A lot has been happening in the global transport sector over the last decade. In 2019 alone, we saw several cities in Europe ban diesel cars and adopt electric transit buses. Technology-enabled mobility grew tremendously well in the past year and the passenger transportation scene evolved in a big way. Transport experts, city planners, and technology futurists are all curious to see what happens in 2020 and beyond. That is why we have compiled a 10-point prediction of the trends that might define transportation in 2020.
1. Scooters will not be “cool” anymore
Scooters were the coolest kid in the transportation sector until last year when they were officially adopted into the mainstream. They are fast transitioning from the controversial transportation tool that used to turn heads and draw admiration and hate in equal measure, to a convenient transportation tool that anyone can ride. People will be riding them to work, tourists will be using them for sightseeing, and pedestrians will not be too concerned about the now uncontroversial vehicles.
2. Continued adoption of IoT
Web-enabled smart devices are taking over the world, and the transport sector won’t be spared. 2020 will be the year when data sensors, processors, and transmitters will join the mainstream. The Internet of Things (IoT) eco-system will necessitate that all cars and trucks be fitted with sensors and communication hardware that will enable them to communicate with each other in real-time. IoT will also make it easier for vehicles to identify pedestrians and cyclists, preventing potential accidents.
3. Growth of MaaS
Mobility-as-a-Service (MaaS) will grow exponentially in 2020 and beyond. This technology will make the most of Transportation Systems Management and Operations (TSMO) in optimizing traffic management in cities.
4. The continued growth of autonomous driving
Autonomous cars are becoming a reality now after having been dismissed by many transport stakeholders as a pipe dream about a decade ago. In 2020, we can expect autonomous technology and self-driving cars to continue gaining ground in the transport industries. More car manufacturers and tech companies will keep manufacturing more functional, secure, and sophisticated autonomous cars. This technology will be claiming its place as the future of mobility within the next decade.
5. More adoption of battery-powered transportation
Battery-powered transportation is becoming a mainstream thing now. We are already seeing an upsurge in the adoption of the electric bike in the US and Europe. These bikes are making it effortless to bike and exercise, and that means they will continue finding favor in the eyes of many working citizens. City planners will also be trying to leverage these bikes because they can be a great alternative to cars. They will significantly reduce traffic congestion in our cities.
6. We could start seeing e-school buses
The “vehicle-to-grid” concept (V2G) will be integrated into school transportation in the form of e-school buses. School buses, in the literal sense, are used less than a third of the time regular public transport buses are used. Because of that significantly low mileage, it is easier to test mobile batteries on school buses before we can eventually have electric buses in the mainstream.
7. Use of AI in transportation
AI will be complementing IoT in making our roads safer and lesser congested. On top of increase passenger safety, this technology will help minimize carbon emission on our roads and at the same time make transportation affordable and profitable.
8. Mobility on Demand (MOD) will be “high in demand”
Mobility will be redefined in 2020 and beyond. Instead of having to endure the heavy burden of car ownership (maintenance costs, fuel cost fluctuations, and hefty insurance covers), people will be opting for MOD. This is where you order for a car through a mobile app whenever you need a ride as opposed to owning a car that you use less than a quarter of your day.
9. Shared mobility as well
Shared or smart mobility will also be high in demand. Cities will have to rethink their transportation preferences in this smart era. One prediction that is likely to pass in this regard is that cities will try to improve shared mobility by combining multiple modes of transport, say, bikes, PSVs, and private cars, in order to come up with a more integrated system.
10. Continued integration of clean transportation technology
Transportation companies will keep trying to cut down on emissions by reducing oil usage. That will be achieved through the adoption of transportation tools such as self-driving drones.
The global transportation sector is going through many changes in 2020 and the last decade, all with the aim of making passenger and cargo transportation cheaper, safer, and more efficient. The 10 trends predicted in this article will shape the transportation environment going forward. Of course, there will be many more potential changes, some of which are not yet predictable.
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