The world of mobility is rapidly evolving. Increasingly stringent environmental legislation has led to manufacturers designing and developing more sustainable and eco-friendly vehicles, while a change in consumer demand has sparked a shift in the way vehicle ownership is viewed and offered. Electric and hybrid cars might be a fringe concern right now but could they be the default just a decade from now? Or could car ownership itself be seen as something oddly antiquated?
This is the big one. Electric cars are already starting to filter into the mainstream. First, it was Tesla, then it was the more affordable Nissan Leaf. Now, every major automobile manufacturer is getting in on the game and with the UK making major investments in the future of electric, it seems like now could be the best time to jump on the bandwagon before prices start to skyrocket and you’re unable to get decent GAP insurance on a brand new electric car.
There are more of us living in cities than ever before. The draw of city life might have been dulled somewhat by COVID but, in general, the last 50 years have seen a marked shift away from the concept of suburban living towards more of an urban lifestyle. With more people living in these urban centres, there is bound to be less of a need for personal vehicles. Hardly anyone living and working in London, for example, owns a car and with public transport getting more reliable and affordable (not to mention more eco-friendly) by the year, the concept of car ownership for city dwellers could be all but obsolete in a few years.
The success of Netflix has started to bleed into other areas of our lives. How many of us now sign up to a monthly beer or a cheese club and how many of us have signed up for services like the Microsoft Game Pass? We’re moving towards a culture where we don’t buy content; we subscribe to it. How long before the same basic concept reaches our cars? We’re already partly there with our mobile phones.
Taking things just that one step further; this is where we will undoubtedly end up by the end of the current century. A future where nobody owns a car and we simply dial one on our phones to pick us up and take us wherever we need to go without even a hint of a human driver is closer than you think. Of course, in the near future, self-driving will simply be an option to engage at will (like cruise control) but make no mistake, we haven’t seen anything yet as far as the future of personal mobility is concerned!