Trends analysis on future mobility from the business perspective: electric, connected, autonomous vehicles and the mobility as a service phenomenon

Publication Type:

Conference Paper

Source:

Gerpisa colloquium, Paris (2020)

Abstract:

PURPOSE
The evolution of mobility has favored increasing the efficiency of the media, with its subsequent economic and time saving effect. Mobility becomes a catalyst for the economic development due to this capacity to influence economic and social development, and its capacity to transform the structural development of their area of influence. Therefore, the mobility is evolving and the trends analysis has gained importance. A proper study of trends on innovation and users’ behavior patterns will allow an adaptation of the infrastructures, public services, regulations and creation of new business.
This research delves into the mobility trends and reflects on a series of research lines that affects mobility. It focuses on social trends, new business and new technology related to the changes of mobility. Especially, the change in users’ adoption of goods towards asking for a service becomes a core transformation to be considered. In order to provide a background of the effects, a series of different trends will be analyzed, paying a particular attention to:
• Autonomous vehicles and their interconnection.
• The changes of psycho-social character of society related to mobility: mobility as a service.
• Sustainability as a mobility motorization shift key.

METHODOLOGY
Aiming at supporting, contrasting and demonstrating in a broader way future mobility trends and their effects, a group of multi-disciplinar panel of experts was identified. Although the origin of the experts is European, the questions raised have global characteristics as the industry is. The experts were selected based on academic criteria and industrial experience. All of them have great experience in the mobility industry. Due to those experiences, experts can be considered as an "elite" within the population, and therefore their vision is more representative when considering future mobility trends. At the same time, the selection of experts followed a non-probabilistic method, particularly judgmental selection to ensure that they had no relationship with each other, and that they were under different social situations.
In total 13 interviews with experts were performed. The interviews were conducted between November 2019 and March 2020. They took place in two different ways, some were conducted in person and others by telephone. With an average duration of 45 minutes (ranging from 30 minutes to 1 h and a quarter), they were recorded and transcribed verbatim for a later detailed analysis. Below we quote the questions that were conducted to guide the interviews with the experts
• The influences on governments and citizens to favor or restrict certain types of mobility.
• The relationship between indicated influences and OEM mobility companies.
• The effect of the connectivity of things to mobility.
• The autonomous vehicles and the replacing of drivers.
• The relationship between fight against climate change and mobility trends.
• The future of the motorization and the mobility within 10, 15 and 20 years.
Finally, the data obtained were analyzed qualitatively under the technique of content analysis following the Mayring (2014) suggestions. Particularly, our research has analyzed different groups separately to observe common patterns and different perspectives. Subsequently, the combination of results provide a broad view of the trends and their chances of success based on the different actors. Particularly, the multi-Level Perspective (MLP) is used as a framework to debate and compare different socio-psychological behaviors and technical aspects in the mobility evolution. The applied methodology has allowed us to examine how mobility changes are in constant innovation, following social patterns.

FINDINGS AND IMPLICATIONS
Regarding the trend of servilization, in certain niches of the population, the vehicle lacks the sense of identity and freedom. For them, it has become a tool go from one place to another. Simultaneously the change of ownership towards the use of mobility as a service, has reduced associated changes on living habits due the higher mobility as a service (MaaS) offerings. Consequently, the trend detected in a population niche will be extended to the general population to the extent that the mobility services advantages in cities, but it could be incomplete due to the lack of geographical and economical range to extend its impact. Thus, the impact will be unequal in high dense populated areas and those with less agglomeration of people.
The autonomous vehicles (AVs) have the capacity to facilitate mobility to traditionally dependent population such as children and the elderly. It will allow to perform simultaneously tasks during the trip, diluting the wasting of resources (time and money) associated with transport. Due to the great advantages offered by AVs, there is a great commercial and industrial interest to allow its use on a large scale if the legal and ethical queries are solved and governments unify the criteria in the process of adapting the law of new technologies.
Regarding the advances related to electric motorization, electric vehicles (EVs) are becoming more affordable and better performance but despite the progress achieved, the short range due to battery life causes misgivings for widespread use. Users show greater concern for the time required and the availability, location, pricing of battery recharging points, being even more important for them than battery range. At the same time there is a clear concern about the lack preparation of the electrical infrastructure and economic viability for the total implementation of the EVs that suggests that the solution is a combination of EVs and other motor systems, such us biofuels or hydrogen vehicles. A variety of possible solutions offered brings uncertainty to society and possible clients.

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