AVs have been hailed by groups like the WBCSD as the answer to sustainable mobility, but unless they are part of new shared public-private transport models they could just lead to more cars on the roads. Mark Hillsdon reports

The day our cities finally grind to halt could be approaching a lot more quickly than we ever dared believe.

According to the European Commission, global urbanization is rampant, with the way in which figures have been historically provided by the United Nations now thought to be fatally flawed.

The UN method has relied on data compiled by individual countries, but without ever using a common standard. Now researchers at the European Commission have used geospatial technology and high-resolution satellite images to determine the number of people living in a given area. And the figures are shocking.

While the widely accepted UN figures predict the world's urban population will grow to 70% by 2050, from 55% at present, the new statistics estimate that 84% of the world's population already live in urban areas – that’s almost 6.4 billion people.

Cities will need to embrace a regulatory framework for AVs that nudges us away from ‘AV hell'

"Everything we've heard about global urbanization turns out to be wrong," says lead researcher Lewis Dijkstra. "If this is true, the impact is going to be massive.”

As urban areas grow, they also become more congested and unhealthy. Transport is...

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Autonomous vehicles  Urbanisation  C40 Cities  SAEVs  2getthere  WRI  Boston Consulting Group  Zipcars 

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