Great expectations of tomorrow's mobility
Driven by population growth and urbanization, the requirements of future forms of mobility and transportation are dramatically increasing. The desire for efficient, cost-effective and environmentally friendly solutions is driving the mobility sector.
At the same time, legislators are responding to the increase in emissions of climate-damaging gases, nitrous oxides and fine particles: In a variety of cities around the world, driving bans have already been implemented or are in the planning. What’s more, changes will also be made as to how limited urban space is used. According to a survey by the University of Cologne, every car in Germany sits unused in a parking space for an average of 23 hours per day—and public space is growing sparse. Infrastructure plays a significant role in future mobility. Urban and spatial planners, public transportation providers, politicians and communities must collaborate to find innovative solutions. A successful Energiewende and e-mobility infrastructure are further preconditions for reducing the negative ramifications of mobility on the climate and the environment—both in growing cities and rural areas. In the countryside, cars can be expected to remain the number one mode of transportation for the medium term.
The possessive and prestige-related mindset around cars is beginning to crumble.
The traffic transformation is in full swing
Many companies and startups are already making good use of the opportunities offered by the mobility transformation: Digital solutions such as Uber and apps for “mobility on demand” promise limitless mobility in cities. Competitors from outside the mobility sector, such as Google and Apple, are positioning themselves within the market for autonomous driving. Last mile solutions, such as drones and delivery robots, are pointing the way to the future of delivery traffic. The possessive and prestige-related mindset associated with cars is beginning to crumble: Car sharing has become a normal option in cities. In addition to promoting innovative modes of transportation, it’s important for the necessary charging infrastructure to be built. And besides innovative solutions, traditional means of transportation are also tending to be seen in a new light: Biking is gaining significance, with delivery bikes and e-bikes providing greater flexibility. A well-developed public bus, streetcar and railway network, both in cities and rural areas, can be a comfortable, cost-effective alternative to using a car. There is still room for improvement, however, when it comes to the connections being offered, as well as their frequency and reliability.
New business models in the automotive industry
Future road traffic will grow less dependent on oil as a natural resource. While e-engines running on electricity are one option, they’re not the only way forward—which is why new drive systems and fuels, such as e-gas, natural gas, hydrogen and fuel cells are being researched and established. Life cycle analyses can help to identify potential savings along the supply chain, in the production process and the utilization phase, as well as minimize negative effects on nature and human beings. New business models are arising from this, too. Even today, it’s becoming evident that consumers are less and less interested in the vehicle as such—with a growing demand around mobility and logistics services instead. This development is now bringing massive change to the core business of major automobile manufacturers, too, and it’s frequently resulting in collaborations that extend far beyond the traditional automotive industry.