RMI Mobility Transformation Program
Winter 2015 • USA
The Rocky Mountain Institute, which has spent years developing prototypes for more efficient vehicles, is now working on the development of an all-new mobility paradigm for cities that will integrate emerging transportation options. These will include electric vehicles powered by renewable energy, rideshare services, more effective traffic management, and more energy efficient public transportation.
RMI estimates the indirect societal cost of our individually owned, car-centric approach to mobility, which includes pollution, lost productivity while sitting in traffic, land use for roads and parking lots, and traffic accidents, to be more than $1 trillion a year. An integrated, more energy efficient mobility system that embraces emerging technologies and broader societal trends could drastically reduce the individual cost of transportation, and reduce adverse environmental and social impacts.
While a few cities have embraced facets of the emerging paradigm, the key elements of tomorrow’s mobility system have yet to come together in a single metro area. RMI will work with one metropolitan region, selected from hundreds of potential candidates, to prototype a system that can then be scaled to cities around the world through a global engagement platform.
RMI will work with the pilot city to set an aggressive goal to reduce petroleum fueled vehicle miles traveled, followed by the development of an intregrated travel data platform for users. They will also address regulatory barriers, and promote electrification of vehicles based on energy storage of renewables.
Blackstone Ranch Institute provided the initial grant for the initiative, which RMI will use to attract other funders as they build the program.