10 January, 2021

Mobility of the future: Euphoria will give way to disillusionment sooner or later

Against the backdrop of technological developments, we can dream of a supposedly better future for mobility. However, if we consider the "big picture" and ask ourselves where scarcity could prevail in the future, euphoria quickly gives way to disillusionment. This article presents a chain of arguments that lead to a very cautious assessment of the future of mobility.

A large number of studies paint a picture of the future of mobility, which is characterized by a greater diversity of mobility tools (available means of transport and forms of access, e.g. a car or a general subscription), high proportions of sharing business models (increasingly fewer mobility tools are owned by those who use them; e.g. mobility car sharing) and a networking of different modes of transport, with MaaS (mobility as a service) as the ultimate business model. Many players in this happening therefore dream of being at least an intermediary with their own platform and thus quasi "asset-light" at the center of future mobility and transport systems and their networks. And the manufacturers of various mobility tools (namely the carmakers) are counting on being able to compensate for future slumps in sales with the aforementioned "sharing" offerings. Automated driving also offers productivity potential, since humans are no longer needed to operate these vehicles. Last but not least, the owners of transport infrastructures assume that these infrastructures can be operated even more productively in the future. So we are all on our way to a promising mobility future.

Really? Below I allow myself to make a few reflections that shake this ideal image.