Research - 20.11.2017 - 00:00 

The future of mobility

On the topic of transport, most people think of noise, pollution, hustle, bustle and stress. By the year 2040, both our relationship to transport and transport itself will change fundamentally. Researchers from the Centre for Aviation Competence (CFAC) of the University of St.Gallen discovered this during a project at the SBB Lab-HSG.

20 November 2017. As a result of digitisation, established forms of work and life are changing. This also has a far-reaching impact on mobility. New products and services are emerging and changing attitudes towards mobility. In future, customers will want transport to be 100% secure, punctual and predictable. The services on offer should be environmentally friendly, emission free, climate friendly and punctual. The mobility industry is becoming more dynamic and complex. Transport systems are better networked and sharing platforms promote a new relationship with transport.

More automatic, more secure, more individual, and greener
New vehicle types will be (fully) automated in future. Thus, the researchers say, transport systems must meet different requirements in future. They must use new technologies to network with their subsystems. People and machines will also connect. This minimises the "human factor", thus reducing the number traffic accidents and thus also reducing the cost of mobility. The safety of mobility – one of the most important criteria from a customer perspective – therefore increases.

New offers create new services – "mobility on demand" becomes more desirable, as the researchers explain in their study. For the customer, searching, booking and taking trips through “one-stop shops” and the flexible combination of services will become simpler.

In 2040, vehicles will seldom be used by one person alone. "Peak car use" and the loss of the importance of owning a vehicle as a status symbol will lead to a mentality of “utility rather than ownership”. The customer will become more individual and environmentally responsible.

Key motives and needs of future mobility customers
In addition, the study’s researchers list a number of key challenges for the future of mobility:

  • Safety: Vehicle safety has the highest priority for customers. They are also generally willing to pay for a higher safety standard.
  • Environmental friendliness: Customers are generally prepared to pay for environmental friendliness and low emissions.
  • Non-time-limited services: "Time for yourself" will become a new way of life.
  • Sharing services: Owning a vehicle will not (i.e. no longer) be so important in future. Customers will want more sharing services and will no longer want to be dependent on vehicle ownership.
  • Flexible travel: Today, people are irritated by poor connections, where its necessary to frequently transfer to another vehicle. The desire for multi-modal and networked services will be greater.
  • Automation: Mobility in 2040 will be more automated. Customers will want to travel punctually, on schedule, but at the same time spontaneously and without limits, and in the best case will want to know about and evaluate everything without extra organisational effort.

The study and all its findings can be found online in German.

Picture: Photocase / CL.

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