How a rapid modal convergence into a universal automated taxi service could be the future for local passenger transport

2015-02-25T12:48:12Z (GMT) by Marcus P. Enoch
The world is changing rapidly. Yet a common assumption is that cars, buses and taxis will remain the dominant local passenger transport modes in the coming decades. This concept paper draws on literature sources and on discussions with industry stakeholders to look anew at the local passenger transport sector in the light of broader societal trends to suggest an alternative future, and to offer insights to practitioners and policy makers. The paper finds that the traditional modes of car, bus and taxi are slowly beginning to lose market share to intermediate modes such as shared taxis, lift sharing schemes, DRT services and car clubs whilst numerous technological and market trends are combining to accelerate this process of ‘modal convergence’. Taken together, these trends could revolutionise how we move about, with one possible outcome being the emergence of a single dominant passenger mode of an automated universal taxi system or dial-a-pod.