It’s easy to envision self-driving trucks safely and efficiently carrying shipments down US highways. But that’s only part of any product’s journey between manufacturer and customer. How will the new mobility ecosystem handle the whole trip, including the trickiest part of all: last-mile delivery?
I have a confession to make. Although I spend much of my professional life thinking about how new types of mobility can reshape urban areas, I live in the sticks. The rural upper Midwest, to be precise, on “10 acres of brush and trouble,” in the words of singer-songwriter Greg Brown.
The race is in high gear as automakers compete with technology companies and other industry disruptors to put partially or fully autonomous vehicles on American roads.
To understand what’s happening in the race, we undertook a global survey of more than 22,000 consumers in 17 countries to learn about their preferences for autonomous technologies. The results tell us there’s good news, and, well, some bad news.
In the first two posts in this series, we looked at some of the surprising ways the extended global automotive industry is transforming into a new mobility ecosystem and offered a glimpse at one way we might use that ecosystem for faster, safer, cleaner, and more efficient travel.
In our last post, my colleague Scott Corwin highlighted some of the most noteworthy and, frankly, surprising developments we’ve witnessed in the mobility arena in the last few months.
By Scott Corwin
A year ago, we posited that the extended global automotive industry was undergoing an unprecedented transformation into a new mobility ecosystem.1 Since then, the pace of change has been, in our view, breathtaking. Through hundreds of conversations with corporate executives, government leaders, technologists, and academics around the globe, we have gained a front-row seat to how the future of mobility is evolving. In particular, we have witnessed:
Remember the last time you bought a car?
Hardly anyone finds today’s automotive retail experience—researching, contacting the dealership, test driving, financing, and closing the deal—efficient and satisfying.1
Indeed, just 17 out of more than 4,000 car shoppers in a recent survey said that they were happy with the status quo car-buying process.2 That’s 17 people, not 17 percent.
Auto retailers have acknowledged this dissatisfaction and responded with incremental changes. As other industries become more customer-centric, however, creating a less painful retail experience is increasingly table stakes for carmakers and dealers. Continue reading “The future of auto retailing: preparing for the evolving mobility ecosystem”
Posted by Joe Mariani
It’s not just for consumers and smart gadgets. Whether you call it the Internet of Things (IoT), Industry 4.0, Machine 2 Machine communication or any of the other names by which it goes, the connectivity of devices was among the most talked about technologies of 2015.i While many manufacturers and logistics providers have jumped on board and are using IoT to improve inventory visibility or flows through the production floor, there are still some hurdles to adoption. As we discussed in a recent article, the vast majority of IoT applications right now serve only to cut costs or increase efficiency. While the costs of sensors and computing have dropped in recent years, using IoT solely for cost cutting still may not be enough to justify the initial investment required.
The global automotive industry may be on the verge of a fundamental transformation giving rise to a new mobility ecosystem. These changes could have far reaching implications for how we move from point A to point B, and for stakeholders far beyond the auto industry, including gas companies, retailers, insurers, emergency rooms, advertisers, and government regulators.
We might be forgiven for thinking these shifts will materialize only in the distant future, making strategic changes today premature. But the future of mobility is already impacting how businesses operate in an array of industries. Consider just a few recent examples. The US Department of Transportation announced in December that its safety ratings would begin considering the presence of crash-avoidance and other advanced technologies, which are important enabling technologies for autonomous drive that could spur adoption by automakers.1 As of November 2015, Google self-driving cars have completed more than 1.3 million miles of autonomous driving on public streets.2 Several companies developing autonomous cars have indicated they would accept liability should their vehicles crash, a sign of their confidence in the technology and an important development for insurers and the general public.3 AT&T added over a million new connected cars in its third quarter, more than any other wireless category, including smartphones.4 The list goes on, and these developments are just the first tentative steps toward a new mobility ecosystem.
Continue reading “The Future of Mobility, Today and Tomorrow”