Brits give their vision of the future of transport (And there are still no flying cars)

In advance of Car Free Day, which takes place this Friday, bike subscription service Swapfiets asked 2,000 Brits to predict how transport in our cities will evolve over the coming years.

They were asked which city they thought would be the first to go car-free and, importantly, how they thought it would look.

Copenhagen 2050

Perhaps surprisingly, or perhaps because of the recent ULEZ expansion kerfuffle, London was seen as the city most likely to achieve World-first, car-free status. The public envisaged Amsterdam, Tokyo, Copenhagen and Beijing being the next in line.

Following the results of the survey, an AI artist was commissioned to create images of what London and other European cities could look like in just over 25 year’s time.

In terms of alternate mobility to the car, more than half (55%) of those questioned think that bikes and e-bikes are most likely to replace cars, whilst 23% think scooters will become dominant. 12% tended towards segways and 10% showed some imagination by suggesting that travelators and hover boards may finally have their day in the sun.

This city of the future would have a positive impact on the environment, massively decreasing CO2 emissions. In fact, if all 2.6 million registered cars in London were swapped for a bikes, 1.5 million tonnes of CO2 could be avoided each year (based on the average yearly distance people do per year on a bike – 2,500km). 

Paris 2050

Amanda Gandolpho, Swapfiets Brand Director, said: ‘We want to make it easy for anyone to hop on a bike. We believe that’s the best thing people can do everyday for themselves, their cities and the planet. Cycling is freeing, fun and you’d be surprised by how fast you can move through the city on an e-bike.

‘We hope that the pictures inspire people to visualise how more liveable cities will look once they are less congested, with cleaner air, and healthier people and the shift to cycling is a big contributor to that.

‘Swapfiets bikes are even more sustainable (up to 35% less CO2 emissions) than regular bikes due to our circular business model. We invite people to use a bike and all its benefits without the need to buy/own more things.’

When asked how they think future cities will look, Brits think will be much more liveable. They predict more green spaces and trees (41%), more cycling and pedestrianised zones (40%) and lots more street dining (24%). 

AI artists were asked to visualise what some of Europe’s most prominent cities could look like if they went car-less by 2050, including London, Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Paris and Berlin.

Dan Sodergren, Tech Futurist, said: ‘Like many, I dream of a future less dependent on automobiles. This societal shift promises not only to better our environment but also to redefine our urban spaces—think walkable pedestrian zones, extensive cycling paths, and an influx of green spaces to aid in the battle against climate change.

‘While the road to this idyllic future might be challenging, the rewards promise to be bountiful. Armed with technology, we must resiliently undertake this transformative journey starting as soon as possible. We needn’t aim for a world entirely without cars, but one significantly leaner on them, and we owe it to the next generations to make this happen.

‘This crucial journey must begin now—before it’s irreversibly too late.’




Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Help us break the news – share your information, opinion or analysis
Back to top