Smart cities have several areas to pursue, but smart mobility appears to be the most encompassing one. By now, we know that mobility changes will be far-reaching because the concept aggregates infrastructure, technology, energy, automotive just to name a few industries. Mobility will also have a significant impact on the environment. We can also agree that the mobility of 2035 will be markedly different from mobility today.
Regardless of how far into the future you look, one thing remains certain: Cities will give priority to people’s gain, not cars’. Already, there are indications of solutions to problems bedeviling mobility today. We are looking into a future whereby mobility will be more efficient, safer, and diverse. In this post, we reveal several mobility trends that will hit hard soon.
1. Data Will Be Publicly Available
Future mobility solutions highly depend on open data access. Modern transport solutions and connected cars generate a large volume of data that can accelerate innovations in transport planning, traffic management, and remote diagnostics. Organizations and government agencies are slowly accepting this reality. Availing open data generates opportunities for a wide array of sectors including planning, healthcare, insurance, automotive and transport.
After Transport for London (TfL) resorted to open data, thousands of developers have already registered to access the data. Apart from prompting the formation of over 600 travel apps, the policy generates £100m for the economy annually. A good example of an app is the renowned Citymapper that is already making a positive impact in the management of arrivals, departures, routes, and trip plans, etc.
This is just one case that demonstrates an inevitable trend where data is publicly available. Because the world is yearning for civic gains from mobility data, this is the path we are heading to. Applying data that explains our mobility patterns can help unearth previously unforeseen solutions to problems. Participants will be called upon to be more willing to collaborate and support disruptive initiatives that use open data.
There is no need to be worried about the safety of this open-source data. Like in the case of London, the use of data will be closely regulated. In the UK, they use the Data Protection Act 2018 and the General Data Protection Regulation.
Government agencies, emergency and security services will be monitoring what is happening at any time and place
Government agencies and related institutions will happily play several roles in mobility development because there are benefits such as equitable access and economic growth. Whatever level of government you look at, the roles in the mobility ecosystem will revolve around operation, strategy, convening, and regulation. Already, governments play the operator role, albeit at varying capacities.
Making cities safer and more efficient are present
Safety and health consciousness have always been synonymous with concerns in the mobility ecosystem. During the COVID crisis, hygiene and health concerns have heavily impacted the choice of mobility mode. After the lockdown, trust towards shared mobility and mass transit has dwindled because of fears of infection. A level of trust may be recovered, but people will be safety conscious for a long time. Cities therefore must incorporate safety in their mobility designs.
During the lockdown, the appetite for active mobility and other healthier lifestyle practices was heightened. Between January and May 2020, there were 1.3 million electric bike sales in the UK, compared to 508,000 cars. In general, people are more inclined to use private mobility devices (PMDs) than before. We expect city planners and operators to focus on such healthy and safe mobility solutions in the future.
Decarbonization can be achieved easier thanks to mobility data
The hottest recorded year in history was 2016. This realization has made governments across the globe intensify their efforts to respond to the climate change crisis. To date, the transport sector remains one of the biggest challenges in these efforts. That’s why we believe that mobility services will be crucial for the environmental sustainability agenda.
With the majority of the transport sector’s emissions coming from passenger vehicles, any step to reducing the carbon footprint is bound to be cross-cutting. Many uncertainties and factors will come to play, considering that a place like the United States has over 250 million passenger vehicles.
The emergence of shared mobility services gives policymakers new and easier ways of combating emissions, especially from the asset-usage standpoint. Expect more reliance on mobility data by local governments to determine where the hot spots are in terms of contamination and come up with a strategy to combat it.
As these four trends show, an exciting period awaits the world of mobility. Innovations regularly transform an industry, so the ones defining mobility are expected to generate extensive disruptions. Without a doubt, mobility needs to change, but it is bound to be a challenging process for cities. The economic demands that are linked with mobility transformation are high, so now could be the ideal time for stakeholders to join hands.
Future of mobility will arrive faster if the main players, especially transport authorities, play their enabling role. Equally essential in this journey are public transport operators (PTO) and managed service providers (MSPs), who must reinvent for more resilience and relevance.