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Table 2 Wild Card assessment—main (concise) results from the expert survey

From: Wild cards in transport

Wild Card Impact * = Low ** = Medium *** = High Breadth of effect Main Vulnerability Importance for decision makers Main weak signals
Aviation Road Rail     
1. Drastic decrease in freight transport Negative ** Mixed ** Negative ** Global All ** ** 3D Printers proliferation
Growing variety of materials used
Reorientation of shipping to raw materials
2. Energy abundance Positive *** Positive *** Positive *** Global All ** *** Low cost nuclear fusion
Increased shale gas production
Hydrogen production from seawater by solar energy
3. Cessation of economic relations between the US and the EU Negative *** Negative ** Negative ** Global Aviation ***
Road, Rail **
** Import restrictions
Strong rise of protectionism within the US
4. Mass migration of people Negative ** Negative *** Negative *** Regional Road ***
Rail **
** Growing economic inequality
Significant economic turmoil in China, India, Russia
Failure to mitigate severe climate change
5. Emergence of drones Mixed * Positive** Mixed * Global Road ** ** Ability to operate in normal airspace
Solution/regulation of security/safety issues
6. Europe-wide traffic control system Positive * Positive *** Positive ** Regional Road **
Rail **
*** Successful demonstration projects
Installation of traffic monitoring devices on all roads
Penetration of V2X capability
7. Flying cars, at last! Negative *** Positive *** Negative ** Global Aviation *** Road***
Rail **
* Breakthrough in control systems technology
Wide use of driverless vehicles
Penetration of connected vehicle technologies
8. Autonomous ground vehicles widely used Mixed * Positive *** Mixed ** National Regional Global Road *** *** First “automated driving area” declared operational
Statistic indications that human drivers are causing significantly more accidents than driverless cars
Incremental improvements in autonomous capabilities in mass-produced cars
9. Lightweight self-healing materials revolutionize vehicles Positive *** Positive *** Positive *** Global All ** * Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) buy-in
Military deployment of such materials
10. All-electric road transport based on renewable energy Positive * Positive *** Positive ** Global Road ** *** OLEV buses
More than 50 % of road vehicles are battery powered
Massive and lasting rise of oil price
11. Superfast ground transport Negative *** Mixed *** Positive *** Regional Aviation***
Road, Rail **
** Breakthroughs in superconducting materials
MAGLEV and other non-contact technologies widely accepted and cost-effective
12. Slow travel / Slow logistics Negative ** Positive *** Positive ** Local/ Regional/Global All ** ** Adoption by opinion leaders
% of commuters that use bicycles instead of private cars doubles
13. Massive abandonment of ICT-based systems Negative *** Negative *** Negative ** Global Aviation *** Road***
*** Failure to address cyber-security threats.
Demonstrated vulnerability of vehicles to cyber-attacks.
Hackers being able to penetrate NSA in the US.
14. Drastic decrease in passenger transport Negative ** Mixed ** Negative ** Global All ** ** “Peak car” evident in certain EU countries
Decrease in vehicle sales
Ubiquitous high-speed low cost Internet connection