Top 10 Cities in Future Mobility Technology

 Advances in mobility are driving inter- and intracity travel in autonomous new directions as cities plan for the future

The WSP Global Cities Index: A Tale of Our Cities provides insights about how cities are preparing for the future, including how mobility technology is taking inter- and intracity travel into new autonomous directions through pilots, programs, policies and partnerships.

Leading the way are these top 10 cities, each driving advances in new mobility.

10. Toronto

Score: 6.0/10   Ontario was the first province in Canada to allow on-road testing of autonomous vehicles. The Ministry of Transportation of Ontario is running a 10-year test pilot program that allows approved companies and research groups to test their vehicles under certain restrictions, including having a driver in the car to constantly monitor vehicle operation. A year ago, seven groups were approved for on-road testing under the pilot program: Uber, the University of Waterloo, the Erwin Hymer Group, QNX, Continental, X-matik Inc and Magna. However, due to a fatal pedestrian crash involving their autonomous vehicle in Arizona on 18 March 2018, Uber has suspended all its self-driving testing, including operations in Toronto.

At present the City of Toronto’s Transportation Services Division is implementing its three-year Automated Vehicles Work Plan. This plan helps the city’s various divisions to prepare for automated vehicles and the changes that may arise with the deployment of these vehicles in Toronto. The technology of autonomous or driverless vehicles is also mentioned by the regional municipalities as a challenge.

As highlighted in the TransformTO report, electrification of transportation is part of how Toronto will achieve a reduction in vehicle emissions. To support the transition to electric vehicles (EV), the city is developing strategies that include EV charging infrastructure and any implications EV use might have for the electricity grid. Provision of EV supply equipment in all new multiresident buildings has also become mandatory.

Read the full city report - Toronto


Score: 6.0/10   In the past few years the city’s Department of Transportation has been conducting a Connected Vehicle Pilot program, in conjunction with the US Department of Transportation Intelligent Transportation Systems Joint Program Office, to deploy, test and activate mobile and roadside technologies and enable multiple connected vehicle applications.

The pilot is focused on developing and deploying more than 15 safety applications to provide in-vehicle warnings to motorists behind the wheel. The pilot involves installing Vehicle to Vehicle technology in up to 8,000 vehicles, including cars, taxis, trucks, pick-up trucks and buses, as well as infrastructure as part of the Vehicle to Infrastructure (V2I) portion of the pilot throughout Midtown. This includes upgrading traffic signals with V2I technology along several bridges, highways, avenues and cross streets.


For the past decade, there have been repeated efforts to introduce congestion pricing to the Manhattan central business district. On two occasions, cordon pricing proposals, modeled on the systems in London, Stockholm and Singapore, have failed to pass in the state legislature. 

Read the full city report - New York


Score: 6.5/10  Funding of CAD8.7 million has been granted for a three-year driverless car pilot between Stockport Railway Station and Manchester Airport and a CAD4.7 million grant from Transport for Greater Manchester and 10 authorities aims to increase electric vehicle charging infrastructure.

Moreover, significant investment has been made in the traffic control systems within the city using new technology and trails of emerging data led solutions have been undertaken under the CityVerve project.

However, strategies for future uptake of these technologies and the extent of infrastructure needed are areas yet to be explored.

Read the full city report - Manchester


Score: 6.5/10   Plans for a centralized traffic management system are in development. At present, there are several apps in Copenhagen that aren’t well connected but each capture different types of data such as traffic signal failure, accidents, congestion, roadworks and sensors.

The use of autonomous vehicles has been a major area of interest. Since 2016, the Road Directorate has been testing driverless cars in and around Copenhagen and is currently piloting autonomous buses.

Read the full city report - Copenhagen

6. Melbourne

Score: 7.0/10  Transport for Victoria has a policy on connected and automated vehicles within the state and a trial is under way on the Monash Freeway-CityLink-Tullamarine Freeway corridor through a partnership between the Victorian Government and Transurban. The first phase of the trial looked at how partially automated vehicles react to the motorway environment; the second and third phases focus on vehicles with higher levels of connectivity and automation.

The City of Melbourne has no policy on electric vehicle charging infrastructure. The Civil Aviation Safety Authority has a policy in place on the use of unmanned aerial vehicles, such as drones.

Read the full city report - Melbourne


Score: 7.0/10  Future mobility transport technology is the subject of pilot studies in London, although there is no strategy yet for a widespread rollout. The Smart Mobility Living Lab is a new urban test-bed for self-driving technology in two London locations.

The potential for waterways, rail, consolidation centers and small electric vehicles (EVs), combined with web-based coordination and technology, to reduce road freight traffic is recognized, and Transport for London is actively encouraging all these avenues.

While EV numbers exceed the 1,500 charging points in London, there are ambitions for 2,000 EVs by the end of 2020, and policies for one in five spaces to provide charging, may help lift the uptake. One problem is that about 60 per cent of London residents do not have a driveway or garage, restricting them to using on-street parking for EV charging.

Read the full city report - London


Score: 8.0/10  Stockholm will be a world leader in allowing electric vehicles to recharge as they drive. The project is called eRoad Arlanda and is part of the route between Arlanda Cargo Terminal and Rosersberg logistics area. The track is primarily planned to be used by 18-ton trucks delivering goods for a postal office.

The number of electrical cars in Stockholm is increasing as well as the charging infrastructure. Several moves have been made to promote electrification, among them the Vattenfall AB inCharge initiative in collaboration with several companies to make electrical vehicles charging more publicly available. The City Council has voted to implement a ban, expected to be implemented in 2020, on certain fuels in inner-city areas to improve air quality.

The major bus distributor of public transport in Stockholm, SL, is investigating the possibility of most of their fleet becoming electric. This option could be done in 2026 when the current traffic agreement will be renegotiated.


Read the full city report - Stockholm


Score: 8.0/10   Last year, the Beijing Government began implementing a policy that requires electric vehicle charging facilities every five kilometers. The minimum ratio of charging facilities to total parking spaces is 1:4 for new office buildings, 1:5 for commercial buildings and community car parks, 1:1 for residential development, and 3:20 for other public buildings such as hospitals, schools and cultural facilities.

Beijing released its first road test license for driverless cars in March 2018.

Technology submitted a recommendation for the development and sharing of telecommunications infrastructure. It will explore innovative methods to speed up the construction and sharing of telecom infrastructure in Beijing.

Read the full city report - Beijing


Score: 9.0/10  Land Transport Authority has signed agreements with companies to develop solutions for autonomous truck platooning to transport containers from one port terminal to another, as well as issued a request for information for the development of self-driving utility vehicles for waste collection and road sweeping.

Trials for autonomous mobility-on-demand services were launched, which are envisaged to comprise of a fleet of shared self-driving shuttles or pods that commuters will be able to book through their smartphones to bring them in air-conditioned comfort from their doorstep to the train station or other neighbourhood amenities. This provides for a more comfortable option for first-and-last-mile connectivity and brings greater mobility to the elderly and other commuters who may have difficulty in taking present-day public transport.

In addition, a three-and-a-half-year project is underway to develop and trial autonomous buses with the possibility to be deployed to serve fixed and scheduled services for intra- and inter-town travel.

Read the full city report - Singapore


Score: 9.0/10  Policies and strategies surrounding connected and autonomous vehicles are set by the state and largely out of the city’s hands. A trial of an autonomous shuttle is underway at Treasure Island, an artificial island in the San Francisco Bay.

The City Fleet Zero Emission Vehicle Ordinance mandates the electrification of the city’s light duty passenger sedan fleet by 2022, and the EV Readiness Ordinance mandates all parking spaces in new construction must be made ready to support electric vehicle charging.

The citywide Electric Mobility Strategy, which is focused on electrification of private vehicles in the transport sector, will lay out a vision for reducing adverse impacts of private transport and identify pilots, programs, policies and partnerships to help create a zero-emission transport sector. This strategy is nearing completion by a subcommittee of the Electric Vehicle Working Group.


Read the full city report - San Francisco

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