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The Future of Shared Mobility

Cars lie idle for 95% of their lifetime, and when operated are typically only 25% full. With environmental goals on the agenda, it’s clear that something needs to change and shared mobility represents a widespread change not just in how we get from A to B, but how our whole society functions. This trend will play a pivotal role in developing smarter cities, and it’s already happening.


You’ve probably been a consumer of a shared mobility solution without even giving it a second thought. Ride-hailing providers like Uber, Lyft and Curb have been ferrying us around towns and cities for years, requiring a much smaller fleet of vehicles to get us where we need to go ‘on-demand’.

This is just scratching the surface though, with many of the major players in this space now rolling out ride-sharing options, like UberX Share, where customers opt to allow the driver to pick-up extra passengers en-route to share the overall cost.

While the global pandemic will certainly impact the short-term demand for services like this, increasing awareness and compassion towards environmental concerns coupled with the friendlier pricing will only make it a more attractive offering as time goes on.

Also taking off in the shared mobility space is the growing uptake of micro-mobility: the collection of small, lightweight vehicles typically operating at speeds below 15mph. While the pandemic halted the growth of this sector, it’s demonstrated strong post-pandemic recovery. Few points of physical contact and ease of maintaining distance from others make this a less risky option than other forms of shared mobility (McKinsey).


Next steps within shared mobility will take on-demand ride-hailing further, with Mobility-as-a-Service (MaaS) becoming an increasingly popular solution over vehicle purchase. MaaS will see automotive manufacturers and start-up firms offer vehicles on a subscription basis. In much the way subscription services have revolutionised TV, music, and software, as mobility becomes more and digitalised, we can expect to see this industry go the same way. In fact, start-ups already emerging to take advantage of the opportunity. London-based Breathe offer subscription pricing for Tesla Model 3s, including insurance, service, maintenance and repairs.

We know that Uber is investing heavily in emerging shared mobility trends, and one such trend it had hoped to capitalise on was driverless rides. Through their Advanced Technologies Group, they have spent several years developing a solution that would allow them to remove the most significant cost associated with ride-hailing: the driver. However, in late 2020 they sold this division to Aurora, a self-driving start-up based in San Francisco. They haven’t pulled out completely though. Their following $400m investment in Aurora gives them a sizeable 26% share of the Amazon-backed company.

Amongst the ever-growing variety of mobility options, we’ll continue to see, perhaps the most significant trend on the horizon is the one that connects them all: a shared interface. We see elements of this within current apps like Google Maps, and Rome2Rio where you can choose between different transport modes and their estimated journey times. Shared interfaces coming next will take this concept further, incorporating many more modes of transport, including shared ride-hailing and micro-mobility vehicles. Rich data will allow you to efficiently string together many forms of transport into one journey plan whether it’s price, journey time, or environmental impact that is the focus. You’ll also be seamlessly connected to the relevant booking systems and have the necessary information at your fingertips from a single source.


One possibility for the shared mobility space in the future is the opportunity for self-driving vehicle owners to be able to lease their vehicles out while they’re not using them. This could take a similar form to Waymo’s RoboTaxi service, providing additional income to the owner and reducing the need for more vehicles to be produced in order to service the same number of people.

Tesla’s Elon Musk has already gestured at making this a reality for the host of Tesla owners, and with living costs rising and environmental issues taking up more of our newsfeeds, this could prove to be a popular option for the future. Mass market uptake, though, depends heavily on consistently strong growth of driverless vehicles and solving the logistical challenges involved with organising such an enterprise.

The future of mobility isn’t just shared

A host of trends and technological advancements will play a key role in the changes taking place throughout the mobility sector, which fall into four key areas: Autonomy, shared mobility, electrification and connectivity.

We recently published a guide exploring developments across each of these catalysts of change in the mobility space.

Read it here:

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