Jul 15, 2014
The level of automobility, defined as travel in personal vehicles, varies quite substantially between countries even at similar levels of economic development. Researchers sought to determine the factors besides economic development that affect automobility, their influence on automobility, and what would happen to automobility in developing countries if they progress along similar paths as developed countries.
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The level of automobility, defined as travel in personal vehicles, is often seen as a function of income: The higher a country's per capita income, the greater the amount of driving. However, levels of automobility vary quite substantially between countries even at similar levels of economic development. This suggests that countries follow different mobility paths. The research detailed in this report sought to answer three questions: What are the factors besides economic development that affect automobility? What is their influence on automobility? What will happen to automobility in developing countries if they progress along similar paths as developed countries? To answer these questions, the authors developed a methodology to identify these factors, model their impact on developed countries, and forecast automobility (as defined by per capita vehicle-kilometers traveled [VKT]) in four developing countries. This methodology draws on quantitative analysis of historical automobility development in four country case studies (the United States, Australia, Germany, and Japan) that represent very different levels of per capita automobility, in combination with data derived from an expert-based qualitative approach. The authors used the latter to assess how these experiences may affect the future of automobility in the BRIC countries: Brazil, Russia, India, and China. According to this analysis, automobility levels in the four BRIC countries will fall between those of the United States (which has the highest per capita VKT level of the four case studies) and Japan (which has the lowest). Brazil is forecasted to have the highest per capita VKT and India the lowest.
Evolutionary Paths of Mobility
Historical Mobility Development in Four OECD Countries
Comparison of Factors Among the Four OECD Countries
Future Mobility Paths of Brazil, Russia, India, and China
Country Travel Demand Experts
Factor Fact Sheets and Flag-Game Results
Estimating the Parameters for a Gompertz Model of Vehicle-Kilometers Traveled Per Capita