COVID-19 has had a major impact on the movement of people and goods around the world. Overall, we have a unique opportunity radically to rethink how we want to provide smart mobility, but it will require brave decision-making and radical transformation.
We have identified some of the important news stories in four key areas.
Accelerating Mobility Innovation
Rapidly evolving consumer needs have exposed the need for innovation, accelerating the deployment of novel technology and business models.
The World Economic Forum reported that COVID-19 proves the need for new mobility systems to meet changing needs together with integrated mobility planning tools. These will help users and operators to test how mobility systems will cope as the current crisis evolves and to help plan our future “new mobility normal”. Read the full article here: https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2020/04/covid-19-proves-mobility-systems-require-new-solutions-to-meet-changing-needs/
Augustin Friedel shared his ‘COVID-19 Shared Mobility Action Plan’ in The Urban Mobility Daily, which describes how mobility operators have generally focussed on three main areas for improved resilience: daily operations, readjusting vehicles and pricing for new demand centres, and focusing on supporting front line heroes and high risk groups. Read the full article here: https://urbanmobilitydaily.com/the-covid-19-shared-mobility-action-plan/
Intertraffic dived into how COVID-19 will push mobility innovations, with: increased cycling resulting in cleaner air and healthier citizens; autonomous vehicles being deployed for contactless delivery of key supplies; ride-hailing adapting to support key workers; the automotive sector shifting focus on manufacturing medical devices; and micro-mobility offering an alternative to public transport. Read the full article here: https://www.intertraffic.com/news/articles/this-is-how-covid-19-pushes-mobility-innovations/
AutoFutures gave us a positive report on the opportunities for vehicle-makers, mobility service providers, tech companies and delivery services to provide products, services and inspiration during the current crisis. Read the full article here: https://www.autofutures.tv/2020/03/30/mobility-companies-deliver-services-hope-and-inspiration-during-the-covid-19-pandemic/
Adapting Vehicle Manufacturers
Automotive manufacturers have been hard hit by lockdowns and falling demand for mobility. They have been forced to shut down production or pivot to supporting the production of life-saving equipment.
Wired reported on the shutdown challenges for the auto-industry and how falling oil prices will leave the electric vehicle market particularly vulnerable. Read the full article here:
However, Boston Consulting Group explained how vehicle manufacturers will outlast COVID-19 and come out stronger, with many of the lessons learned from the 2008-2009 downturn now embedded in their operational practice. Read the full article here:
Changing Travel Habits
The dramatic, enforced shift in travel behaviour has a range of potential long-term effects – from less commuting to more private vehicle use. This is a crucial topic to understand for all future mobility offerings. How can we guide travel behaviour to bounce back in a sustainable manor?
Fast Company reported on how COVID-19 could change how we travel forever – for better or worse – with automation and surveillance at the heart of a radical transformation. Read the full article here:
In the UK, BBC News reported that public transport usage could drop by 20% beyond the end of COVID-19 lockdown measures, but a boom in working from home and active travel may help to cut transport-related emissions. Read the full article here:
Availability of Mobility Data
The pandemic has seen some major technology companies open their data assets to support lockdown intelligence and planning. Apple and Google are the 2 highest profile businesses to provide these insights here:
Access the Apple data here:
Access the Google data here: