By 2050, many of the proposed changes of our vision 2030 will already be surpassed by even more fundamental advancements in the mobility sector. If the current pace of progress is kept until we reach 2050, we will not only see alternative propulsion systems for traditional means of transport but we will experience the establishment of new and exciting modes of transportation. Autonomous cars, passenger drones and hyperloop might only be a taste of what is to come in 2050.
- Urban Passenger Transportation in 2050
- Long-distance transportation of Passengers in 2050
- Cargo Transport by 2050
Urban Passenger Transportation in 2050
By 2050, city centers are likely to become increasingly car-free. Studies show that up to 40% of inner-city traffic is caused by drivers searching for a parking space.  This means that almost half the traffic in cities could be eliminated by offering adequate parking outside of the city centers, with regular transit to major transportation hubs. 
Besides political measures, technological advancements will favor urban car mobility. By 2050, the vast majority of passenger cars will be electric, reducing emissions significantly. Also, the increasing dominance of autonomous vehicles and smart infrastructure will optimize the flow of traffic and lead to a 20% reduction in congestion. All of this frees up 20-30% of traffic space that can be transferred into green spaces for leisure activities. In consequence, the air quality in urban areas- and thus people's overall well-being is projected to improve subsequently. 
Banning passenger cars from city-centers further leads to the question of the usage of car sharing models in urban areas. Will these vehicles also be banned from city centers? Will consumers refrain from owning cars due to political constraints? If so, will there be a shift to extensive usage of car-sharing services?
A major profiteer from the above-mentioned developments may well be public transport. Besides these nature factors, advancements like extensive electrification, autonomous driving and platooning software will drive innovation. Alongside this, nurture factors such as network density, travel time and out-of-vehicle time will be further improved by 2050. Accompanying this, the first- and last-mile problem is likely to further be resolved, not only by micro mobility, but by new concepts such as shared autonomous shuttles.  Ongoing high growth rates of urban public transport usage can thus be expected. 
Generally, the predominant geography and characteristics of cities, such as the density, size and technological capability will determine the future city development. As these attributes create different mobility needs, the transformation of mobility will lead to a transformation of the overall environment. This means that mobility solutions have to be developed in and for areas with specific characteristics. The European Union poses an optimal ground for such focused developments: the economic area incorporates all kinds of environments with specific mobility requirements. Thus, mobility solutions can and should be developed and tested locally to then be implemented on a larger scale - in areas with similar profiles. 
Considering a further decreasing importance of own cars in urban areas, intermodal coordination will become crucial. Solutions comprising all modes of transportation are likely to be available in one integrated mobile app, which will be linked to mobile payment services and calendars. Thus, passengers can receive notifications on their phones suggesting the best transportation options in accordance with one’s individual schedule, including a one-click option to purchase. 
At the center of aerial mobility by 2050 we will see the transportation of goods (more on this further below) and people by autonomous drones. The United Nations estimate that by 2050, 68% of the global population will live in cities - with 84% this share is even higher for Europe. 
A development like this would leave cities in desperate need of a set of different modes of mobility to saturate the all time high numbers of citizens on the move. And after the necessary infrastructure to enable VTOL in urban settings has been considered in city planning and urban development, passenger drones will be a viable alternative to taxis and public transportation. On top of the respective infrastructure, the major challenge that UAM developments face is increasing consumers’ confidence in passenger drones as a means of mobility, which requires close cooperation between manufacturers and regulators and could be achieved by organizing public demonstrations and transparency of on-board processes. But with acceptance levels of air taxis rising from generation to generation, the future is looking bright for UAM and the commercial availability of passenger drones especially. 
Long-distance Passenger Transport in 2050
As mentioned earlier, by 2050, 84% of Europeans will be urban residents. To connect this share of people with each other and to avoid leaving the decreasing rural population behind, intercity means of mobility rise in importance. 
The launch of truly autonomous driving poses a great opportunity for privately owned passenger cars as a mode for intercity transportation. The meaning of cars might be transformed, from single-purpose devices to multi-purpose platforms serving numerous different functions instead of being a pure means of transportation and status symbol, so called ‘third places’. 
Passengers will be able to productively use their commuting and travel time in general with transportation vehicles being turned into working or entertainment spaces. This value added to commuting time can have a macroeconomic impact of approximately 890 million Euros per day. The increasing autonomy and progressing employment of Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) will also continuously decrease the number of (fatal) traffic accidents. 
Overall, the progressing automation of cars will have far-reaching consequences for people's lives. Mobility will be more inclusive with individual mobility solutions becoming approximately 40% cheaper and being accessible to approximately 90% of the population, including elderly, disabled people and minors. The inclusion of marginalized groups has the potential to create more equality within society with people being equally able to reach educational institutions, work places, doctors, etc. 
The single challenge for own cars in this context is potentially decreasing levels of car ownership in urban areas, due to political regulations and incentives, which affect chosen intercity mobility modes as well. 
Cars will thus also have their place as part of shared mobility business models. Although being a niche market for intercity transportation, vehicle on demand services might come in handy due to the shrinking levels of car ownership that create a need for flexible, comfortable intercity transportation. And while consumers' willingness to own a car should not be underestimated, urbanization is likely to yield a decreasing need for own cars, especially when it comes to inhabitants of large cities.
The third option of making use of the road for intercity travel are intercity buses. The state of this mode of transportation will highly depend on the status of the car in 2050. Most likely, buses will remain a low budget segment only, due to the previously discussed downsides of intercity bus transportation. This could only change if competing modes become less attractive or lose relevance otherwise for the broad customer base. In this regard, an opportunity for an increase in usage of intercity buses might be decreasing levels of car ownership. But for those with access to a car, advancements of passenger cars by 2050 will make intercity buses obsolete. Arguments like onboard entertainment or productivity and environmental friendliness of buses will no longer be valid with autonomous, electric cars.
In regard to the future of the European rail network, the European Union has developed a vision of 2050. They plan to double cargo rail traffic and to have established a fully functional multimodal Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T). This network is supposed to enable sustainable, smart passenger and freight transportation at high speeds. While the core network consisting of the most important European connections is planned to be operational in 2030, the comprehensive network spanning over all European regions is to be completed by 2050. 
The intensified inner-European efforts on developing the mobility of the future will have far-reaching consequences for the economic area: the member states will be even more closely connected than before, with common European laws and regulations defining the mobility industry of the future. 
With more time passing, it is possible that in some areas, hyperloops will prevail. This development particularly likely for Asian regions with multiple mega-cities situated in close proximity to each other. High-speed rail is already one of the dominating modes of transportation in Asia, and Asian citizens are known to be especially accepting of new technological developments. However, due to the massive investments, infrastructural requirements and current uncertainties linked to hyperloops, this mode of transportation will not fulfill the expectations of its fondest proponents.
Last but not least, by 2050, the way we see aerial mobility is likely to be profoundly changed. Long-distance aircrafts remain strong providers of mobility while simultaneously relying on more sustainable propulsion systems compared to today. BCG even goes as far as to expect self-piloting planes by the year 2050. But the most central part of aerial mobility will be played by unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), in passenger as well as cargo transport (more on the state of drones in 2050 below). 
On a further remark, it can be stated that mobility in 2050 might also have large implications for other areas of life. The transformation of production and development processes is likely to influence the education system over time. OEMs as well as the automotive and transportation industry as a whole will remain important economic entities who have a strong interest in educating their future workforce. Hence the largest players are expected to establish co-operations with schools and universities to nurture the expertise and talent they need, mainly in the fields of software and electrical engineering, advanced data analytics, artificial intelligence and the likes to remain competitive in the future. 
The harmonization of European mobility systems will also facilitate moving people and goods between member countries. 
Combined with the emergence of more flexible working models, this will increase the migration of Europeans between EU-member states.
Over time, some hyperloop tracks will prevail in specific parts of the world. The development is expected to progress most in Asian areas with multiple mega-cities in close proximity to each other. The employment of hyperloops will further increase the internationalization of our society and economy and have a direct impact on people’s lives: they will have access to a far greater pool of education, healthcare, housing, jobs, etc. While it will turn out that the technology is indeed applicable for passenger transport, it will not be accessible to a significant share of the population due to the high building and operating costs. The tube systems will furthermore be increasingly used for individual goods transportation. However, the big promises made by some proponents of the technology will turn out to be false. The technology will not be as energy-efficient, the costs of building and maintaining the needed infrastructure will turn out to be a lot higher and regulatory support will not be as beneficial as expected. , , , 
Cargo Transport in 2050
By 2050, the landscape of cargo transport will also be heavily affected by changes in the mobility sector. In all areas of the sector, significant advances of underlying technologies, applied processes and the way goods are transported in general will be inevitable and therefore propel the industry forward.
Pure battery powertrains will become even more efficient in terms of charging speed, distance per charge, and weight to power ratio, and thus more popular for the commercial vehicle sector. They will dominate within- and between-city transport, perhaps even over medium-distance transport, given the necessary lightweight batteries as well as extensive charging infrastructure. This shift in society will undoubtedly come hand in hand with the automobile industry, thus easing the transitions and widening the use cases for battery-powered vehicles. LNG will have overtaken Diesel for heavy duty CVs and long distance transport, once the technology has caught up with necessary safety levels for transporting and storing the LNG, as well as price stability. However, at this point in time, it is entirely possible that hydrogen fuel cell technology has progressed so much in terms of safety, price stability and cost efficiency that it is fully able to rival LNG. This entails widespread changes in production of engines capable of handling hydrogen fuel as well as well integrated infrastructure to support this shift in technologies. Thus, it is likely that on-the-road carbon emissions by CVs are greatly reduced through the use of hydrogen fuel cell and battery cell technologies in most CV use cases.
Since it is predicted that around 13% of intercity transportation in Europe will be fully autonomous, it can be said that by 2050 an exponential growth in fully autonomous CVs can be achieved due to greater experience and diminishing costs. At this point, autonomous driving technology might very well work within cities, however, because within-city transport is typically the delivery of goods, human drivers will still be needed to handle them and to also navigate more complex traffic/parking situations. Even if costs may still be high, TCO in general will be reduced because the greatest cost for CV fleets — labor — will also be greatly reduced as the necessity for drivers diminishes. Therefore, the typical transport journey of a good may look like a variation of the following situation: through electrical coupling (platooning), multiple driverless CV units are able to travel the majority of long distances together on highways, thus saving costs, increasing efficiency and creating more safety on the roads. Once a unit has reached its exit from the highway, it will uncouple from the rest of the platoon and continue towards the desired city, likely unmanned or unassisted. There, either a driver will board the CV unit (during a quick-charge break) for oversight or to take over complex situations, or the greater CV unit is unloaded into multiple smaller, light duty CV units and thus reduces the delivery time for each individual item in the load.
The European Union plans to double cargo rail traffic while establishing a fully functional multimodal Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T). This network is supposed to enable sustainable, smart freight transportation at high speeds through the entire European Union.  The intensified inner-European efforts on developing the mobility of the future will have far-reaching consequences for the economic area: the member states will be even more closely connected than before, with common European laws and regulations defining the mobility industry of the future. 
Looking at aerial cargo transportation, by 2050, hardware of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) will make up approximately half of the entire civil UAV market, which is already estimated to have a global volume of 5.5 billion USD in 2019. Cargo drones might not only solve the problem of losing money by the minute due to congestion problems in inner-city traffic, but offer novel use cases as well: By 2050, intralogistics in factories are likely to be supported by the employment of drones, last and first mile delivery will be mainly provided by cargo UAVs and medical supplies can be quickly delivered to the required destination, like hospitals or pharmacies, without delay. 
As mentioned in the vision for 2030, there are already initiatives in place to have zero emission deep-sea vessels commercially available by 2030.  This effort is supported by other initiatives that estimate 2050 to be the point in time for having the whole shipping sector decarbonized by. On this long-term scale, especially hydrogen as an alternative, zero emission fuel is currently expected to yield significant improvements. By equipping new ships with cryogenic tanks to store the gas, this alternative to current fuels could be the future of cargo ships, tankers and other deep-sea vessels. 
And as the type of cargo to carry will change due to changed circumstances in sourcing, demand and production, ships could very well operate on different types of fuels carried on board.  Furthermore, although experts doubt autonomous and crewless vessels to be fully functional by 2050, partially manned autonomous vessels seem very likely. 
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