Innovative mobility concepts, such as car sharing schemes, have the potential to revolutionise the future of urban transport, yet they will only complement public and other transport solutions. Concepts integrating many different modes of transportation will have to be developed.
As Frost & Sullivan's two-day interactive workshop 'Urban Mobility 3.0' drew to an end yesterday evening, it became clear that there is nothing like 'the one' solution' for the future of transport in tomorrow's mega-cities. Instead it became explicit, that all stakeholders, including the government, the public sector as well as different industries, will have to work on concepts which will complement and not replace each other.
The platform for new mobility concepts will be the cities and their dwellers, as locations with a high population density require the most creative transport solutions. "Our economies depend upon people and goods moving about effectively and efficiently," stated Nick Ford from Frost & Sullivan in his opening speech.
Expectations of Customers Living in Cities Will Shape Future Transport Concepts
"Cities will serve as crucibles where the success or the failure of the planet is determined. Today, the world is more instrumented, interconnected and more intelligent," said Global Business Development Leader John Rushton from IBM. For the informed traveller of today real-time connectivity is too late. Traffic prediction systems and parking search assistance could be a first step in the right direction.
"Individual expression, flexibility and intermodal transportation best represent the changing urban mobility landscape," continued Dr. Bernhard Blättel, head of mobility at BMW AG. Key trends driving this shift are urbanisation, regulation and sustainability, connectivity, convenience, preference changes and individualization. The focus of stakeholders in the market must be on the customer, who has "to accept the ability to use the car," but does not necessarily need to own it.
Mobility versus Ownership
About 30 per cent of Zipcar's car sharing members sold their car, when they became a member of their car club scheme, was pointed out by Brett Akker from Zipcar, also founder of Streetcar, UK's biggest car sharing company. Zipcar's vision of the future is more car sharing members than car owners in major cities around the world. According to a recent analysis of Frost & Sullivan, each car in a car sharing fleet has potential to take about 15 privately owned vehicles off the road, with average cost savings of up to GBP 1500 p.a. for each scheme member, which gives a clear signal, that car sharing will play a key role in urban mobility.
Higher Adoption of Electric Vehicles Needs Better Infrastructure
"We have to change people's perception, we have to change their culture" commented Kulveer Ranger, the Mayor of London's Mobility Advisor. A key concern of consumers when considering an electric vehicle is range anxiety. The fear of running out of electric charge whilst driving, not being able to locate a charging point in time, or simply not providing enough of a range to make longer journeys are the key reasons for (pure) electric vehicles not yet applying to a mass market. "The future network will comprise a combination of safety, consumer behavior, communications, alternative charging solutions, and home energy management, supporting today's needs but being scalable to the future requirements to ensure value for money is obtained from the infrastructure," explained Phil Dingle, Power Utilities and Networks Segment Manager of Eaton's Electrical Business.
Industry Will See Emergence of 'Mobility Integrators'
Frost & Sullivan Partner and Practice Director Automotive & Transportation, Sarwant Singh concluded that cities of the future will require new mobility solutions and business models and will see advent of a new organization called the Mobility Integrator, who will integrate short, medium and long term journeys using smart technology. Mr. Singh highlighted a plethora of product and technology development opportunities for the industry ranging from developing new micro cars, Sub A segment vehicles like the Renault Twizzy, to ultra light commercial vehicles below 1 tonne and new technologies for cars like mobility platforms providing connectivity between the vehicle and infrastructure and enabling an Automotive App store.
Frost & Sullivan's 'Urban Mobility 3.0' workshop analysed challenges and opportunities the world of transport is facing today, and facilitated debates and discussions around the evolution of urbanisation, its impact on mobility and the automotive and transportation industry. The conference featured presentations and discussions with leading experts from BMW AG, car2go-Daimler, Eaton Corporation, General Motors, the Greater London Authority, IBM, OLEV, TSB-Technology Strategy Board, UN-Habitat, Advisory Board of the Amsterdam Smart City Project, Verbund Austria, and Zipcar.
Official Sponsors of 'Urban Mobility 3.0' were Design & Innovation Group, Eaton Corporation, IBM, Michelin, Siemens, and Valeo.
For more background information on the event, visit gil-global.com/urbanmobility or contact Katja Feick, Corporate Communications.
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