“What if we go from one person per car to multiple ways of transportation, shared and with zero emissions?” This was the challenge launched by Giovanna d’Esposito, General Director of Uber Southern Europe, who presented statistics that revealed the urgent need to act in order to achieve carbon neutrality. For example in the US, 80% of the population uses a private vehicle, and in most cases with just one passenger per car. Uber defends that it is possible to maintain everyone’s mobility with only 3% of current cars.
“This was a problem of the western world that now became a global issue” stated Giovanna d’Esposito. The way cities were organized promoted the use of individual cars and parking lots. The problem, she pointed out, is that “more parking creates more traffic and studies reveal that by creating parking lots, the landscape changes and it becomes more difficult to walk, thus there is further use of cars”. To reach those 3%, Uber bets in several fronts.
First, Giovanna d’Esposito explained how the company defends a more sustainable mean of transportation. At Uber, for every professional driver there are 25 active users. Also, in some cities the company has already launched Uber Pool. The system allows more than one person to travel in the same car with another user if their routes match.
Another bet was Uber Green, that entered Lisbon and Porto in March 2016 with 100% electric cars. “Portugal is in the forefront of innovation”, referred. “There are studies that suggest that share mobility will take most of electric vehicles”. This type of vehicles can be more expensive in their production phase, but cheaper in maintenance, underlined d’Esposito. Besides electric cars, Uber also launched Jump, with shared bicycles and scooters being another mobility option. Giovanna d’Esposito explained how the introduction of these options reduced the use of private cars. But in order for the reduction to increase, it’s necessary to build partnerships with cities and local governments. The company will be present in 65 countries now. “Here in Portugal we managed to build a good partnership”.
With that same idea of contributing for mobility’s efficiency, the movement.uber.com platform was created. It’s a tool that by aggregating data from cities, allow the company to anticipate traffic flux, being possible to check historic data, so that we can better understand how mobility is being dealt in different places. Giovanna d’Esposito ended her intervention by underlining that what motivates Uber is “going from completely polluted cities to cities with a better quality of life”.