Digitalization of Transport - Potentials and Risks for the Environment and Climate

Problem Statement

Digitalization gains increasing access into everyday life and the working environment. Also the mobility and transport sector is about to experience radical changes. New vehicle technologies turn cars into robots on wheels with infotainment programs on board. At the same time, the corresponding infrastructure has to be enhanced. Digitalization enables e.g. for car-to-car and car-to-infrastructure communication. This technology has the potential for intelligent transport systems, that operate safer and more efficiently than cars with human drivers.


In the context of this technological development, the project aims at identifying negative and positive environmental effects of potential trajectories of this technological development.


The method used in this project integrates effects both on the transport demand and the transport facilities. In the work package Connected and Automated Driving we evaluate the effects of intelligent transport systems and technology for automated driving in freight and passenger traffic. In the second work package Digitalization of Consumption and Production we analyze the environmental effects of the growing online business compared to stationary sales and the potential for optimizing logistics in production and procurement. The Institute for Transport Studies models and projects the effects on traffic flow through future vehicle technology and automated and connected driving. We use the transport model PTV Validate, that covers the entire German main road network, for analyzing the change of road capacities.