Various factors, directly and indirectly, influence mobility industry trends. The last couple of years included multiple ruptures in individuals’ lives, including the COVID-19 pandemic and the increasingly negative impact of global warming on the environment. As with any other industry, economic, societal, and environmental changes have affected the mobility industry. And while these changes are not always easily noticeable, they leave a permanent trace on the mobility industry and its development. Here are the 15 most impactful mobility trends for 2024.
In recent years, the terms “big data” and “smart city” have rapidly gained popularity, encouraging people to search on Google for their definitions and impacts. When implemented in the mobility industry, the two concepts provide opportunities and challenges, opening doors to innovations and new trends.
The smart city concept refers to optimizing city functions, improving life quality, and encouraging economic development through smart technologies and data processing. In smart cities, sensors and connected devices collect data to reduce traffic, improve the accessibility of public transport, and optimize services. The mixture of structured, semi-structured, and unstructured data deriving from different sources is called big data. Big data innovations play a central role within the smart city establishing control over the chaos of unsystematized information.
As more smart cities emerge, the demand for innovations within the mobility industry has increased. Smart cities require innovative solutions to transportation issues and weaknesses.
The future secures more autonomy and automatization for the mobility industry, despite setbacks in 2019, where predictions for progress in AV technology had to be adjusted. The idea of autonomous driving, particularly in urban areas, remains compelling. Additionally, an increase in the production of more environmentally friendly and smart vehicles is expected. Car manufacturers will focus more on producing vehicles that offer both convenience and experience. The vision for the future of transportation includes more personalized mobility.
Not surprisingly, the future holds even more electrification. As the customers’ demand for electric cars increases and the regulations become even more strict, expanding the production of electric cars should not come as a shock.
The year has just marked its start; however, particular trends have already gained popularity within the mobility industry, causing ruptures and offering new opportunities for innovation to startups and young companies. We hunted some of them down, and here we outline 15 of the most promising mobility industry trends for 2024.
With the increasing demand for reducing carbon emissions and fuel consumption, automobile manufacturers are considering alternatives. A response to the fuel demand is turbocharging, a method that boosts an internal combustion engine's performance and effectiveness by supplying it with compressed air, thereby increasing its power output.
What places turbocharging within the mobility trends of 2023 is its ability to enhance the speed and improve the performance of engines without causing damage.
The demand for engine downsizing to reduce vehicle weight, meet government regulations, and increase fuel efficiency directly influence the market's growth. Allied Market Research reported that the international turbochargers market is projected to reach $24.23 billion by 2027, with a compound annual growth rate of 5.3% between 2020 and 2027.
The COVID-19 pandemic damaged the micromobility industry, causing a considerable decline in ridership and revenue. ast year, despite the increase in ridership, the micromobility industry encountered significant obstacles due to economic issues. But 2023 could be the resurgent year for the field. More governments now acknowledge the importance of micromobility in the shift towards a more sustainable energy future. The Biden administration recently released a plan to reduce transportation carbon emissions, which indicates a recognition of the crucial role of investing in micromobility as a key policy.
The demand for e-bikes, the lightweight and faster version of bicycles, has grown rapidly. The market is projected to expand at a CAGR of 13.5% from 2022 to 2030, eventually reaching a value of USD 52.37 billion by the year 2030. The near future seems promising for the industry. Convenience and environmental friendliness are two core characteristics of the industry.
A user-friendly service known as mobility-as-a-service (MaaS) has been gaining popularity recently within the transportation industry. In fact, the global MaaS market is forecasted to grow by $456.64 billion in the period from 2023 to 2027.
MaaS is centered around a digital platform that provides comprehensive travel planning, booking, ticketing, and payment services for all types of transportation, whether public or private. This represents a significant departure from current urban transportation models.
Mobility as a service is a step closer to a user-centered mobility industry. MaaS platforms enable users to plan and book a trip through a single app, including the payment process. “How to reach point B from point A most quickly and efficiently?” will be the leading question that these apps will answer. Further, cities now have the chance to design comprehensive urban mobility systems instead of separately managing each mode of transportation.
Autonomous driving technology is a rapidly growing trend in the mobility industry, aiming to create safer roads by reducing human errors through AI algorithms and advanced driver assistance systems. In recent years, remarkable improvement has been accomplished within the sensors, cameras, and vehicle-to-everything communication, leading to advancements in autonomous driving capabilities and reliability.
Autonomous driving is categorized into levels 0 to 5, with levels one and two providing only driver assistance. Level three autonomous driving, which includes the driver taking control over the wheel upon request, is currently being produced, and level four is anticipated to be available by 2025. Level four autonomy implies fully automated driving without the necessity for driver’s control.
The autonomous car market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 38.8% and reach USD 1808.44 billion within seven years. The dramatic increase from 2023 to 2030 is probably due to new policies in Europe and China that will increase the demand for electric motors and electric vehicles.
As in every other industry, artificial intelligence is rapidly cleaning its paths and positioning itself within the Mobility industry. Already highly demanded in autonomous driving and, more specifically for levels four and five, AI also has other purposes in mobility.
In terms of enhancing mobility systems, AI has the capability to perform three main functions. AI collects and analyzes data from various sources, such as weather conditions, traffic patterns, and crowd density. Further, the technology generates insights and predicts future conditions, including potential disruptions and congestion. Last but not least, it supports human decision-making by quickly optimizing routes and adjusting speeds. If not yet, AI will soon enough become the driver’s best friend.
An increase in electricity prices, shortage in raw materials, and inflation shadow the future of electric mobility. However, the upcoming market developments in China, Europe, and the US indicate that electric mobility is securing global progress.
Two main factors are considered as the triggers of the expanding character of electrification – more strict governmental regulations and an increase in customer demand. In the UK, battery electric vehicles have become the second most commonly used type of powertrain, with an estimated 660,000 electric cars and 445,000 plug-in hybrids currently being driven on the roads.
Despite the deficit of recharging infrastructure in some countries, this issue can be easily solved as constructing and setting up charging infrastructure is quick. Roadside charging stations can be designed and built within a few weeks or months; installing a charging station at home or work takes even less time. Sooner than we suppose, charging infrastructure will be found at every corner.
As outlined above, despite the obstacles, the demand for electric vehicles is increasing day by day. To overcome the challenges of the widespread adoption of electric vehicles, researchers and companies are focusing on developing chemistry-based technologies that can enhance EV battery performance, such as faster charging, longer range, and increased lifespan. Increasing the range of EV batteries is considered one of the most effective ways to reduce the dependence on available charging infrastructure, which is crucial when the infrastructure has yet to be widely spread.
Currently, the most widely used types of batteries in electric vehicles are lithium-ion and lithium-iron-phosphate (LFP). The main challenge for battery producers is to provide cheaper, smaller, and lighter batteries to the market, which requires innovations within the field. However, so far, the battery companies have satisfied their customers, and more progress is expected.
With the ruptures within the last four years, companies worldwide are still struggling with major disruptions in their supply chains. Within a world of precarity, they are working towards improving their performance, reducing potential problems, increasing flexibility, and finding ways to gain a significant edge over their competition.
Within the solutions, an establishment of data-driven networks, priority to risk management, optimization of logistical processes, and leverage of the most recent digital transformations are required. Real-time intelligence on present supply chain conditions and future supply chain planning insights can be obtained by amalgamating data sets from several sources in conjunction with data from commercial vehicles and positioning devices. It is expected that the utilization of predictive analytics will lead to greater flexibility in supply chains in 2023. In fact, as of Q3 2022, there were initial indications of a return to normalcy in global shipping.
3D printing offers a promising solution to a problem frequently encountered within the mobility industry – vehicle weight. On a background of constantly raising discussions about pollutants and the amount of fuel usage, weight reduction has transformed into one of the solutions to these concerns. 3D printing technology enables the production of lightweight designs. Further, 3D printing is widely used for prototype creation and testing different shapes and forms of a product.
Additionally, the considerably lower costs of 3D prototype printing compared to building the actual design offers a chance for startups and young companies to experiment with new material combinations, encouraging rapid prototyping.
With the increased demand for autonomous driving technology, cities have become smarter mainly due to the establishment of smart infrastructures. Smart infrastructure is a system that provides better decisions through a data feedback loop.
Smart infrastructures can reduce fuel consumption and positively influence safety. The infrastructure extracts, processes, and analyzes data in real time and provides useful information which contributes to making better decisions. An instance of smart infrastructure is a traffic system that detects heavy traffic and outlines better road options for the driver.
Recently, the potential of quantum computing has been recognized. In fact, quantum computers’ global market revenues are forecasted to reach beyond $2.5 billion in 2029. The speed with which they work and their ability to solve complex calculational issues transform quantum computers for the mobility industry technology.
There are several fields of the mobility industry in which quantum computing can be applicated. Mathematical problems during the design phase in the aviation industry can be solved with considerable speed, reducing processing time by up to four times. Further, quantum computing can be implemented in the automotive industry, providing manufacturing solutions, managing traffic, and autonomous cars.
The complexity of the supply chain has significantly increased due to globalization. To this raising issue, blockchain provides a solution – traceability. The use of blockchain also allows for easy access and sharing of relevant records, which could benefit carsharing situations.
The sharing economy is expected to grow by 28% annually until 2030, leading to the emergence of more P2P (Peer-to-peer) startups. Some of these startups are utilizing blockchain technology and its proprietary ERC-20 HGO token to facilitate P2P car rentals. Further, the growth of P2P ridesharing has the potential to decrease the demand for individual car ownership, which could have a positive environmental impact by reducing the number of cars on the road.
Internet of Things (IoT), in the simplest terms, allows interrelated devices on closed (private) internet connections to communicate and share information and data to make your life easier. Previously, IoT was mostly used for convenience and entertainment, but in recent years, mobility industries have been focusing on making IoT a feature for vehicular safety and maintenance.
This connectivity will make it easy to track vehicular data for driver safety, fleet management, insurance purposes, and other cases, such as predicting whether a car needs a maintenance check in the next few months or so.
The mobility industry has always made it a priority to develop technology to reduce road accidents due to human negligence, but it is also a big challenge for this industry to create something effective, safe, and technologically advanced.
Startups have been developing AR (augmented reality) technology to reduce the amount of distractions for drivers on the road by using heads-up displays to shift drivers’ attention to their windshields.
Auto companies can also leverage augmented reality apps to provide simulations - which is what other companies have already been doing for a few years, but still something that is still yet to be adapted by more.
2024 has the potential to be the future of the ecologically conscious mobility industry, thanks to the development of various sustainable technologies.
While there is still so much up in the air regarding sustainable mobility, along with many questions asked and probed, the recent development of sodium-ion batteries that are free of rare metal usage marks a promising start.
Within a world of uncertainty, the mobility industry seeks security and reliability from the technology field. 2024 appears to be promising for the industry, creating new opportunities and leading development and growth paths. The surrounding environment will become smarter with the new vehicles and means of transport.
Big data, artificial intelligence, and electrification are among the leading trends in the mobility industry for 2023. And while some of the innovations seem futuristic, the mobility industry trends remind us that the future is now.