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Intelligent Mobility in Latin America

RASIC is pleased to be supporting the development of intelligent mobility in Latin America, please see our Managing Directors, in conjunction with Colombia's Javeriana University and Manchester Metropolitan Universities contributions in the below article: Original article: here

The traditional model of vehicle ownership will decline. A shiny car in the garage may be a status symbol, but it's actually parked 97% of the time . This does not make much sense when we consider that the cost of depreciation, insurance, fuel and taxes in Spain exceeds € 600 per month .

Smart mobility poses a new relationship with vehicles that can drastically reduce the number of cars on the streets and mitigate the consequences associated with this mode of transport .

Smart mobility describes how the transport infrastructure that will make use of new services related to digitization, automation, mobile devices, open data , wireless communications and the internet of things.

This phenomenon involves everything from smart cards for public transport to autonomous vehicles. A 2016 report estimates that the global smart mobility market will grow from € 165 billion annually to over € 1,000 by 2025.

Many try to take advantage of this opportunity: carpool applications; bike, scooter and carpool initiatives; drone delivery service prototypes; driverless cars or bus services with passenger pickup upon request. All of them are part of the scene in this developing market, promoting a change to the current reality that we have created based on the use of private cars.

The data from the RAC Foundation , a group of British insurers, show that the average car is parked at home 80% of the time elsewhere 16%, and is moving only 4% of the time . The data are similar to those found by Ecologistas en Acción for the Spanish case . This level of inefficiency is what has the experts so excited.

Advantages of autonomous cars

We might wonder why progress has been so slow when the need is so clear. The answer lies in the inertia generated by the previously established way of doing things. Those who make transportation decisions may have had more favorable experiences in car use than average families who view the vehicle as a necessity rather than a luxury item.

The case of the United Kingdom shows us that more than three-quarters of new cars are being purchased under the personal contract purchase (PCP) model , where the signer pays monthly for the vehicle, but is not its owner. This may be a sign that ownership of a particular vehicle and social status are no longer so closely related.

The door is ajar, but why isn't it fully open? Vehicles with a degree 5 autonomy level, where no driver is required at any time, will be available in the following decades. They could carry between 5 and 12 passengers in the space currently occupied by a light SUV.

The implications for public and private transportation are enormous. Current bus and subway users will be able to be picked up and taken to their destination if they share an autonomous vehicle at a cheaper cost than a taxi. This makes us reflect on whether they will be willing to continue using traditional public transport.

Those who want private vehicles will also have to evaluate if they want to acquire a vehicle that will be most of the time in a garage, or if they choose not to incur this large expense and pay a fee according to the use of the vehicle and the number of companions.

From a public infrastructure use point of view, the number of passengers a car lane can handle will rise from a range of 2,000-3,000 passengers per hour, when used with the current model and an average occupancy rate. from 1.5 passengers per vehicle, to more than 8,000 passengers per hour. This expansion of capacity will be accompanied by a reduction in emissions, traffic delays and accidents due to human errors. This may have an impact on the taxes that those who wish not to share a car must pay.


Currently there are a large number of technological, regulatory and market barriers to reach the previously proposed scenario. While the most optimistic predictions expect broad adoption by the 2030s, other projections call for high market penetration by the 2050s or 2060s .

Smart mobility is fast approaching, but the capabilities of technology far exceed our ability to design transportation systems that embrace them with an understanding of their potential, downsides, and policy needs to promote the great changes they can bring.

The potential benefits are enormous. They will be able to help governments solve the problems of climate change, the depletion of energy sources, and urban growth. It will also be able to provide quality transportation with a high degree of accessibility to a population with greater demographic aging and to people with disabilities, to whom our current system offers little. Edward Deming, the great quality guru, said, "A bad system will always beat a good person."

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