Just a short walk through downtown Beijing can quickly show that mobility patterns differ from those in Mumbai or Berlin. Even within a country, big differences may exist. The efficient public-transit system in one urban population may be an anomaly in a rural area just a few hours away.

To capture such differences, we explored future mobility trends in four countries that will account for more than 70 percent of global GDP and 50 percent of passenger miles traveled (PMT) by 2035: China, Germany, India, and the United States. For these countries, we have created five illustrative scenarios to depict how certain consumers might use mobility.1 (There are two scenario studies for the United States to illustrate regional variations).

We also developed models to predict broader mobility changes in some general categories, such as tier-one cities in China. For each category, we determined how the modal mix—the PMT by each mobility option—might shift based on the current commitments to curbing emissions that cities and countries have made. It is important to note that these commitments are ambitious, and some initiatives may fall short of their goals. We also considered the impact of technological advances and consumer willingness to change.