How will our kids get around in 2050?

The Witness - Wheels - - INDUSTRY - ALWYN VILJOEN

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.

Sub­stan­tial up­heavals

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’

PHOTO: AIRVINCI

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?

Opinions

Comments

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.