The radical shift to supermodal mobility
Why the car in its current form is doomed to fail and why thinking in integrated systems is the way forward.
Five theses about the future of transportation.
Urbanization changes almost everything.
Soon, about 70 per cent of all people will live in cities. Individual mobility as we know it today will have reached its limits at point. The basic need to transport people or goods from one place to another, as quickly and efficiently as possible, however will remain the same. Increasing urbanization is subsequently going to change the way we move in unprecedented ways, forcing us to find new solutions.
Sustainability is not optional
The efficient and sustainable use of our resources is not a maybe-condition. It is a must-have condition if mobility wants to move forward. Already in the present, but much more so in the cities of the future, the energy, the space and the time of the inhabitants must be used with utmost care and as the scarce resources. With that said, there might well be asked the question of whether an individual means of transport such as the car, which stands idle 90 per cent of its life, is a promising idea, no matter how its ultimately propelled.
Mobility needs holistic solutions
There are many new mobility concepts. The parcel drones and hyperloops of this world are just the tip of the iceberg. And they all have one thing in common: they only deal with how either a person or a product can be moved from A to B. But what about going on to C and then to D? Many new ideas, similar to the old ones, reach their limits at this point. Future-oriented ideas would have to answer the transportation question in their entirety and not only partially.
The future is supermodal
There lies a lot of potential at the interconnection between the different systems, which currently remains unutilized, even by the many "future prove ideas". Our approach, to leveraging this potential, would be a system that goes beyond mere intermodality to create a concept of supermodal mobility as a system of standardized EXO units in a predefined grid compatible with different carriers. This allows a seamless transition between road, rail and air traffic, shipping, cable cars and lifts. The elements can be designed for passenger and freight traffic and are intended for both public transport and individual travel.
Bring ideas on track
The railway can play a pioneering role in the development of future mobility. Although it’s public visibility is relatively low, the industry has the potential to lead the mobility revolution. Recently, I spoke to industry leaders at the annual reception of the Austrian railway industry about our analysis of the current situation, the potential for innovation in the transportation sector and, above all, the opportunities for the future. In the subsequent panel discussion, the main focus was on how these possibilities can be made visible and used optimally. Because that's what shaping the future is ultimately about.