Panel Discussion A: Economics of Emerging Mobility Systems  

As information technology (IT) plays an ever-increasing role in transportation, the options for lower cost, more convenient personal mobility and more efficient goods movement are proliferating rapidly. New services continue to grow, including app-based taxi and car sharing services as well as sophisticated on-demand goods delivery. Greater disruptions will occur through connected and automated vehicle (CAV) technologies. Economic factors will determine which such systems become widespread, how they are used, the mix and scale of travel activity, and the resulting impacts on energy demand and emissions. The economics will in turn be shaped by the societal response to the new options. Which modes of transportation will be chosen in various locations? How will automated safety features already being introduced influence the trajectory of the mobility transition? How will public choices affect the way the transportation system is organized? Such factors must be weighed in order to answer key economic questions, including those regarding capital expenditure requirements, financing mechanisms, the roles of public vs. private investment, and how costs are recovered from and experienced by consumers and other system users. What will be the macroeconomic impacts, including GDP growth and job creation as well as income and geographic distributional effects? Finally, can economically efficient policies be developed for managing the energy and emissions impacts of the new mobility systems that emerge?

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