Which trends are driving mobility issues, how does the corona pandemic affect our mobility behavior, and where does mobility meet other megatrends such as urbanization, connectivity and health?
Author: Dr. Stefan Carsten
Mobility Report 2021: The corona crisis is having a profound and long-term impact on mobile society, both in high-density urban areas and in rural areas. The protective measures under the sign of the crisis, such as contact blocking, home office and schooling, have in some cases radically slowed down the pace of urban life. During the first wave of the pandemic, streets were empty and many of the mobility practices that had defined everyday life were questioned.
“The corona crisis hits the mobility sector and is realigning the entire industry. A new era of mobility begins: the Corona Mobility Shift. ”- Dr. Stefan Carsten
The Mobility Report 2021 focuses on the current dynamics of the mobility megatrend: Which trends are driving forces, how does the corona pandemic influence our mobility behavior, and in which developments and topics does mobility meet other megatrends such as urbanization, connectivity and health?
Mobility Trends 2021
In the weeks of the lockdown, the blue sky became the leitmotif of political, economic and social actions - because for many, many years the air has not been as clean and healthy. It is a strange and depressing experience that for decades, we have tolerated living in a world that makes us sick. Do we want to allow these circumstances to recur after the pandemic ends? This question provides the framework for the trends and topics that the Mobility Report 2021 is targeting.
1. Road Diet - More road space for people
Road Diet marks the departure from the model of the automotive city and the return to urban quality of life for the benefit of all: Cities are converting car-centered streets and parking lots into public spaces for mobility. Where the street and parking space for cars is being reduced, bike paths and sidewalks are being expanded and prioritized with public transport. This trend has been greatly accelerated by the corona pandemic.
2. Mobility Seeker - The new game with mobility
Mobility is developing from movement in space to a mobile experience. Mobility Seekers perfect this new game of mobility by navigating flexibly, on the go and situationally pragmatic through the cities of the world. They are young, urban and free from mobile conventions. They do not need their own car, but they do not shy away from automobility either, but instead make use of the almost unlimited possibilities that are available to them. And the cities are reacting - with new offers and new spaces. The corona crisis only affects Mobility Seekers to a limited extent, because they are flexible and open to all mobility alternatives that are offered to them.
3. All-Inclusive Mobility - mobility from a single source
Commuters and business travelers want mobility from a single source, and mobility providers are starting to tailor their offers accordingly. In the context of all-inclusive mobility, mobility products - such as cars, bicycles or public transport - take a back seat to mobility services and join a seamless mobility chain. The bundling of the offers works not only digitally via an app, but also in the physical space. The goal: to pick people up exactly where their mobility begins and ends.
4. Delivery bots - logistics by robots
The delivery of goods and groceries on the last mile has been put in a new light by the corona crisis. The new health and hygiene requirements are accelerating a trend that will revolutionize the entire logistics chain: In the future, delivery bots will populate our streets and sidewalks in order to deliver parcel deliveries not only highly efficiently, but also extremely hygienically. The trend is fundamentally changing shopping and retail - the customary interpersonal contact during delivery will no longer exist in the future.
Corona Mobility Shift - The beginning of a new mobility era
The corona crisis is having a profound and long-term impact on mobile society, both in high-density urban areas and in rural areas. The protective measures under the sign of the crisis - contact blocks, home office and schooling as well as legal frameworks that have to be constantly monitored and updated - have in some cases radically slowed down the pace of urban life. During the first wave of the pandemic, streets were swept empty and many of the mobility practices that had previously defined everyday life were called into question. The pandemic is hitting the mobility sector - and is realigning the entire industry.
Main topics Mobility Report 2021
1. Autonomous Cities
Autonomous mobility is becoming a reality - slowly but surely. Cars have ever more extensive autonomous capabilities, and infrastructures are increasingly being given digital functions. Mobility services and local public transport are also benefiting from the new technical realities that can get by without human drivers. What may be welcome in the age of social distancing also harbors social explosives, because in the future the drivers of buses, taxis or ride-hailing offers will be one thing above all else: test subjects for the driverless transport of the future.
2. Healthy Mobility
For many people, the corona crisis revealed for the first time the existential importance of being able to move around - and what a world with little traffic and clean air could look like. From this perspective, our previous reality appears downright absurd: dirty air, traffic jams and restricted mobility. The crisis therefore also opens up a great opportunity: the design of new, healthier and future-proof mobility.
Source: Zukunftsinstitut from the trend study Mobility Report 2021