and younger people feel less of a will or need to own a car, but factors such as educational level and residential location seem to have a relatively low effect. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Experience and Acceptance of Autonomous Shuttles in the Brussels Capital Region
Sustainability 2020, 12(20), 8403; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12208403 - 13 Oct 2020
Viewed by 663
Abstract
Current technological developments allow the testing of shared autonomous electric vehicles in real-life conditions. Consequently, we can evaluate how users react and if these developments might lead to more sustainable transport behaviour in the future. The purpose of this study was to capture [...] Read more.
Current technological developments allow the testing of shared autonomous electric vehicles in real-life conditions. Consequently, we can evaluate how users react and if these developments might lead to more sustainable transport behaviour in the future. The purpose of this study was to capture public opinion regarding autonomous vehicles in terms of user experience and intended future use. Autonomous shuttles were operated in the Brussels Capital Region in a mixed traffic situation, allowing interaction with other road users. We compared the results of two pilots with different target groups in the same city. Public opinion was captured through an online survey after passengers had experienced a ride. Our results showed that more than 70% of the passengers expressed no concerns with regards to autonomous vehicles. The majority had a positive experience with the shuttle and evaluated the shuttle positively in terms of driving behaviour, entry and exit and comfort. The regression analysis indicated that enjoyment of the ride is an important factor that contributes to the intention to use autonomous shuttles in the future. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Environmental Impact Assessment of the Transportation Sector and Hybrid Vehicle Implications in Palestine
Sustainability 2020, 12(19), 7878; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12197878 - 23 Sep 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 583
Abstract
During the last two decades, the development of sustainable transportation systems has been highlighted as a key element in solving environmental problems related to climate change and impacts on greenhouse gases. Globally, the transportation sector has become one of the main contributors to [...] Read more.
During the last two decades, the development of sustainable transportation systems has been highlighted as a key element in solving environmental problems related to climate change and impacts on greenhouse gases. Globally, the transportation sector has become one of the main contributors to these environmental problems. Thus, the environmental impact assessment of this sector and the implications of new vehicle technologies have begun to be considered as first steps for any long-term future strategies in this sector. In Palestine, the lack of environmental data related to the transportation sector and the absence of studies that address the new vehicle technologies (such as hybrid vehicles) and their future implications make it difficult to set up any future strategies or plans. In this study, the current and the future environmental impacts of the transportation sector have been assessed, and the future implications of hybrid vehicles have been determined. The gross domestic product (GDP), population, and the number of vehicles for the period 1994–2018 have been used to develop an auto regressive integrated moving average (ARIMA) prediction model for the future number of vehicles. Then, the total traveled kilometers and the total consumed fuels (by diesel and gasoline vehicles) have been predicted. After that, the current and future (2020 and 2030) greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, including CO2, N2O, and CH4, have been estimated. Finally, the future implications of hybrid vehicles, based on two scenarios (10% and 20% hybrid vehicles) have been estimated. The results have showed that the estimated CO2, N2O, and CH4 emissions from the transportation sector in 2020 are 4,842,164.5, 213.8, and 445.8 tons, which are very high, and even much higher than the total national emissions of 2014 (the only officially available data). Moreover, in 2030, replacing 20% of internal combustion engine vehicles (ICEVs) by hybrid vehicles would lead to 4.66% and 13.31% reductions in CO2 and N2O, respectively, as compared to 100% ICEVs, while the CH4 emissions will increase. However, the overall CO2-equivalent will decrease by 5%; therefore, a more sustainable transport system will be achieved. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Method for a Multi-Vehicle, Simulation-Based Life Cycle Assessment and Application to Berlin’s Motorized Individual Transport
Sustainability 2020, 12(18), 7302; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12187302 - 06 Sep 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 631
Abstract
The transport sector in Germany causes one-quarter of energy-related greenhouse gas emissions. One potential solution to reduce these emissions is the use of battery electric vehicles. Although a number of life cycle assessments have been conducted for these vehicles, the influence of a [...] Read more.
The transport sector in Germany causes one-quarter of energy-related greenhouse gas emissions. One potential solution to reduce these emissions is the use of battery electric vehicles. Although a number of life cycle assessments have been conducted for these vehicles, the influence of a transport system-wide transition has not been addressed sufficiently. Therefore, we developed a method which combines life cycle assessment with an agent-based transport simulation and synthetic electric-, diesel- and gasoline-powered vehicle models. We use a transport simulation to obtain the number of vehicles, their lifetime mileage and road-specific consumption. Subsequently, we analyze the product systems’ vehicle production, use phase and end-of-life. The results are scaled depending on the covered distance, the vehicle weight and the consumption for the whole life cycle. The results indicate that the sole transition of drive trains is insufficient to significantly lower the greenhouse gas emissions. However, sensitivity analyses demonstrate that there is a considerable potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions with higher shares of renewable energies, a different vehicle distribution and a higher lifetime mileage. The method facilitates the assessment of the ecological impacts of complete car-based transportation in urban agglomerations and is able to analyze different transport sectors. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Measuring System-Level Impacts of Corporate Mobility as a Service (CMaaS) Based on Empirical Evidence
Sustainability 2020, 12(17), 7051; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12177051 - 29 Aug 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 811
Abstract
Corporate Mobility as a Service (CMaaS) is a type of MaaS that enables mobility within as well as to and from a worksite for employees. The expected benefits of CMaaS are to support a shift towards more sustainable and more effective work-related transport [...] Read more.
Corporate Mobility as a Service (CMaaS) is a type of MaaS that enables mobility within as well as to and from a worksite for employees. The expected benefits of CMaaS are to support a shift towards more sustainable and more effective work-related transport activities. There is a lack of knowledge regarding the impacts of CMaaS and how its performance should be measured. This paper proposes an evaluation framework to measure CMaaS impacts at a system level. The proposed evaluation framework is then applied to evaluate a real CMaaS deployment in Sweden. This paper contributes to knowledge building and guidance to support policy and decision making for CMaaS development and implementation in the future. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Users’ Perception of Value of Travel Time and Value of Ridesharing Impacts on Europeans’ Ridesharing Participation Intention: A Case Study Based on MoTiV European-Wide Mobility and Behavioral Pattern Dataset
Sustainability 2020, 12(10), 4118; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12104118 - 18 May 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 771
Abstract
Ridesharing as a form of mobility service increased significantly and has become a popular concept in recent years among users, mobility authorities, and transport service providers. This research focused on exploring an emerging view of value of travel time (VTT) from the traveler’s [...] Read more.
Ridesharing as a form of mobility service increased significantly and has become a popular concept in recent years among users, mobility authorities, and transport service providers. This research focused on exploring an emerging view of value of travel time (VTT) from the traveler’s perspective, based on the stated travel time worthwhileness, preferences and motivations on their intention towards participation in ridesharing to evaluate individual’s perception of VTT and perceived value of ridesharing (VRS) impacts on intentions to participate in car sharing for their daily commuting using multinomial logit (MNL) model. This is particularly relevant today, as peer-to-peer mobility services are on the one hand shaping and redefining the value of technologies, and services, and on the other hand introducing new actors in the mobility eco-system. This study describes a survey of 278 people in 4 European countries: Finland, Portugal, Spain, and Slovakia as part of the “Mobility and Time Value” (MoTiV) H2020 project EU-wide data collection. In short, the empirical analysis indicates the high significance of enjoyment in terms of travel time worthwhileness on ridesharing adoption for commuting trips. Results also revealed economic benefit and enjoyment of being social as major motivators for participation in ridesharing. Findings are discussed in terms of implications for urban and transport planners, policy makers, and authorities to implement in shared mobility planning and to prepare transport policies which are tailored to individuals’ ridesharing needs and travel preferences and count also on travel happiness factors to better reflect the traveler’s personal ambitions. Suggestions for future research on shared mobility planning are outlined in conclusion. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Review

Jump to: Research

Open AccessReview
Are Existing Battery Electric Vehicles Adoption Studies Able to Inform Policy? A Review for Policymakers
Sustainability 2020, 12(16), 6494; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12166494 - 12 Aug 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 788
Abstract
Accelerating the adoption of electric vehicles provides a rare historic opportunity for reducing the dependence on fossil fuel and decarbonising road networks in the field of transport. Many countries have introduced various policy packages on both national and local levels to encourage electric [...] Read more.
Accelerating the adoption of electric vehicles provides a rare historic opportunity for reducing the dependence on fossil fuel and decarbonising road networks in the field of transport. Many countries have introduced various policy packages on both national and local levels to encourage electric vehicle adoption, but their market shares remain low. For better understanding the reasons behind this evidence, exploring the determinants that influence consumers’ adoption intentions is significant. Previous literature reviews have made clear and elaborated syntheses of influential factors; however, a summary of how evidence can be translated into policy through these factors is lacking. In response, this paper synthesises the main policies of various countries, summarises the previous research results, and forms corresponding policy tools, which can provide a reference to policymakers and guide the policy-making process. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Back to TopTop