What is mobility? It’s the ability of people, goods and resources to move freely and easily. With a growing number of technological innovations, seamless mobility is easy to experience these days. One can stay connected with and traverse around the world with negligible interruptions. Today’s wireless technologies can offer transportation, communication and logistics solutions in the smoothest possible manner. As populations age, urban centers get expanded, travelling increases, and people search for newer ways to sustain transportation systems.
With digital revolution, mobility trends have got totally transformed. Mobility revolution has contributed towards the development of smart cities. Newer inventions in automobile and ancillary industries have upended the structure of cities. The new mass transit system is reshaping the world in a considerable manner. Let’s attempt to understand the future of mobility along with the likely trends that could emerge.
- Mobility-as-a-Service (MaaS): With the evolution of the Internet of Things (IoT), all traffic components such as signs, traffic lights, vehicles, signs, and more can now communicate with each other. Cars receive information in relation to parking spaces, thanks to 5G technology. Even traffic lights are able to self-regulate and auto-operate depending on the volume of traffic. The presence and the movement of pedestrians also gets scrutinized. Cities would certainly look forward to an integrated approach to reducing private car usage. The new mobility trends in relation to public transport are thus indicating the rise of this new platform – MaaS – in coming time.
- Self-driven automobile services: Self-driven automobiles such as trucks and cars are the ones in which human drivers don’t need to operate the vehicle. With driverless cars, sensors are combined and software are involved to control, navigate and also drive the vehicle. Self-driving cars use Artificial Intelligence (AI) to get around without any manual driver. Such cars can manage everything relate to mobility, right from picking up a user to taking him/her to the destination following the best available route, which frees up parking spaces, reduces traffic, and contributes towards better air quality and reduced noise pollution.
- Eco-friendly mobility with electrification: Electronic mobility is gaining momentum worldwide. Even in India, the government has sown the seed of electronic vehicles. A team has forayed into the task of designing and building a zero–emission solar electric vehicle. E-cars promote sustainable and environment-friendly mode of transportation. Such vehicles don’t use fossil fuels and thus, do not emit carbon footprints into the environment. A key factor in eco-friendly mobility is the operation of the cars through batteries, which makes travel cheap, efficient and more autonomous. Sustainable cars consume sun-light as fuel and have zero emissions, which don’t add up to global warming.
- Shared mobility initiative: It has been estimated that around 40% of a city’s traffic congestion is caused due to drivers looking for spaces to park the vehicle. Sharing vehicles is the future of mobility. Instead of each person taking out his/her own car, shared vehicles would help reduce traffic and lower emission of harmful gases. Ride-sharing would also help reduce general expenses and save a lot of time for every traveler. This initiative would also bring in benefits with respect to energy consumption and pollution. It would also help governments in meeting the low-emission economy criteria. Provision of special parking, car-pooling, and on-demand bus rides represent a big step towards building the global mobility ecosystem.
- Flexibility in commuting: By using cloud platforms and mobile applications, users can easily plan their end-to-end journeys. Passengers can book their journeys in real time and also save time with electronic ticketing. Payments can be done on the basis of the pay-as-you-go model, or monthly subscriptions. The organizations of the future are highly likely to rationalize the numbers of working hours and working days for all their employees. There might be developments such as work-from-home (WFH), compressed work weeks and flextime, that would lessen traffic jams, reduce stress for commuters and improvise air quality in general.
- Introduction of plug-in vehicles: Electric plug-in charging services will make life easier for plug-in cars. There will be a lot of nearby charging points, from where electrified vehicles can avail services and easy payment options shall be accessed.
We are on the verge of entering into a new decade. The year 2020 can well be termed as the year of new innovations for mobility, among other things. These mobility innovations would catalyze some of the noteworthy upcoming travel and transportation trends. From elimination of the driver costs to shared mobility to autonomous driving, mobility will bring a huge transformation, giving birth to holistically smart cities. With the use of apps, people will be able to search for best routes, minimize traffic congestion and look for safer payment methods. Indeed, 2020 has brought several revolutionary changes in the mobility systems.