The future of mobility will be decentralised and not be driven by conventional engineering. It will be driven by digital and data experts, communications and radar technologists, advanced material technologists, computer scientists, rapid prototyping experts, energy storage specialists, design architects, urban planners and so on. These domains will primarily drive mobility paradigms of experiential driving, sustainability and happiness index.
When a consumer talks mobility, they have already assumed the hygiene factors of ride comfort, ergonomic comfort, cabin environment, aesthetics, interactions of the vehicle and layered screens in dashboard, and safety and security. Today and tomorrow’s consumer is looking at maximising the usage of their time in the comfort of their 4x4 cabin space by being able to multi-task, while traveling between locations.
Much is going on in the e-mobility and bio-mobility space. However, aspects related to fleet owners are the ones that will be prime in future mobility. Availability of charge, ability to swap battery packs, getting the right fuels will be few aspects that will be growing in the ecosystem. The integration of solar panels in e-mobility, for example, will be a building block of future mobility. In the foreseeable future, autonomous driving pilots will also be deployed to research and fix the implementation for wider deployment.
Innovative technologies in tyres will enable mobility for individual and fleet owners. Connected tyres will offer the best V2V and V2I opportunities for experiences to consumers, whether solo or fleets, and to the mobility fraternity. Ability to predict cost per kilometre and rate of tyre wear on a scheduled time horizon open-up blind spots for sustainability of business. Self-sealing tyres could be the next best thing for autonomous vehicles. These tyres ensure that consumers are not stranded in case of a puncture. Airless tyres will be another new technology of future mobility.
High tech materials and recyclability will expand its wings. Molecule designs of polymers impregnated with nano-particles and recyclable materials will valorise flexibility in the end of life of vehicles. An important criterion in materials will be the form-ability and ability to retain memory of form factor of each occupant at an affordable deployment cost. Such materials will help with active, passive and pedestrian safety as they will have the ability to absorb crash energy and re-form quickly without major repair costs. Such intelligent materials will create a different playing field for styling and manufacturing of vehicles.
Technology and Innovations will grow in the space of autonomous driving, flexible platforms, V2V and V2I space. The V2I of today’s ecosystem will decentralise the skill sets via cross industry talent deployment. Future mobility will focus on V2I experiences and occupant safety. Safety features are expected to change since occupants do not want to be tied by safety belts in their seats during long journeys and traffic jams. They want the flexibility of moving their seats around in the cabin space, being able to connect to digital tables for mobile conferencing, having meetings and then be able to convert the seating into reclining sleeping mode. The opportunity to provide such flexibility is amazing.
In shared mobility, different occupants ride together and seek privacy as well as security. There is another segment of solo travellers that ride long distance to explore and network with strangers. Each of them seek the comfort and privacy to be able to rest, work, talk and view content. The interesting aspect of these mobility models will require a different set of design parameters to keep it affordable for the user, the manufacturer, and the fleet owners.
The mobility ecosystem will go through decentralisation and see OEM consolidation of global vehicle capacity. It will be an imperative to create holistic sustainable mobility solutions by leveraging decentralisation.