01 January 2014

Personal Mobility And The Future

2013 has gone and 2014 lies before us. Predicting future trends is a sure way to get egg on your face. Despite that, I will give a few ideas of what I see happening as a broad overview.

The Future? 


1) That petrol or diesel will remain the way we power our cars - for now.
This will stay that way until they become too expensive, as reserves dwindle. Until fossil fuel gets too costly - or incentives are offered by governments - nothing will change for the current mode of fuel in our cars. We can talk about the environment and the benefits of other types of propulsion for our vehicles, but....



2) The shift in car buying power from Europe to Asia to go on.

Growth continues to be driven by Asia. North America recovered well with car sales in 2013, while Europe was very subdued. The hoped for revival in Europe hasn't materialised, for reasons I won't go into here. Those reasons will, however, continue to diminish Europe's importance for car makers.

3) There are big changes ahead in personal mobility.

Beijing Traffic! Enough said.
When you see the big cities of the world clogged with congestion and pollution, the benefits of driving ourselves around are being outweighed by the reduction in health and the quality of life. 

Technology to have cars drive themselves would help traffic flows and reduce accidents, even road deaths. Hydrogen or electric propulsion would be clean(er). Still, people like what the car gives them as it is now. Nevertheless, how much longer will it go on as it is?

4) Co-operation between car makes will increase.

The cost of vehicle R & D is ever growing. As car makers work together more to share these costs, it will make the purchase price of cars even more affordable. It makes no sense for everyone to be duplicating costs developing the same things. Those that share costs the best - both within company groups and with other car makers - will more likely survive and prosper.

Cycle Route In Denmark. I like it.


In summary: Change is a constant reality, and should always be improving how things are done. Therefore, personal mobility need to be managed well, adding to the efficiency and quality of our lives.


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