How will our kids get around in 2050?
NAVIGANT Research released a white paper that outlines the long-term evolution of car ownership based on an assessment of four key trends — vehicle connectivity, vehicle autonomy, ondemand mobility, and vehicle electrification — as well as factors such as the progress of urbanisation.
“Because the time frame of 2025-2050 is so far in the future, it is not practical to offer global market forecasts for annual sales.
“Rather, the paper considers how the transformation of individual mobility will affect the overall vehicle market, as well as vehicle manufacturers and other key stakeholders involved in automotive industry technology development,” the report states.
The long and short of the report is summarised by a chapter headlined “Decline of the Personal Vehicle”.
The researchers warn car sellers worldwide will face “a substantial upheaval between now and 2050”. Automoted buses trundling set routes in cities and electric skateboard charging in the boots of Audis are just the tip of the iceberg looming on the horizon of all the giant roll-onroll-off ships exporting cars all over the world to markets that cannot afford them.
Instead of browsing the web for a used bargain, our children will hail a shared ride or automated bus on their implanted communication device.
For as one prescient engineering student asked Wheels during a visit to UKZN, “why own a depreciating asset that wastes 80% of the energy you put into the tank? That’s like burning R8 of every R10 you put into your car, man!”
With such wisdom even from the snot noses, Navigant’s white paper can confidently state that technological developments in the automotive industry are leading to a new generation of vehicles that are capable of taking over much (and ultimately all) of the driving responsibility.
At the same time, electric drive technology is becoming more efficient and affordable.
Moreover, city governments from Los Angeles to Paris to New Delhi are pushing for cars without gas, and the long-term trend of people moving to live in ever-growing urban areas is forcing cities to regulate private car usage.
Connected we fly
Layered over all of this, say Navigant, is the macro trend of 24/7 connectivity.
“The development of carsharing and ride-hailing services is at the core of a trend toward mobility on demand and away from individual vehicle ownership. This is not something that will happen overnight, but it is where the combination of factors described above is driving the growth of the global vehicle market.
“In the future, the business model of vehicle OEMs delivering products to individual consumers will gradually decline in popularity as mobility services expand,” Navigant’s white paper predicts.
In other words, our children will not want to own cars, but ride share instead. But there is a glimmer of hope for all petrolheads reading Wheels coverage of events like Cars in the Park.
For while there will for sure be many little robot toasters busing people about (as we show on page 6) and even a few personal drones for the very rich, there will also be Uber-style taxis. And someone will have drive them.
NAVIGANT WHITE PAPER ‘The development of carsharing and ride-hailing services is at the core of a trend toward mobility on-demand and away from individual vehicle ownership’
Airvinci has released computer generated images of a personal drone that could skip over daily traffic jams. Who still wants to own one of the cars below?