CES 2017
The Future Of Urban Mobility

On the Road to Mobility as a Service

A new Deloitte study released today at CES in Las Vegas finds that a majority of consumers are not only becoming more aware of ride-hailing and autonomous vehicles, but are now starting to question whether they need to own a vehicle.

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Percentage of U.S. consumers who question their need to own a vehicle to their use of ride-hailing services. Source: Global Automotive Consumer Insight Platform. Deloitte, January 2017

Not surprisingly, the younger the survey respondent, the more likely they were to question their need to own, rather than hail a vehicle, reports Deloitte. Sixty-four percent of Gen Y/Z respondents question the need, compared to just 16% of pre-boomers or boomers. Gen X is more evenly split. But overall, 52% of the 792 U.S. respondents are questioning the need to own a vehicle.

Automation is Another Matter

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Just as consumers are becoming familiar with ride-sharing services such as Uber and Lyft, the public is also assimilating and assessing the rapid rise of autonomous vehicles for ride-hailing and delivery services.

“The transition to autonomous vehicles is going to be a challenge for reasons that are emotional and political,” says Aarjav Trivedi, CEO, RideCell, a software company that makes software both for autonomous vehicles and car sharing. Trivedi made the statement on a CES mobility panel called Exploring Evolving Mobility Choices.

The panelists agreed that politicians, and ultimately consumers, will have an enormous say in how quickly autonomous vehicles transform—and potentially disrupt—our personal and professional lives. But adoption is unlikely to come overnight. Just recently, Uber’s driverless cars were literally booted off of the roads by the California Department of Motor Vehicles, only to be welcomed days later by the state of Arizona. In Tokyo, the government is testing robot shuttles and self-driving buses to transport attendees at the 2020 Olympics, according to Deloitte.

At CES the largest car companies are discussing plans for autonomous vehicles, but none are yet deploying them.

Grabbing a Package

Meanwhile, ride-hailing is entering another phase, morphing into package delivery services. For example, Roadie, an Atlanta startup, received a $10 million investment from UPS Capital, to turn passenger vehicles into private delivery trucks for drivers headed in the right direction at the right time. According to its backers, there is unmet demand for packages delivered the same day, next day or not in regular shipping boxes. Yet another Atlanta startup called Kanga aims to foster on-demand local delivery by connecting shippers with a “network of certified drivers.”

Jack Levis, Director of Process Management, UPS says the leading global shipper is working on ways to apply Orion, its advanced analytics system, to the logistics of deploying drones and autonomous vehicles. “We’ll use that technology to figure out the best way to utilize drones and autonomous vehicles,” says Levis.

Disruption in the “mobility” space is coming in the form of autonomous vehicles and ride-hailing services, but change won’t be felt in every area overnight, says Deloitte in its January report on the Future of Mobility: “If shared and autonomous vehicles are adopted as quickly as other technologies (like smartphones, cell phones, and the Internet), our modeling finds that significant change will begin within five years and that the market for personal mobility could transform dramatically over the next 25 years.”




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