Published June 12, 2024 | Version v1
Conference paper Open

Rethinking Cars for Sustainable Mobility – Shared-Autonomous Vehicles and Circularity

  • 1. ROR icon University of Applied Sciences and Arts Northwestern Switzerland
  • 2. MGT OPEN, Croatia
  • 3. ROR icon Toronto Metropolitan University


  • 1. ROR icon University of Applied Sciences and Arts Northwestern Switzerland
  • 2. ROR icon University of Pretoria


Autonomous driving cars, underpinned by advancements in artificial intelligence, sensor technology, and the enhanced communication capability of 5G, are now poised to revolutionize transportation, promising significant improvements in safety, efficiency, and accessibility. 
However, the time for such a transition towards fully autonomous vehicles (AV) should coincide  with the transition to Society 5.0, where cars are zero-emission vehicles and fully embedded into a  circular economy (CE). This requires a radical change not only for the car industry but also for the  car users, who are in the early transition from being car owners to car-users with automobiles  becoming a more sustainable public mobility service. In this paper, we conduct a literature review  about the state-of-the-art of autonomous driving and circular economy, as both cannot be  established without substantial infrastructure enhancements for vehicle-to-everything communication and for building up more sustainable business models for the circular economy.  We divide this journey into three different states where we provide a vision of new stakeholders and new business process models via the current state of its infancy, the middle state of its coexistence, and the target state of fully established Shared Autonomous Electric Vehicles (SAEV) and CE services. Given that such a radical change will undoubtedly face resistance, this transition scenario is analyzed using different aspects of power dynamics to show potential benefits and new  business opportunities for the different stakeholders involved. In the final section, we show examples of different car manufacturers and how they see their current focus on new energy  vehicles (NEV) and aspects of CE in their respective strategies. 


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