The Third Mobility Revolution
According to the United Nations (UN DESA), more than half of the world’s population lives in urban areas today, and this is expected to increase to 68% by 2050. This increase of urbanisation is causing a significant growth of urban mobility, leading to an increase in traffic and pollution that translates into environmental and health problems. Therefore, the evolution towards a more efficient and cleaner mobility model is one of the primary challenges that society overall has to face, directly impacting the transport sector and cities’ infrastructures.
Some trends such as vehicle electrification, automation and the car-sharing market, are promising in reshaping the mobility landscape. The first innovation offers the possibility of introducing zero local emission vehicles, while providing a greater global emission reduction potential when combined with renewable electricity generation. Secondly, self-driven vehicles can provide a safer, more comfortable and efficient way of travelling. Finally, shared transport modalities have great potential for solving congestion and parking availability problems, especially in highly densified urban areas. Similar to the internal combustion engine revolution, a new paradigm for mobility is appearing in scenarios where different modes of transport combine into a single interconnected platform – shared, autonomous and electric vehicles (SAEVs) or Mobility as a Service (MaaS) being two examples.
With the introduction of these new mobility forms, the 21% of carbon emissions which is nowadays attributed to the transport sector, could be significantly reduced; increasing the air quality of cities and reducing global warming potential. Furthermore, it would increase the vehicle’s utilisation rate and improve efficient use of resources. An example would be freeing considerable amounts of parking spaces, which are nowadays occupied by vehicles that remain unused 96% of their lifetime and can be used for better purposes.
The various technologies that will enable these new mobility scenarios are almost ready. Taking into account that EVs are already on our roads, our cars have high levels of automation and car sharing platforms with several thousands of users in major cities worldwide. The question becomes: how will these trends impact citizens, transport infrastructures and industries, and how do we prepare for these changes?
That’s why Bax & Company is involved in several projects around new mobility concepts. For example, developing predictive tools to help understand and simulate how and when those trends will have an impact on the different markets, with aims to estimate the increment of car-sharing adoption and its consequent impact on light vehicle sales in the world’s main economies. Using this tool, we are able to simulate different scenarios that help city councils understand the necessary changes in city planning and policy frameworks, in order to accommodate and benefit from the new mobility revolution.