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Ontdek Brainport

Ondernemen & Innoveren

Leren & Werken

Partnership Brainport Eindhoven & PSV

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Background of 'Last Generation of private car owner Challenge'

The dependency of travelers on private cars is driven by a number of factors. These facts may help you understand the challenges we're taking on.

Why are people chosing private cars over other more sustainable alteratives?

  • Life events: typically the transition to a new phase in life creates specific mobility challenges, combining work and private obligations. Life events disrupt behavioral patterns like e.g. the daily commute and prompt people to reconsider and potentially alter their behaviour and resources, including the number of cars owned.
  • City planning: most cities are designed around private car ownership. Shops and other essential facilities are typically reachable by car and designed around car ownership in terms of distance and access.
  • Lack of infrastructure: as the private cars are dominant, most investments and costs go towards that car-based system e.g. parking, road capacity and maintenance. There is only a fraction of those funds made available to bicycle, public transport or pedestrian infrastructure.
  • Poor value propositions from alternatives: most alternatives are inferior in terms of e.g. flexibility, ease of use, travel time and options. In many cases the alternative is not viable to meet the mobility need, e.g. remote living-, work- and shop locations etc.
  • Network effect: the current car dominance creates a network effect due to the sheer scale and dominance of private cars. Every car added increases the need for more infrastructure.
  • Underutilization: cars transport on average 1,4 persons and are parked 95% of the time. Transporting an average human of 70kg’s using 2000kg of plastics, steel and other resources.
  • Habit, ease of use and culture: there is a dominant frame that privately owned cars make you independent. Young people starting their work life typically have a mobility challenge right at the very moment of finding their first job. The default solution now is to buy a car. There seems to be a lock-in mechanism that makes it challenging to change people’s preferred mode of transport. The opportunity is that young people have not yet developed the mindset of dependency, habit and necessity for cars.
  • Unlike the younger generation, the incumbent car owners struggle with perceived risk, feeling of loss of freedom, status and other factors which make it difficult to convince these incumbent car owners to change their ways. They are missing most of the alternatives in their choice set. Partially, because they have never tried but also for an important part because of habit and culture.
  • No direct feedback loop for owners of the externalized costs related to e.g. environmental impact, traffic accidents and fatalities, traffic congestion, wasted time, air pollution, quality of life and health impact which are born by society.

The last generation of private car owner challenge wants to address these problems and invites proposals that help accelerate the realisation of a last generation of private car owners.