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The efficient movement of people is crucial for any society. When transportation networks function well, they drive economic development and literally bring people together. But in many parts of the world, mobility is a matter of life and death; it is dirty, unsafe and chaotic. Pollution and congestion from trucks, buses and cars are daily hazards for millions, especially in emerging countries.

Fortunately, big changes are coming to how humans move. For the first time since the mid-19th century, when the modern internal combustion engine was invented, its demise is within sight. Car manufacturers have announced plans for scores of electric models, and politicians in several European countries have put an expiry date on gasoline and diesel cars, with leaders in India and China aspiring to do the same.

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