Four Trends Reshaping Transportation

5 months ago

This page is an educational resource meant to provoke innovative thinking and discussion. External links in no way represent the views or opinions of TransLink.

Future city concept image
Urban Mobility: Credit "Bosch"

Learn about four trends reshaping transportation here. As you read this page, consider how new technology could transform how you move around the region. What are the benefits and consequences of these new technologies and ways of getting around?

Will these technologies affect your transportation priorities? Do you have any ideas about how we could incorporate them into the region’s transportation system?

Transportation technology is evolving rapidly, bringing new opportunities and challenges, and changing how we move. Many believe the future of transportation will be:


Advances in computing and sensors are increasingly putting robots in the driver’s seat. Automated vehicles are already being tested in cities around the world. And large companies – from Google to GM – are banking on a future of self-driving vehicles.

In just two decades, most passenger vehicles sold in North America could be capable of self-driving.

Learn more:

  1. How Will Self-Driving Cars Change the World | Crazy/Genius Podcasts, The Atlantic, Sep 2018
  2. The Future of Autonomous Vehicles | Robin Chase, Jul 2016
  3. 8 Bright Ideas for Driverless Cities | CityLab, May 2017
  4. The complete timeline to self-driving cars | Recode, May 2016


From our thermostats to our watches, it seems like all our devices are going online. In just a few years, vehicles of all types will be able to communicate with each other, potentially increasing safety and convenience.

By 2025, it is expected that all new road vehicles will be capable of communicating in some way.

Learn more:

  1. Saving lives by letting cars talk to each other | The Conversation, Sep 2016
  2. Rise of the robocar: are connected cars safer, or a target for hackers? | The Guardian, Aug 2017
  3. Why Talking Cars Will Be Good for Buses | CityLab, Jan 2013
  4. The Smart Way to Build Smart Cities | Forbes Magazine, April 2018


When the CEO of Shell started driving an electric car, even electric vehicle skeptics did a double-take. Cheaper to operate, with smaller carbon footprints – electric vehicles are going mainstream. That goes for bikes, cars, trucks, and buses.

By law, all new vehicles sold by 2040 in British Columbia must have zero tailpipe emissions – meaning that electric cars will soon be the norm.

Learn more:

  1. BC Introduces Law to Require Cars, Trucks Sold by 2040 to be Zero Emission | CBC News, April 2018
  2. How cities will lead the electric transport revolution | World Economic Forum, Nov 2018
  3. Electric cars may stall without a battery revolution | The Guardian, Jul 2017
  4. How China Took Charge of the Electric Bus Revolution | CityLab, May 2018


Why own when you can rent? To get around, people are increasingly choosing to move around using shared transportation services — instead of personal cars. Shared scooters, bikes, and cars are starting to become common in many cities around the world.

Worth over $1 billion per year, Canada’s sharing economy is on the rise. And shared transportation a big piece of the pie.

Now that you’ve read about some new trends reshaping transportation, help us create Transport 2050. Take our survey or share your ideas for the future of transportation!

Learn more:

  1. Electric Scooters Aren’t a Transportation Revolution Yet | CityLab, Apr 2019
  2. ‘Uber Was Supposed To Be Our Public Transit’ | CityLab, Apr 2019
  3. Netflix-Of-Transportation App Reduces Car Use And Boosts Bike And Bus Use, Finds MaaS Data Crunch | Forbes, Mar 2019
  4. Public Transport at the Heart of the Integrated urban Mobility Solution | UITP Policy Brief, April 2016
Categories: background, rts