jump to search

Financial Health

Mobility Challenges and Opportunities

As we look at the mega-trends (below) shaping the future, a business model built on private ownership of automobiles comes with inherent challenges, including increasingly diverse and fragmented markets for traditional automobile sales. We see this as an opportunity for companies that are able to respond to mobility needs creatively.

  • Urbanization: By 2025, it is projected that at least 37 mega-cities will have a population of more than 10 million1. The migration of rural populations to urban areas often outpaces infrastructure development, leading to overcrowded, substandard living conditions and inconvenient, congested transportation systems.
  • Congestion: Traffic congestion is estimated to cost the U.S. $67.6 billion annually, and the average metropolitan driver endures 27 hours of traffic delays each year. In many places, especially developing countries, traffic delays are considerably worse, and are increasing at an alarming pace. As more vehicles crowd limited road networks, congestion increases. This, in turn, creates pollution, reduces fuel efficiency and wastes travelers’ time.
  • Built and Digital Infrastructure: More congestion means greater impacts on roadways and other infrastructure, which will require different products and solutions from a coalition of stakeholders. As transportation and utilities become more interdependent, collaboration must occur among manufacturers, energy/utility companies, and communications and information technology companies.
  • Climate Change: Climate change and associated regulation is leading to new vehicle standards and increased costs. However, the benefits of more stringent vehicle fuel economy and greenhouse gas standards are eroded as vehicles spend more and more time idling in gridlock conditions.
  • Population: Different regions of the world are experiencing opposing population trends. Among the more developed countries, only the U.S. is growing in population; Europe, Russia and Japan are all shrinking. Regions of Africa and Asia are growing in population and will have large numbers of young people. But by the middle of this century, most of the world will be much older on average. With most people living in urban areas, more and different forms of mobility will be needed to support independent living for seniors, the disabled and young people.
  • Social Inequality: The gap between rich and poor creates enormous needs for innovative, affordable mobility solutions that meet human needs and help people build a better way of life. Unequal access to transportation often limits the opportunities available to those most in need. Better mobility is part of the solution to unemployment and income disparities.
  1. United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs/Population Division. “World Urbanization Prospects: The 2011 Revision.”

Related links

This Report