Building a Better Los Angeles: 2020 Mobility Lab

How can public space be used better in a metropolis like Los Angeles? What incentives should be created to further increase the adoption of electric vehicles in communities in California? And how can we further improve and ease mobility by better coordinating public transportation services and the availability of on-demand mobility? City administrations, researchers, companies and citizens cannot answer questions like these on their own. They must advise and act together so that urban decision-makers can set the right course in good time.

This past January, the BMW Group Mobility Lab in Los Angeles, California brought together approximately one-hundred scientists, visionaries and decision-makers to discuss how to make the ‘city of angels’ more agile, sustainable and livable, as well as, exchange ideas in an all-day “thinking and discussion laboratory” about the future urban mobility. 

“Until now, traffic routes have mostly been designed for cars, but they should above all be available to people,” explains Lisa Errion Saums, Vice President of Government and External Affairs for the Americas Region at the BMW Group. “Mobility and quality of life in urban areas must not be a contradiction in terms. We want to find solutions for this,” said Saums at the beginning of the event. She emphasized: “The BMW Group is committed to sustainability and wants to play a leading role in this.” 

The Mobility Lab featured four workshops that dealt with different approaches to public transportation, electromobility, the scarce commodity of urban space and urban autonomous driving, and discussed, to what extent, the gap between private vehicle traffic and local public transportation can be closed by car-sharing approaches or (app-driven) shared rides. 

Other topics included: how to implement efficiently – and in a socially equitable manner – a road pricing system in Los Angeles, how increasing digitalization can better interlink transportation options and services, and how the search for parking spaces could be organized much more intelligently.

Overall, participants were convinced that more accessible mobility options can impact urban development positively and can help reach social, economic, and environmental targets. However, the complex system of different offerings and operators require the commitment and willingness to adapt of all involved. 

At the BMW Group we are truly inspired by the drive and innovative power of the stakeholder community in LA and aim to contribute transportation expertise and technologies to collectively help build an (even) better Los Angeles.

Download the 2020 Mobility Lab presentation here.

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