As we gradually emerge from lockdown, it is clear that the ways in which we used to work, consume and travel have radically changed. The current crisis has deeply impacted our health and economic well being, but is also forcing us to re-examine long-held beliefs and practices.
For our customers and drivers, mobility must continue to be as accessible, safe, sustainable, convenient and affordable as possible. But their needs will also be different in the face of economic uncertainty and the possibility of further lockdowns. Furthermore, fewer employees will be willing to commute on crowded roads or on public transport.
Undoubtedly, new tools and approaches will be needed to address society’s mobility needs in the years ahead. Here are five key trends that will define the post-COVID mobility landscape:
1. Flexible, seamless and integrated
Businesses and drivers will increasingly favor shorter and more flexible contracts or mobility subscription programs that offer minimal stoppages or checkpoints. Pressure will grow for the development of integrated services via digital hubs for multimodal transportation (car, scooter, bike and public transport) to resolve first- and last-mile connections. Vehicle sharing could be an important part of this mix, but must be able to guarantee high standards of hygiene.
2. Users come first
Digital preference profiles, digital driver licences and biometric, facial and temperature recognition will be used to increase throughput, improve security, and deliver a better user experience. Innovation will be key to developing digital interfaces that help users manage a range of mobility options (anytime and anywhere), and their overall costs.
3. Safe and sustainable
Ensuring the health and safety of users will be a top priority across all forms of transport. Employers, governments and mobility providers will take firm steps to protect passengers from crowded environments and make sure vehicles are hygienically safe. Social pressure favoring low and zero emission mobility to help improve local air quality and tackle climate change will also increase.
4. Artificial intelligence
Integrated mobility ecosystems can apply artificial intelligence (AI) to harness the power of data, analytics, and cloud technology. These will help reduce travel time, manage congestion, improve safety and regulatory compliance, support traffic control and enable dynamic policy making.
5. Private-public partnerships
The rise of multimodal transportation hubs will drive a need for private and public organisations to tap into each other’s expertise and data. Public-private coalitions will accelerate the development of safer and more efficient multimodal solutions, as well as autonomous and connected vehicle innovations.