Photo courtesy of AltCar Expo

Photo courtesy of AltCar Expo

The transportation system is broken, with carpool use down and transit use low. The solution to cheap mobility in the future lies in the combination of electrification, automation, and vehicle pooling, according to Daniel Sperling, director of the Institute for Transportation Studies and professor at the University of California, Davis. Sperling kicked off the AltCar Expo’s fifth annual conference in Oakland, Calif., on March 21 with a lecture on the future of transportation.

The AltCar Expo brought together public- and private-sector fleet managers, sustainability experts, and legislative staff to discuss electrification, funding, and sustainable transportation.

“I’m excited to learn the opportunities and what the future looks like for us in California since the public is very demanding of a green government,” said attendee Jose Gallardo, fleet manager for the City of Concord, Calif.

Representatives from federal, state, and local legislative and non-profit organizations discussed the progress toward sustainable fleets and available funding. A panel of electric vehicle providers and end users provided information about a shared autonomous shuttle pilot project, new electric charging methods that are faster than a quick charge, and how autonomous vehicles will reduce fleet sizes. The event ended with an update on hydrogen-powered vehicles, their utilizations, and charging stations.

The conference, now in its fifth year in Northern California, is presented by the East Bay Clean Cities and San Francisco Clean Cities.

“Alternative technology products and infrastructure have come a long way in five years,” said Christine Dzilvelis, one of the event organizers. “It’s less and less if it’s happening, and more and more how it’s happening, and addressing the new programs, new opportunities, and new challenges."