The aim of this Delphi study is to gather expectations in relation to the future of traffic in Switzerland, as held by experts today, and to combine these to form a preview of a potential future traffic system. In the awareness that the future does not simply "happen", but is a consequence of the demands and expectations of society, as well as of political measures, this preview will show which developments could occur, and form a basis for the establishment of future traffic policy measures in Switzerland.
Around 100 experts from management, research and the private sector took part in the Delphi survey. Over 340 questions on the developments expected by the year 2020 in the areas of traffic policy, traffic development and traffic technology (both passenger and freight traffic) were put to the participants in 3 surveys.
The picture drawn by the experts of future traffic in Switzerland does not give any indication of radical changes that may be expected in comparison with today. In the year 2020, people‘s requirements for the most unrestricted mobility possible will remain unchanged, and both passenger and freight traffic – particularly the latter – will have further increased on all traffic carriers. The greatest increases are expected in air traffic.
However, in the opinion of the participants in the Delphi survey, the efforts already introduced to transfer private motorised traffic to public transport and freight traffic from road to rail, will bear fruit. In passenger transport, the proportion of bus and rail traffic will be slightly higher than that of private motor vehicles, and the proportion of rail freight traffic will be higher than road freight traffic.
With regard to the energy methods used for propulsion, electricity and hydrogen will become more important in public bus transport, and together these will provide almost a quarter of the energy requirement of this transport sector. The typical car will also have an Otto engine in the year 2020. However, the frequently demanded "3 litre car" will not yet comply with the standard. Very probably, although the average petrol consumption of a typical car will be somewhat lower than today, it will still be between 3 and 8 litre/100 km.
The experts do not entertain much hope that the effects of traffic on the environment will have reduced much by the year 2020 in comparison with today. Nevertheless, despite increasing traffic, a trend towards a decrease in traffic-conditioned noise and air pollution (excluding air traffic, where a slight increase in noise pollution is assumed) can be expected, thanks to the expected lower emission values, both of light and heavy motor vehicles. However, in the experts‘ opinion, traffic noise will continue to be a large problem. Thanks to more economical drive systems, energy consumption in the traffic system in the year 2020 will not be any greater than today, despite an increase in traffic. A further increase in land development for the traffic infrastructure is expected. All in all, it must be concluded that further efforts are needed to come closer to the goal of more environmentally friendly traffic.
There also continues to be a greater need for action with regard to road safety, although the experts assume that clear progress will be achieved by the year 2020 without further effor
Paul Widmer and Matthias Peters: Delphi-Umfrage: Zukunft des Verkehrs in der Schweiz. Zürich : Vereinigung Schweizerischer Verkehrsingenieure (SVI), 2000. 150 p.