COVID-19 to Cause Major Shifts in ITS Priorities, from Consumer Mobility to Autonomous Urban Freight

by Dominique Bonte | 2Q 2020 | IN-5797
Huge drops in personal mobility for both private and public transportation are resulting in huge and immediate decreases or even the disappearance of congestion, road fatalities, and air pollution, which hitherto were the top three concerns of city governments across the globe. It is important to mention the combined number of global fatalities due to road accidents and air pollution exceeds 8 million on a yearly basis. While it is still unclear how much this number will decrease due to COVID-19 in the next year or so, even a modest decrease of 10% might compensate for the number of victims directly claimed by the pandemic to the tune of 800,000, which would definitely be more than just a silver lining on a very black cloud. It also has to be stated that severe economic recession will claim its own share of victims over and beyond the direct deaths due to COVID-19 in the form of lack of food and basic healthcare in the poorest regions of the world.

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