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Mobility Trends 2019

Feb 7, 2019

We’ve managed to survive the first month of the year and are now hitting our stride: In the month of love and inclement weather we’re taking a look at the mobility trends that are set to become more than just an afterthought in 2019.

1. MaaS

The days of stressful driver’s licence tests and first cars might become a thing of the past. With more and more people dwelling in urban areas, the necessity for a personal vehicle has diminished. Combined with traffic jams and a lack of parking spaces a newer generation is no longer looking at a car as one of the ultimate status symbols. While some manufacturers and analysts have blamed the economy where anyone would be apprehensive of making a large car investment, Millennials and Generation Z do not seem to be put off by paying for Netflix, data plans, or app services.

Crucial is that the younger demographic now considers as signifiers of freedom and personal identity: mobile devices that grant them access to the world without having to get up from their couch.

This extends to how people move about, with companies like Uber, Lyft, Bird or Mobike reshaping the options at our disposal. With Mobility as a Service (MaaS), mobility solutions include on-demand services that cater to individual travel needs and thus transform transportation in urban and suburban regions.

The MaaS market is influenced by various factors, including rapid urbanisation that adds increasing pressure to local transportation infrastructures, rising demand for a one-stop, seamless solution instead of five different apps, and the proliferation of large number of OEMs into the MaaS market.

As CBInsights reports, “MaaS platforms make more optimal use of vehicles, given that personal vehicles sit unused for 95% of the day. Shared mobility also allows users to avoid the costs associated with ownership, including insurance, tax, maintenance, and parking, while conveniently taking riders from point A to point B”.

In 2018 there was already movement in the MaaS market:

  • In India, the largest cab-hailing firm Ola bought transportation information provider Ridlr.
  • Uber is in talks to acquire Careem, its biggest competitor in the Middle East, in a deal that could value the Dubai company at $2 billion to $2.5bn
  • The European Commission approved the merger of the Daimler and BMW mobility services in November, detailing plans to merge the two firms existing brands in five business areas, which include Free-floating car-sharing services, ride-hailing services, parking services, charging services, and other on-demand mobility services.

In a study by Juniper Research, the company found that adoption of MaaS platforms will replace more than 2.3 billion urban private car journeys annually by 2023, compared with just 17.6 million globally in 2018. This is equivalent to 18 times the number of taxi journeys across New York in 2016. As can be seen in the figure below, Western Europe is leading the charge when it comes to MaaS integration.

Total Number of privte Car Trips replaced by MaaS Trips

Key players: Uber, Didi, Lyft, Gett, Mytaxi(Hailo), Ola Cabs, BlaBla Car, Careem, Grab Taxi, Kako Taxi, Addison Lee, Meru, Ingogo, Flywheel, Easy Taxi, Gocatch, Via, Yandex Taxi, Lecab, 99Taxis, Beeline Singapore, SkedGo, UbiGo, MaaS Global Oy, Moovel, Qixxit, Splyt Technologies, Transit Systems, Smile Mobility, and Citymapper.

2. Telematics

Last year we wrote an introduction to the world of telematics, which you can find here, and looked at the benefit of telematics for logistics.

But in 2019, telematics is set to reach another level with the help of wireless and cellular networks updating and building the infrastructure to introduce 5G capabilities within the next year. By 2020, 5G will be the universal network speed used by all IoT-enabled devices for sophisticated information transmission and processing. For telematics, 5G is expected to play a huge role in the development of autonomous vehicles.

As connectivity advances, the tracking of vehicles in real time is especially beneficial for fleet operators (think of your DHL deliveries), rental car firms, and ride-hailing services, because it provides them with a live feed of where their vehicles currently are.

As the graph below by CBInsights shows, investors seem to be betting on telematics as well.

Funding dollars to fleet telematics peeking in 2018
Graph by CBInsights

But telematics is not only relevant for tracking packages and trusting autonomous vehicles: Because it collects enormous amounts of data, this data can be used across industries. Whether this is insurance companies being able to adjust premiums according to behaviours and metrics, or OEMs having to adjust their business models, the data collected by telematics provide new monetisation opportunities.

Levels of telematic penetration
The current adoption levels are below 20% (Source: McKinsey)

Although current adoption levels leave much to be desired, this is changing: Regulators in many countries want to mandate the technology in specific circumstances. For example, the EU seeks e-assistance systems in case of accidents. As of March 2018, the eCall system has been mandatory for all new EU vehicles and speeds up emergency-response times by 40 percent in cities and 50 percent in rural areas—in the process reducing the number of fatalities by at least 4 percent.

Car generated Data
Predicted telematics revenue by McKinsey (2016)

McKinsey already predicted in 2016 that monetising telematics data could generate $1.5T for automakers by 2030. We look forward to seeing what changes this year will see.

Key mobility players: Daimler, General Motors, Ford, Toyota, Honda, Volvo, Hyundai, Jaguar, Land Rover, Mazda, Tesla, Nissan, PSA Peugeot Citroén.

Key manufacturers: Agero, Airbiquity, AT&T, Continental, Delphi Automotive, Intel Corporation, Qualcomm Technologies, Magneti Marelli, Mix Telematics, Robert Bosch, Verizon Communications, Visteon Corporation, Wirelesscar.

3. Industrial Robotics

With Tesla laying off 7% of its employees (a job cut that will affect more than 3,000 staff members) and a similar round of layoffs in June 2018, the speed of manufacturing and the cost involved has become precarious for human labourers. Talk of AI and robots “stealing” jobs from their human counterparts has taken over the media with a “man vs. machine” style of reporting in some cases.

But as we mentioned earlier, the vehicles that take us from A to B are becoming increasingly complex, and thus require higher levels of automation and flexibility. As the International Federation of Robotics states in their 2018 report, the demand for industrial robots has accelerated since 2010 due to the ongoing trend toward automation and continued innovative technical improvements in industrial robots.

Here the automotive sector has become the main driver of growth across industries, and it’s forecasted to remain the largest moving forward.

Estimated annual supply of industraial robots
Via the IFR 2018 report

What areas can robots be used in when it comes to the automotive sector? Robots are mainly used in for laser cutting, palletising, CNC machines, welding, plasma cutting, press machines, and BIW welding lines. Robots are also gaining popularity in the painting operation. There are few automotive companies are aiming for complete automation of the manufacturing process with the help of the warehouse robots in their production plant. Thus, the automotive industry is expected to remain a lucrative application segment for warehouse robotics market.

Although Chinese manufacturers lead the way when it comes to industrial robotics, Europe is catching up:

BMW has been using Smart Transport Robots (STRs) for logistics for the past two years. These robots independently move components through the halls. Central to the STRs is that they are no longer dependent on induction loops in the ground, instead locating themselves with the help of radio transmitters. Thus the autonomous transporters can move completely independently. These electric transporters can transport containers weighing up to 500kg. Another notable aspect of the STRs: BMW makes use of used batteries from the i3 to power them.

In 2017, Avnet Incorporation, a major participant across information technology and services industry, acquired Dragon innovation, a major producer of consumer electronics products. The acquisition is expected to assist both the firms to add to their existing product line and expand their presence in automotive robotics market.

Also in 2017, Rimac Automobili, a key manufacturer of high-performance electric vehicles, battery systems, and drivetrains, joined forces with Dassault Systèmes, a software firm based in France.

4. Honourable Mentions

EV makers expand into lifestyle products and services: Since charging a vehicle takes time, some EV companies are thinking up innovative ways of using the idle time between charges. China’s NioHouse has a library, daycare, coworking space, and napping pods.

More to maps than just a map: Ever been travelling and gotten lost? With the rise of online mapping systems that always know where you are and how to get you out of there (battery and internet access provided), we have thrown out paper maps. But now CBInsights predicts that in 2019, maps will begin to become a layer on which we do everything from communicating to compiling data. With challengers like what3words also redefining how we describe locations, mapping as we know it might change.

Industrial sensors: The sensors that connect the factory equipment feed into a digital ecosystem known as the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), which is enabling advanced analytics and streamlining the manufacturing process.

Taking to the skies: It might be still a little early to call, but flying taxis such as Lilium could be taking MaaS another giant step further.