Global coalition releases policy framework to enable data sharing for sustainable mobility

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09 March, 2021




Geneva, 9 March – The World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), the International Road Federation (IRF) and the Sustainable Mobility for All Initiative (SuM4All) today launched a new report that highlights the importance of policy guidance for data sharing between public and private sector stakeholders in the transportation sector.  The report, Sustainable Mobility: Policy Making for Data Sharing, which was released as part of the new Global Roadmap of Action Toward Sustainable Mobility (GRA) series, outlines a comprehensive policy framework with actionable guidance for policymakers to support the adoption of data sharing to achieve sustainable urban mobility.

The demand for mobility will grow significantly in the coming years, but our urban transportation systems are at their limits. The increasing digitalization of mobility presents an opportunity to respond to this challenge and accelerate the transition toward sustainable urban mobility. Governments and businesses alike are using mobility data for innovative purposes. Many disruptive mobility businesses, including those modeled on the shared economy, telematics and autonomous driving capabilities, are all built on the backbone of static and dynamic data collection and processing abilities. Similarly, governments use data to understand and monitor transportation systems and plan infrastructure to meet future needs. While raw data alone is not enough, data sharing can help generate actionable insights, which are necessary to achieve sustainable mobility goals, generate economic value and improve transportation experiences.  

“Sharing of data across multiple sources is essential for decarbonizing our transportation systems and making mobility safer, more efficient and accessible. Policy making for data sharing will help create harmonized, secure, privacy-centric and ethical data-sharing ecosystems,” said Thomas Deloison, Director, Mobility, WBCSD.

An analysis of practices around the world shows that there is an urgent need for greater policy coherence in data-sharing ecosystems and governments need to adopt a harmonized and collaborative approach toward policymaking for data sharing. “This report addresses the existing policy gap around mobility data sharing,” said Susanna Zammataro, Director General, IRF. “A sound global policy framework is vital to harness technological advances and to avoid siloed approaches that could hamper rather than support the development of a mobility that is sustainable for all.”

“For SuM4All, data and evidence are essential to diagnose mobility issues and prioritize policy action. Until recently, much of the conversation on transport has been driven by anecdotes or ad hoc assessments. With the vast amount of data newly generated by the private sector, the right policy framework in place to enable data sharing between public and private actors, and artificial intelligence to process that information, we can now bring a higher level of objectivity and precision in diagnosing issues in countries and guiding policy choices” said Dr. Nancy Vandycke, Program ManagerSuM4All.

The policy framework presented in the report is built on exemplary practices from existing policies and data-sharing initiatives. It embodies the principles presented in the foundational WBCSD report Enabling data-sharing: Emerging principles for transforming urban mobility. The framework offers 33 policy suggestions that can be tailored and adapted by policymakers to suit their local mobility system and priority use cases. Ten global case studies annexed to the report illustrate how the policy framework can be applied practically and how the policy suggestions complement each other regardless of economic development level.

As part of the next plan of action, WBCSD and IRF, in collaboration with the SuM4All initiative, will be working on a series of demonstration projects on data-sharing applications in different geographies. Leaders in governments and the private sector are invited to support this effort and collaborate on these demonstration projects to scale data sharing for sustainable mobility globally.

For more information, please contact Julia Mitic.