Digital networking, smart cities, electric cars – the world is investing more and more in the mobility of the future. Mobility, automotive, and climate neutrality demand a shift in thinking, and not only against the backdrop of climate change. ...
Digital networking, smart cities, electric cars – the world is investing more and more in the mobility of the future. Mobility, automotive, and climate neutrality demand a shift in thinking, and not only against the backdrop of climate change. In the course of digitalization, new technologies are increasingly being used to pave the way for intelligent concepts intended to improve urban life and the mobility of the future.
The mobility of the future and Automotive 4.0
A revolution is happening in the global automotive industry. Digitalization, autonomous driving, and the shift from combustion engines to electromobility and climate neutrality are upheaving every aspect of this market, which has remained relatively unchanged until now, while also presenting new opportunities at the same time. What future global players are waiting in the wings, and how are established automotive manufacturers and suppliers responding? New competitors from the IT and digital industry, who actually have had nothing to do with the sector up to now, are set to seize their share of the growing automotive market.
The developments emerging on the automotive market are constantly giving rise to new business models: data-based ecosystems and intelligent assistance systems are currently evolving at lightning speed in pursuit of the big goal of autonomous driving. Self-driving connected cars are opening up entirely new playing fields through their interfaces for communicating with the user. These new opportunities also extend to marketing activities, for example via
in-car payment, and
Cars are moving away from being regarded as private property and a status symbol and turning into devices on wheels, smart products in a networked environment.
Four mobility & automotive trends that will change our everyday life
Downtown areas have a big problem: traffic is wreaking havoc. Not only are the noise and constant traffic jams a real headache, but fine dust and nitrogen oxides are also severely polluting the air. So it’s hardly surprising that the calls for a mobility revolution and climate-neutral mobility are getting louder and louder in a bid to stop climate change in its tracks.
However, rather than demanding a complete ban on cars, the focus is on developing clever, climate-friendly solutions that take into account people’s lifestyles and needs at the same time: modern and flexible yet sustainable both in terms of the environment and resources. According to the management consulting firm McKinsey, four trends are emerging that will strongly influence our attitude to mobility in the future:
#1 Autonomous driving
Driverless driving? Some people still struggle with the idea of sitting in a self-driving car. What still seemed like a long way off a few years ago is becoming more and more of a reality, though. Automobile manufacturers such as Audi and Mercedes-Benz are already integrating vehicle autonomy in their newer models, at least to a partial extent. Assistance systems that proactively brake or keep the vehicle in its lane if the driver falls asleep are among the clever software solutions being implemented.
The majority of accidents are caused by human error and can be prevented by active vehicle intervention. Arguably the biggest problems of autonomous vehicles arise in exceptional situations where a moral or ethical decision has to be made – something that is impossible for a car. For example, no software can make the call in an unavoidable accident scenario whether to run over an old lady in order to save a child running across the road. The issue of accountability, which no longer lies with the driver in the case of autonomous vehicles, would need to be redefined.
If solutions to these important questions are developed in the future, autonomous vehicles could completely revolutionize how we move around on a day-to-day basis and become a stress-free means of transport that can also be used as a mobile living room or office.
Whether navigation systems or personal voice assistants, digital networking is already playing a major role in mobility & automotive. Digital technologies are set to go even further and transform the vehicles of the future into veritable information platforms and strengthen the communication between drivers and their vehicles.
At the same time, connectivity will play a role outside vehicles as well: contact between vehicles themselves, the infrastructure, and external services is expected to shape the mobility of the future. Cars that warn each other of hazards or restaurants close to the highway informing hungry drivers about their menu options and letting them pre-order to reduce waiting times – these are just some of the possibilities that extensive networking could bring to the future.
#3 Shared mobility
Mobility services, such as car sharing and ride hailing, that can be conveniently booked through a smartphone app are gaining ground. However, they’re still not being used enough. The problem: Many services are currently only available in large cities or wider metropolitan areas and are therefore more well-known and utilized there. In smaller towns and rural areas, having a car is still seen as a necessity for getting around. Although shared mobility could be a good solution in these areas too, it is almost impossible in the countryside to find a large group of users in a short space of time.
At the same time, shared mobility is also increasingly shifting toward electric vehicles: expanding mobility services would significantly contribute to improving the climate neutrality of downtown areas in the future.
Almost all automobile companies have focused more strongly on a comprehensive electromobility strategy in recent years, and consumer demand is also constantly growing. Greater environmental awareness is the main factor driving the switch to electric vehicles.
In addition, Germany and many other countries are subsidizing the purchase of electric cars as an incentive. Electromobility is being expanded in public transport as well: many big cities are increasingly using e-buses to keep pace with this new form of sustainable mobility and are testing electric shuttles as self-driving transport alternatives. In the medium and long term, private cars will play less and less of a role in the field of mobility & automotive in favor of a budding sharing economy.