An integrated transport network is the key to increasing the use of low carbon vehicles, according to the Transport Systems Catapult (TSC), a UK-government supported technology and innovation centre.
Increasing use of ride-hailing apps and growing use of car sharing is blurring the lines between private ownership and public transport, it says, leading to lower numbers of vehicles on the road, but with high utilisation.
These schemes are seen as an ideal platform for the introduction of low-emission vehicles, with examples including Uber’s recent introduction of electric vehicles to its fleet in London. At the same time connected car technology will help drivers minimise journey times and improve efficiency, while autonomous vehicle technology will maximise fuel efficiency by removing the unpredictable influence of the driver.
TSC believes that eventually these transport options will be merged into a mobility service contract which would include traditional cars, driverless vehicles and public transport, tailored to a traveller’s needs as an alternative to car ownership.
Research carried out by Autovista Intelligence reveals that to be successful in a world where consumers are less inclined towards car ownership, companies will need to offer a range of services which allow consumers the flexibility to choose the right transport option for them at a given point in time.
This will force automotive manufacturers and leasing companies to experiment with a range of new business models, while ensuring the existing business profitably navigates a shift from the sale of large volumes of private and fleet cars to lower volumes of shared cars.
The industry is also being challenged to seek out partnerships with both technology companies and other transport providers to be able to offer consumers a joined-up solution that allows them to move from bike to car to train with ease, or invest in the technological capabilities to achieve this themselves.
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