• Press Release
  • September 26, 2018

Cities Must Be in the Driver's Seat When it Comes to Connected and Autonomous Vehicles

  • Singapore and San Francisco put CAV at the heart of their mass transit future
  • Paris and Hong Kong view CAV as an enhanced transport solution
  • Amsterdam successfully introduced Mobility as a Service (MaaS)

Amsterdam, 26 September 2018 - Arcadis (EURONEXT: ARCAD), the leading global Design & Consultancy firm for natural and built assets, released a new report - Citizens in Motion- that looks at the mobility needs in 14 global cities and to what extent Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (CAV) can be leveraged to meet transportation goals.  While CAV has the potential to vastly improve urban mobility, it can also possibly make congestion worse, or threaten the viability of vital public transport services, thus affecting citizens' ability to travel. 

The future with driverless cars is fast approaching, and how cities around the world respond depends greatly on a variety of factors such as their unique cultural heritage and types of infrastructure.  A "one size fits all" approach is to be avoided as it would not deliver the full extent of the opportunities available, and may not ensure that the special character of a city is protected. 

When cities design solutions which leverage new technology in transportation, inclusivity and accessibility for all citizens is paramount. Otherwise, there is a risk that CAV could create a two-tier public transport society.  The established mobility blend in any city represents huge investment from the private or public sector, but a disruption like CAV could threaten to deprive existing providers, like taxi or bus companies, of income.  It is the responsibility of city governments to engage with the private sector to find a solution that strengthens, not weakens, the whole network.

The Citizens in Motion report refers to levels 4 and 5 of autonomy in electric vehicles (EV), where vehicles communicate with each other as well as with the environment around them without the need for a human driver to intervene.  It provides an individual profile of 14 global cities and analyses each city's urban mobility objectives, infrastructure readiness, CAV initiatives in place and citizens' openness to their adoption. 

Specifically, the three areas examined in each city were citizen connection, governance platforms, and enabling infrastructure. Key points were identified as elements that may or may not support the development of CAV-based solutions as a means of achieving a city's mobility objectives.  Progress towards a fully-operational CAV environment is currently at different levels of maturity across the globe. 

Citizens in Motion describes the different new business models, such as Mobility as a Service (MaaS), which Amsterdam successfully introduced as a ridesharing pilot in its Zuidas business district.  MaaS could be a key enabler of CAV in the future. Singapore, with its high-quality road and communications network, plans to have self-driving buses and shuttles on public roads by 2022.  New York has seen huge growth in bicycle and ridesharing schemes. Moreover, the city has 6,000 miles of streets of which 77% is occupied by cars - presenting an opportunity for CAV to help "reclaim the streets."   

Some urban areas such as Paris and Hong Kong have more emergent ambitions to develop CAV as an enhanced personal transport solution.  The latter cites a constrained road environment which may present potential challenges for CAV, as well as limited EV charging points. Paris's transport strategy is primarily focused on increasing use of public and human-powered modes of transport.   

The fundamental commonality among all the 14 cities evaluated in the report is an aim to have urban mobility functions that are healthy and safe, citizen-centric, green and sustainable, accessible, investible and smart.  The degree to which CAV can help solve mobility challenges varies per city, and Citizens in Motion outlines recommendations for each to progress towards this.

John Batten, Global Cities Director at Arcadis said:

"Cities across the world are grappling with congestion, overcrowded transport, poor air quality, and the need to drive greater prosperity, competitiveness and improve the citizen-experience. The emerging CAV revolution opens a new frontier of disruption in transportation and urban living, beyond existing examples such as Uber. For our cities, exclusively electric Connected and Autonomous Vehicles will present a huge opportunity to radically transform urban mobility."

Download the full report here.

Improving quality of life

Jochem Binst
Mobile: +32 471 202 679
E-mail: jochem.binst@arcadis.com


Arcadis is the leading global Design & Consultancy firm for natural and built assets. Applying our deep market sector insights and collective design, consultancy, engineering, project and management services we work in partnership with our clients to deliver exceptional and sustainable outcomes throughout the lifecycle of their natural and built assets. We are 27,000 people, active in over 70 countries that generate €3.2 billion in revenues. We support UN-Habitat with knowledge and expertise to improve the quality of life in rapidly growing cities around the world. www.arcadis.com