Smart mobility saves many millions of tons of CO2, study says

Smart mobility saves many millions of tons of CO2, study says

Feature articles |
By Christoph Hammerschmidt

In 2030, up to 25 million tonnes of CO2 can be saved in Germany alone if the use of digital technologies is accelerated. This is shown by the Bitkom study “Climate Effects of Digitalisation”, which examined the savings potential of digital technologies in the area of mobility, among others. “Digital measures can make an immense contribution to the transport turnaround and climate protection,” says Bitkom President Achim Berg. “In the area of mobility, we can greatly reduce our carbon footprint by investing not only in asphalt and concrete, but also in bits and bytes. This is the only way we can achieve the 2030 climate targets.”

In mobility alone, Germany can achieve 7% of the total planned CO2 savings by 2030 with accelerated digitalisation. According to the Bitkom study, intelligent traffic control has the greatest leverage and can save up to 13 million tonnes of CO2 emissions in Germany. In other industrialised countries, the savings potential is likely to be similarly high.

Intelligent traffic control includes technologies such as GPS systems and IoT sensors that record traffic and environmental data and combine them on a platform in real time. This enables efficient routing that is adapted to the current traffic situation. This not only makes individual journeys faster and safer, but also reduces congestion and stop-and-go traffic. This ensures less traffic congestion at busy locations and at the same time increases the service life of the vehicles used. Furthermore, digital real-time information, digital tickets or free WLAN can significantly increase the attractiveness of public transport.

In logistics, up to 8 million tonnes of CO2 can be saved – especially through intelligent technologies that plan, control and distribute flows of goods more efficiently. These include IoT sensors, big data, digitalised warehouses or comprehensive traffic management platforms. This allows logistics companies to automatically assign drivers based on factors such as proximity to location, driving skills or truck type. In addition, delivery routes can be designed more efficiently based on real-time data and traffic analyses. This leads to shorter routes, less traffic and fewer delays.

Connected individual transport can also provide more efficient and resource-saving mobility – and save up to 4 million tonnes of CO2. In so-called sharing mobility, vehicles are made available by private, public and commercial providers as a flexible means of transport. This includes car sharing, where a vehicle is used by different people, and ride sharing, where several passengers with similar destinations share a vehicle. This leads to improved transport connections, reduces traffic congestion and optimises vehicle maintenance.

The study “Climate Effects of Digitalisation” examines the CO2 savings potential of various digital technologies in seven different areas: Manufacturing, Mobility, Energy, Buildings, Work and Business, Agriculture and Health. It supports the path towards the 2030 climate goal and can be downloaded here (in German).

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