How people move around in cities is one of the challenges that many tech companies face. Long commutes to the office are being questioned as remote work takes over, and many are looking for greener more sustainable alternatives. Individual mobility is being redefined but no definitive solution exists. The scene is moving from car ownership to the sharing economy.
This can be seen as the result of a new generation of workers that have different lifestyle habits, as well as new solutions that are disrupting the fundamentals of urban mobility. What the future holds for mobility is uncertain.
Whatever ends up happening in terms of transportation, the tech industry has an important role to play. This post discusses how apps are playing a fundamental role in defining urban mobility, and what we can expect from them in the near future.
Mobility Research: The Sharing Economy
Cities have taken over the world. As their population increases, there is a growing need for improved mobility systems. This means not only more efficient systems, but also more accessible, sustainable, and user-friendly ones. The sharing economy has an important role to play in this transition.
Currently, the world has more than 1 billion vehicles. In Europe, transport represents about one-quarter of the total greenhouse gas emissions, being the main source of urban pollution. A transition towards new mobility alternatives is imminent. New systems need to consider this reality as well as important mobility trends in order to build solutions that are sustainable in the long term.
Understanding what people need is necessary. In other words, a User Experience (UX) driven mobility is mandatory. The old paradigms of everyone having their own car and commuting long hours to work is no longer viable nor feasible. The world has changed and cities need to adapt to align with new urban and social conditions.
The sharing economy has the potential to help transition from the previous model to a new one. In this model, users can participate exchanging goods and services with one another through community-based platforms. Apps play an important role in this process.
Mobility apps can help build smart systems that meet the conditions necessary to create fully functional and user-friendly transport solutions. They have the potential to create smart mobility platforms that operate right from the palm of our hands. Think of smart mobility as technology-driven solutions that help users go to their desired destinations using their mobile devices and state of the art technology.
Smart mobility apps need to consider these three key aspects:
Everyone should be able to access smart mobility systems. This does not mean paying special attention to older users while forgetting about the rest. User impediments besides age also need to be taken into account. This includes disabilities.
Mobility apps need to focus on accessibility, both from an app experience perspective as from a transport one. In other words, accessibility should consider both the digital and physical dimensions of mobility. The more inclusive mobility systems are with every possible user, the better for the city.
Sustainable mobility solutions have seen a surge in recent years. In part, this has been thanks to the sharing economy. This has allowed companies to offer solutions where users do not have to own the vehicles they use. By designing platforms that are able to connect the demand with the supply, it is now possible to make better use of mobility resources. This helps prevent vehicles from being parked all day, and instead makes them available to whoever needs them.
Focusing on sustainability has also helped transition from high carbon-emitting vehicles to other more friendly alternatives. Since users do not have to buy their vehicles, it is possible to replace old and inefficient ones with newer and more sophisticated technologies that are more environmentally and energy-friendly.
The best way for mobility apps to change the status quo is to focus on the User Experience. It is important to consider aspects like the ease of use, how to easily communicate information, and the functions embedded into the app.
Machine Learning features are revolutionizing repetitive tasks that can be fully automated for transportation systems. Through powerful predictive algorithms, it is possible to understand the user demand for transport systems and propose realistic solutions.
The Internet of Things (IoT) is also helping reimagine transportation. Mobile devices become keys to access mobility solutions in an effective and efficient way. Users can keep track of the length of their trips as well as the amount they spend on transport. This technology is showing to be particularly useful in Smart Cities.
The idea of smart mobility is rapidly gaining traction all over the world. We can expect to see a rise in competition as new apps and technologies fill the market. Many companies will try to differentiate themselves from competitors, but in reality, what matters is staying relevant.
To do so, it is important to understand the importance of local needs. Brands that stand out will be those that are able to understand the societal needs of a specific city and combine these with powerful global technologies. Take a look for example at Citroën’s Ami, a solution especially thought for the streets of Paris. It can easily be adapted to other city-specific needs and integrated into the sharing economy through a powerful digital platform.
To do so, it is necessary to have a world-class app. Only through apps will mobility solutions be able to deliver impactful results that users love. The key to building the right app is finding the correct app development partner. This must be someone who is able to understand local needs and tackle them with the best technology available.
At Koombea we have over 12 years of experience helping clients build world-class apps for all sorts of industries. We understand the importance of working side by side with you to deliver products that respond to users’ needs. Contact us for a free consultation and find out how we can put our HiTech app development skills at your service to build the future of mobility.