During the automotive industry’s current boom phase OEMs are announcing big, multi-year investments in new vehicle platforms that combine electrification with increasing driving automation. Because under new mobility data and loyalty will become central forms of value, OEMs must also consider deploying the loyalty-enhancing data-driven services these platforms enable. The services they introduce and the business models they use to monetize them will determine whether they become like Apple, AT&T or Foxconn in the customer relationships they develop.
One of the main theses developed in Transportation Transformation is that, though still young, the app-based on-demand mobility services companies will need to transform before they can fully capture the opportunity afforded by new urban mobility. The book presents the decisions such companies must make and a framework that prescribes specific transformations consistent with these decisions. For some, the transformation has already begun. But will these decisions and transformations be equally applicable to legacy on-demand transportation companies and help them compete more effectively against their app-based disruptors?
Several megatrends will necessitate the transformation of urban mobility from one that is centered around the privately owned vehicle to one that is offered as a service, combines multiple modalities, and promotes sharing. The pandemic forced many of us to work from home and have goods delivered there, in the process causing us to rethink our mobility needs and practices in the context of urban travel. Work-related mobility deserves important consideration because about 30% of daily urban trips pre-pandemic were related to commuting. Many of the practices that will emerge from this rethinking will have their roots to the changes we made during the pandemic and could lead to a new normal for urban mobility.
It is hard, and not advisable, to make long-term decisions in the midst of the pandemic. But as certain mobility practices that are adopted during this period become part of our daily routines it is absolutely important to assess the potential of enduring after the pandemic. With that in mind, we may have the unique opportunity to hit the reset button and transform urban mobility.
Cities, and more broadly metropolitan areas, are the laboratories where many next-generation mobility concepts and technologies are being tested, and where the transformation of transportation will first become evident.