The term “mobility” is helping societies reconsider how they define and apply modes of transportation. The developed world is experiencing an increasing trend toward the use of electric cars, scooters, and bikes on the road, as well as an increasing number of mobility-sharing programs. Mobility and sustainability are thriving with innovation and opening a new horizon to alternative transport solutions. Here are five ways how ...
#1 Transportation Is Undergoing Significant Changes
Conventional, petrol-driven transportation is undergoing some of the most significant changes, as automotive manufacturers around the world are eliminating the production of polluting vehicles and replacing them with electric ones.
Companies like Ford Motor are already anticipating the changes. The company announced in May 2019 it is laying off 7,000 workers worldwide, or 10 percent of its global workforce. Forbes Magazine reported that “The reorganization is part of a broader strategy to prepare for a future with autonomous vehicle technology, electrification, and unconventional ownership models.”
Volvo is also aggressively entering the electric vehicle market with its innovative hybrid- and battery-powered electric vehicles. The company intends its environmentally friendly vehicles to replace petrol-only cars.
However, it is not just electrification that is changing the automotive world. The illustration below demonstrates the amount and nature of investment of automotive companies in different mobility technologies. It is also worth noting that investments between 2014 and 2018 have been seven times higher in these areas than between 2010 and 2013.
#2 E-Bikes Are Becoming More Popular
Electric bikes or E-bikes are a convenient substitute for vehicles and public transportation, are a convenient solution for commuters, and ease the burden of parking and pollution in big cities. Brands such as Xiaomi, Razor, EcoReco, and Swagtron are all developing and improving electric scooters to serve the increasing demand. Even auto- and truck-maker General Motors is building its own model of an electric bike.
It is not just individual scooters and bikes growing in popularity. With the help of IoT technology, bike and scooter sharing is on the rise. Services such as Lime, Mobike, and even Uber with its Jump bike services are aiming to take a slice of this new popular market. While it is a lucrative opportunity, pilot programs are showing significant problems with this mobility solution: increased traffic congestion, danger to pedestrians and car drivers, and users abandoning bikes in inconvenient and sometimes hazardous locations. Without proper regulation, some cities may halt the spread of this service.
#3 Mobility, Sustainability and Inclusion
Revisioning mobility has opened up the development of technology solutions for the elderly and the disabled. For instance, through the Mass Mobility Project, designers around the world are meeting the challenge of providing the indigent the means to stay active and engaged despite their physical disabilities. The challenge invites innovators to create technology designs to power motion and activity.
#4 The European Mobility Week
The European Commission is actively promoting European Mobility Week as an event that aims to introduce smart mobility solutions onto streets. The event serves to raise awareness about the importance of sustainability in transportation. The upcoming 2019 European Mobility Week will be held in September with the goal to encourage innovation and decarbonisation of vehicles all over the world. The creators of this event have already reached over 2,000 cities around the world and have launched initiatives throughout Europe. Their main objective is to eliminate diesel cars in urban environments by the year 2050, as well as to achieve a balance of zero emissions in major cities.
#5 Increasing Adoption of Electric Buses
Public transportation — though energy-efficient in per capita terms — is still a great source of pollution. So cities throughout the world have begun adopting electric buses. According to sustainable-bus.com, Europe had around 2,600 electric buses in use at the end of 2017. Even though China is currently using the majority of the world’s electric buses, the rest of the world is catching up quickly.
For example, The Netherlands is already using fully electric buses. The batteries can be charged within 20-minutes at charge points located throughout Dutch cities.
#6 Over the Horizon of Mobility and Sustainability
The day when petrol- and diesel-fueled vehicles as relics of the past is approaching hopefully within the next 20 years. However, mobility is not just changing our means of transportation, but how ownership is viewed:: e-bikes and car sharing services are accessible through a simple app on a mobile device within minutes.
Thanks to projects such as the European Mobility Week and Mass Mobility, people are becoming aware of environmental, energy, and mobility issues around them. Grass-roots efforts, local government regulation, and technology innovation are just now coming together to make towns, cities, and even the countryside cleaner and more accessible by all. The transportation tide is turning.
Ride the Wave.
By InnoEnergy CommUnity