Innovation To Improve Mobility By 2035

Luxembourg’s transport infrastructure needs to grow by 2035. Instead of relocating traffic, the grand duchy is turning to technology for solutions.

Based on population forecasts, by 2035 there will be 2.8 million daily trips in Luxembourg, a 40% increase compared to 2017. 

“Obviously, we can neither channel 40% more cars through our towns nor can we accommodate them in our metropolitan areas. It is equally clear that we cannot extend the road network by 40% – not in ten years, and not in fifty years. Neither our budgetary resources nor our built and natural heritage allow for this,” the mobility ministry writes in its 2035 national mobility plan published at the end of April. 

The plan sets out goals for infrastructure improvements (such as accelerating rail travel time between Brussels and Luxembourg from 3 hours and 15 minutes to just two hours and growing the electric vehicle charging infrastructure) and new infrastructure like the high-speed tram linking startup hubs in the City with Foetz and Esch-sur-Alzette.

But, it also examines ways to make more efficient use of existing infrastructure in a multimodal way, with a little help from technology. 

Technology, it says, can play a role in a number of ways, including through data mobility, providing real-time information to travellers about public transport, traffic conditions and availability and price of parking; on demand mobility, by monitoring mobility behaviour and providing digital communication between vehicles and infrastructure, and providing online services to help users combine trips or reduce the distances covered.  

Luxembourg mobility minister François Bausch. (Photo: Josefine Stenersen)

Getting transport off the ground

In future, we may rely on the skies to solve transport problems although perhaps not in the way we might expect. Despite the fact that in 2022 the European Commission adopted a new strategy to help make drones part of daily life in Europe by 2030, the mobility minister François Bausch told Silicon that it “sees great potential in drones. However, for the time being, there is still a lack of European regulation on this topic, especially with regard to certification and licensing of those vehicles. Questions about safety and public acceptance are also of major importance.”

It also pointed out that since unmanned aerial vehicles for the movement of passengers will serve a limited number of people it does not “qualify as a solution for the passenger transport challenges that Luxembourg currently faces.”

It could be that such solutions are used for the transport of emergency cargo and passengers, by medical professionals, for instance. 


One unexpected sci-fi element that made it into the report is the vision of a hyperloop, an innovative transport mode capable of carrying cargo and passengers in capsules through depressurised tubes located underground or overground, travelling at speeds of up to 1,000 km/h. Inspired by the vacuum tube train concept which first appeared in 1799, currently, a number of companies including SpaceX and Virgin are trialling the technology. 

The national mobility plan points out there remain questions about such a project, notably the investment costs. 

It writes: “Since this is a transport mode for distances of several hundred kilometres and its technology is still at the feasibility study stage, the Hyperloop will not have a role to play in daily mobility in the Grand Duchy.”

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