Project Aim

Vehicle electrification, automation, and shared mobility are three revolutions that will transform transportation over the coming decades, and the first two are inevitable (Sperling & Brown, 2018). The overarching objective of this project is to assess the impacts on energy transition of advanced transportation technologies (ATTs) underpinning these revolutions, and to evaluate strategies for their innovation and use. This project focuses on the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) and leading countries in ATTs (e.g., United States, China).

The major market-pull forces for these revolutions include global low-greenhouse gases transition, energy security (e.g., electrifying vehicles in China as a strategy to reduce oil import), the safety and economic benefits of vehicle automation, and improving urban livability through shared mobility (e.g., shared vehicle trips, public transports). They are pushed forward by breakthroughs in key enabling technologies (e.g., battery, sensor, artificial intelligence, and communication). These revolutions will have enormous impacts on the world including, for instance, reducing the global energy use and associated CO2emissions of urban passenger transportation by 70% and 80%, respectively (Fulton, Mason, & Meroux, 2017).

Their implications to KSA are complex. Personal mobility in KSA powered by low-or zero-carbon electricity will reduce domestic oil consumption and hence free more for export. It will also mitigate GHG emissions and hence alleviate international pressure. When these revolutions significantly reduce oil demands and prices in the world, however, there will be very different implications: some benefits can vanish, some consequences intensify. They pose great challenges to KSA as a leading oil producer and exporter.

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