What a journey it has been! We’ve come from land lines and fax machines to WhatsApp, Zoom and Email. And now? We live as the spinning dial in public phone booths has never existed and set our alarm via voice control as it was the most normal thing in the world. Similar changes are happening all round us, including the mobility transformation – promising to make daily life faster, smarter and greener.
As a result of a denser urban population, many cities are facing congestion and ground level pollution, driving up health costs and limiting economic development. Meanwhile, on the global scale, CO2 levels which are fed significantly by road traffic threaten our life as we know it on planet Earth.
In Addition, an environmentally aware generation of Millennials and even more demanding, digital native GenZers are now on the forefront at requesting a life that meets their expectations – who are more than willing to face decision makers and hold responsible parties accountable.
The horse-drawn carriage is obsolete for a long time now – will the car be next? What is certain is that mobility as we know it won’t be around much longer. A diverse range of modes of transport will influence the mobility transformation and thus the way we commute: from bike share to autonomous transit, as well as more traditional options like rail and walking.
Technologies therefore are, if not the powering source of this revolutionary shift. Being called the ‘Amazon of Transportation’, the Jelbi App in Berlin is utilising MaaS to integrate public and private transportation modes in one app. You can plan, book and pay within a seamless integrated mobility platform. The question „do I actually need a car“ is now being reviewed by most people more critically than ever before. What traditionally has been considered as good standard of living is questioned, opening up the possibility of change.
Cars are being transformed by electrification, connectivity and smart technologies. They will be part of the driving forces accelerating a mobility transformation. Right now, our urban life is built around the car and its well-being, instead of our’s. They get the space and with it priority in urban planning.
Recent trends, however, admittedly fuelled by covid-19, brings about a shift in focus. It is being realised that the well-being of people has been neglected and cities around the world are now trying to reverse that misjudgement. As part of the mobility transformation, Melbourne made headlines with their 20-minute-neighbourhood, in which people can reach any important facility within 20 minutes of cycling. Quite literally replacing the need for a car.
The mobility transformation is happening everywhere – unfortunately with varying speed and prioritisation. Some cities do a great job already, though. Milan for example: their main roads are now partially repurposed for bike-use only.
Initiatives like these inspire. Inspire us to catch up, and maybe, even to revolutionise ourselves and our cities to become an inspiration ourselves.
Digital Rocks developed the sensational game The Perfect Storm. An unforgettable introduction to the upcoming decade of mobility.