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.
June proved an extremely important month to the ongoing transformation of urban transportation.
The changes we have seen over the past 10 years in urban consumer transportation preferences with the ascend of on-demand mobility services should have convinced OEM executive teams that significant transformations of their business are necessary. For some OEMs transformations will imply producing vehicles that are based on sophisticated technologies, such as self-driving cars. For others it wil imply the adoption of new business models. OEMs will start offering vehicle subscriptions and mobility services directly to consumers as a result of their transformation.
In my forthcoming book Transportation Transformation I define next-generation mobility as the intelligent movement of people and goods using automated (or autonomous), connected and electrified vehicles. Next-generation mobility is still in its infancy, but I predict it will unfold in three phases.
The automotive industry has survived many swings of feast and famine using a business model that is largely unchanged in a century. The industry has made a remarkable recovery in the decade since the Great Recession, with record sales and profits over the past five years. Yet despite this success, there is broad recognition something fundamental has changed and that focusing exclusively on the current business model is unwise.