Mobility of the future
The mobility of the future is defined by more than autonomous vehicles which move with the help of an electric drive. Those who want to provide answers to the mobility of the future must first offer solutions to two essential questions:
1) What requires people to be mobile today?
2) How can new technology better solve those requirements in the future?
Motivation for mobility is rarely just the “joy of driving”, but it can be divided into three categories.
1. Socialising, communication and organisation
People commute to the office, meet with friends, drive to visit their family, or take care of formalities with the authorities. For all those meetings, travel time is accepted, although the actual location of the meeting plays a minor role. So far, video telephony hasn’t replaced a personal meeting, but in the future travel time will be saved by digital teleportation. Microsoft offers a great sneak peek of a possible future scenario.
Anyone who still wants to travel by car, but does not want to be alone, can virtually take family and friends along. Here’s a suggestion from Valeo with the Voyage XR concept.
2. Shopping and exchange of things
In Germany alone, goods are ordered at a value of more than 50 billion via the Internet each year. And every order that is delivered home saves the customer travel time. So far, this service still fails too often due to long delivery times and closed front doors. Such problems will be solved and driving to the local market will be the exception in the future.
Faster delivery times can be for example be achieved with drones.
Additionally, autonomous robots are being tested, which will cover the expensive last few meters of delivery.
It is also imaginable that parts of the range of goods will drive as autonomous shops right in front of the customer’s door. This saves the way to the supermarket and simplifies online shopping.
But not all things will be delivered by drones, robots or autonomous supermarkets in the future. The classic delivery service will still exist, but in a smarter way.
3. Multisensory environmental experience and physical tasks
The first two points make clear that the dependency on own vehicles will decrease and needs will be served differently. Nevertheless, people will continue to change locations and will find a wide range of mobility services. They will increasingly combine transportation options to get to their destinations quicker, more comfortable and cheaper. The ownership of vehicles will decrease, because all services are offered to the user via smartphone. Mainly the service through an app can be monetized and not the sale of a vehicle itself. However, users don’t want countless apps from different providers, but one app with access to all mobility solutions. Companies like Google have the best starting position since they already provide several transportation options within their maps service. But public transport companies are catching up and are also offering ride sharing, car sharing, bike sharing and eScooter sharing services as well as taxis through a single app.
The potential for relieving the infrastructure of cities through autonomous vehicles and intelligent mobility services is gigantic. Traffic jams will dissolve and in Munich for example, approximately 5.3 square kilometers of parking space could be better used. At the moment, urban mobility is still very ineffective and frustrating.
In the future, the combination of various means of transport will not only be offered as a digital service, it will also be reflected in the actual product itself. For instance, Airbus and Audi are combining the advantages of an eVTOL with an autonomous vehicle in their concept Pop.Up Next. Mercedes Van, on the other hand, is creating a platform for transporting people and goods.
The new technologies pose significant risks to established businesses, but at the same time, creativity and reflective, holistic thinking can mitigate those risks and provide answers to a number of challenges ahead. The businesses who end up on top will be those who offer good products with even better services. The products themselves must work and are therefore the hygiene factor. However, the motivation to constantly use a product will be determined by the user experience of the provided service.