The world is on the cusp of a major mobility transformation; in fact, we’re in the thick of it. We are looking at a not-so-far future with less personally owned vehicles and more mobility solutions consumed as a service. The transportation industry looks nothing like it did 100 years ago and yet a Jetson-like future isn’t as unimaginable as we once thought. Dockless bikes and scooters line our streets, autonomous vehicles are slated to hit highways in the next few years and electric charging stations are popping up across major cities around the world. But how did we get here?
Between 1870 and 1920, 11 million people in the US moved from rural to urban areas, and by 1920, more Americans were living in cities than the countryside for the first time in history. This massive rise in urban population led to major transportation developments, like the first mass produced automobile and the first subway system, which changed the way people got from point A to B forever. From then on, things accelerated quite quickly. The 20th century brought about major innovations like the motor driven airplane, the liquid-fueled rocket, the space shuttle and the first mass-produced electric vehicle. These major milestones influenced the rapid growth and transformation into the industry we know today that boasts over 1 billion cars on the road, millions of railways passengers, and over 100,000 flights taking off per day. Times certainly have changed.
Of course, it’s no secret that the rise of urban living combined with advances in transportation technology has had a major effect on traffic, congestion, the planet and of course, on us. With 68% of the world population expected to live in urban areas by 2050, we now have no choice but to combat the growing problems. The root of it all is people movement. Once we know where and when people are going, we can provide them with the right mobility services to get them there. Already today we are seeing a huge shift in the way mobility is consumed.
Carsharing and ridesharing have already helped relieve some of the issues plaguing urbanites. While we are still learning the impact of these newer forms of mobility, we already see great potential. More people are selling their personal vehicles and the number of passenger vehicles on American roads is expected to drop from 247 million in 2020 to 44 million in 2030.
Along with ride and carsharing, other forms of light mobility, like bike and scooter sharing programs, have been steadily growing. Today there are over 1600 bike sharing programs worldwide with 18.2M public-use bicycles available globally. These staggering numbers show the mindset of mobility consumers today and the impact of these mobility options is seen on cities, the environment and public health.
This new wave of mobility doesn’t mean traditional forms of transportation are going anywhere. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. The efficiency and capacity of public transport still can’t be matched. Public transportation is still the backbone of people movement, and large-scale efforts have been made in order for it to take part in the success of MaaS. More and more rail systems are being integrated into the whole end-to-end customer journey, promoting multi modal transport. For example, a commuter might take a shared bike to the train station and then walk to work from there. We’re standing at a crossroads; the old (traditional public transportation) meets the new (emerging forms of transportation) in order to create the future of mobility.
For this vision to truly come to life, we must give people access to the full mobility market. The HERE Mobility Marketplace aggregates all mobility services into one open place, giving consumers the freedom to choose how they want to travel. The very essence and core of mobility as a service puts people at the center. We are making a shift towards a more personal experience and MaaS gives individuals the freedom and flexibility to choose how they get from A to B and the ability to book and pay for their journey through one single platform. We are thrilled to be ushering in the mobility revolution and help seamlessly integrate MaaS into our everyday lives.