Five trends that are most likely to define mobility post Covid-19

The evolving needs needs of individuals and businesses will fast-track digitally-enabled solutions.

As we gradually emerge from lockdown, locally and globally, it is obvious that ways in which we used spend, consume, travel and work have changed radically. The Covid-19 pandemic had a significant impact on our health and socio-economic well being, on the other hand, this has also forced us to re-look business practices and beliefs we held on to for a long time.

Despite all this, our priority remains, to make mobility as accessible, convenient, sustainable and affordable as possible. We understand that their needs are different in the face of economic uncertainty. In addition to that, fewer employees will be willing to commute on crowded roads and on public transport.

There is no doubt that we will need new tools and approaches to address consumers’mobility needs in the next few years. Here are five key trends that we believe will define the post-COVID mobility landscape in South Africa and globally:

1. Flexible, integrated and seamless
Given the current situation, it is clear that businesses and individuals will increasingly opt for shorter, convenient and more flexible contracts that offer minimal checkpoints. The pressure to develop integrated solutions for multimodal transportation (such as car, scooter, bike and public transport) to resolve first- and last-mile connections is increasing. The possibility of increased vehicle sharing is growing as this could be an important part of this mix. It however needs to guarantee high standards of hygiene.

2. User-centric service design
Digital driver licences and biomentric, digital preference profiles, facial and temperature recognition will be used to increase throughout the globe, improve security, and deliver a better user experience. Innovation will be key to developing digital interfaces that help users manage a range of mobility options (anytime and anywhere), and their overall costs.

3. Safe and sustainable
Among many other important issues to be prioritized, ensuring the health and safety of users will be a top priority across all modes of transport. Businesses, governments and mobility providers will have to make sure that their vehicles are hygienically clean for use and protect passengers from crowded environments.There will also be an increase in social pressure favoring low and zero emission mobility as a way to help improve local air quality while tackling tackle climate change.

4. Private-public partnerships
The rapid increase of multi-modal transportation hubs will drive a need for both public and private organisations to work together, tapping into each other’s pool of expertise and data. Such partnerships have the power to accelerate the development of safer, faster and more efficient multimodal solutions, including connected and autonomous vehicle innovations.

5. Artificial intelligence
The application of artificial intelligence by integrated mobility ecosystems o harness the power of data, analytics, and cloud technology can help manage congestion, reduce travel time, improve regulatory compliance and safety. This will also support traffic control while enabling dynamic policy making.

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