The global shift towards urbanization, the sharing economy, smart cities and clean energy presents many new challenges, but also drives the need for innovation and new technologies. Autonomous and connected vehicles, truck platooning, and smart roads seemed futuristic just a few years ago. Now, they are becoming the new normal. Technology will not only optimize our travel experience, make roads safer, and shorten delivery times, but also challenge our knowledge of mobility as a whole.
We’ve identified a couple of ‘hot’ mobility themes: Mobility as a Service (MaaS), connected and autonomous transport, e-mobility solutions and sustainable last-mile delivery. These are also the topics that are taken on by the contestants in the Blue Tulip Awards. We’ve also noticed an increasing focus on applying data to enhance mobility services and alternative fuel sources.
Mobility as a Service
Digitally enabled car sharing, and ride hailing are set to become a key driver for growth and profitability in the future auto markets, far outstripping the profitability potential of traditional car making. 15 percent of the innovators in the Mobility theme offer a service supporting Mobility as a Service. For instance, Amber Guaranteed Mobility ensures the availability of shared electric vehicles where and whenever you need it.
Connected and Autonomous Transport
In May 2019, The Economist published an article named ‘Pilotless planes are on the way’, suggesting that autonomous planes could become a reality in the coming decades. The renowned Tesla cars already contain hardware that enables autopilot, which makes fully self-driving cars almost a certainty in the near future.
Linking these trends to our participants, leads us to Avy Aera: an autonomous wing drone for good. It supports first-response missions and makes urgent healthcare accessible to anyone in need. Likewise, Aquatic Drones are multi-use survey vessels that offer autonomous inspection and monitoring of waterways, ports and seas.
E-mobility - vehicles fully or partly driven electrically – is also on the rise and possesses a tremendous value potential. In the United States alone, the e-mobility market is expected to top $700 billion by 2040. But with the increase in e-mobility, more charging stations are also needed. To solve that problem, The Charge Tile (HUBi) has developed a charging tile that charges an e-bike via the kickstand with magnetic coupling, making it a universally flexible and cableless charging solution.
Sustainable Last-Mile Delivery
Several disruptions are shaking up the last-mile delivery ecosystem across Europe. Consumers want more control and options, forcing logistics providers to deliver volume with velocity. And technology is minimizing the barriers to market entry, making it easier for startups and other logistics players to grab their piece of the value chain.
27 percent of the innovators in our Mobility theme focuses on last-mile delivery: some focus on technology-based support for last-mile delivery, while others concentrate on innovative services.
Packaly, for example, is a technology platform that offers retailers different solutions to ship their products from their urban stores to their customers within 60 minutes, or at any given timeframe. Whereas Bringly is a sustainable delivery platform that offers local and physical shops green, same-day deliveries through bike couriers. The platform decreases the delivery distance from local physical shops to the consumer, making deliveries faster and eco-friendly.
Other Mobility Innovations
Yet there are still more areas targeted by our Mobility experts. The Green Wave Mobile App gives captains information about the relationship between the speed of their vessels, its resulting fuel and its harmful emissions. Green Tickets offers door-to-door holiday travel route options and inspiration for trains, buses and planes throughout Europe, showing not only the price and duration of your trip, but also the related carbon emissions. And Board Now enables organizations to fly on sustainable aviation fuel, thus reduce travel emissions and support the energy transition in the aviation industry.
We see that the world of mobility is changing and new technologies and services continue to emerge. For now, we don’t know which innovative products and services will conquer consumers’ hearts. But we do know that autonomous cars, planes and e-bikes are on their path to becoming the new normal.