Planning for the future
Moving forward, the underlying drivers of mobility services will still hold true—the need to move comfortably and safely from point A to point B, changing customer expectations that services are available on-demand, readily accessible to use rather than privately owned. Equally important is the need for more livable spaces in urban areas.
As a result of COVID-related shutdowns, many cities experienced substantial short-term improvements in traffic safety as well as noise and air pollution levels. Subsequently, many governments could adopt regulations that favor mobility services as public support for environmental protection and low-emission mobility infrastructure accelerates. Having demonstrated their power to radically change public life, regulators might be encouraged to seize this moment of newfound public support to solve the issues around congestion and air quality that many cities face.
Due to low labor costs, demand responsive transport and ride hailing will continue to grow in cities, aided by additional security measures to ensure drivers’ and customers’ safety. In fact, ride hailing and other services may bounce back quite rapidly in China as the coronavirus’s spread was geographically contained. The US, where financing privately owned vehicles is already widespread, could likely to become the leading market for subscription-based ownership as more customers seek the convenience of single-occupancy mobility without the commitment of ownership.
By working together, market players can usher in a new age of mobility—one that is not only profitable, but also benefits citizens, cities, and automotive and mobility companies alike.