5 Questions regarding intelligent and connected mobility
The demands placed on modern mobility are high: It needs to be customer-oriented, individual and flexible – available at all times and tailored to the respective situation. Mobility is the basis for economic and social activity and is an essential part of our daily lives. At the same time, it needs to be cost efficient for both users and providers. And as if those requirements weren’t hard enough to meet, sustainability and environmental friendliness are becoming more and more relevant, i.e., mobility with neutral emissions as part of an attractive cityscape. The goal is to have a process that is seamless end-to-end and meets the individual requirements of users. Mobility also needs to be space-saving, especially in congested urban areas. Mobility expert Isabella Geis sheds light on on how diverse the changes we see in mobility today are.
How is the market reacting to changes in mobility?
Isabella Geis: The market reacts with a variety of innovations: technological developments like connected or autonomous vehicles, the digitalization of public transportation, mobility platforms, intelligent parking space technologies and new vehicle concepts are also an important component. Mobility is also becoming increasingly oriented toward service and demand. That is why new models are developing, such as on-demand mobility, sharing or mobility budgets. What is interesting here is not only that new mobility models are flooding onto the market. Many of these new concepts were already around 20 years ago and are merely receiving new impetus due to digitalization: Examples of on-demand mobility from the past are dial-a-bus services and ride sharing. And yet those concepts do work differently today. In particular, they now offer more flexibility. The customer sends mobility requests and can receive offers and information in real-time.
What role does the digital transformation play for mobility?
Isabella Geis: Digital transformation is a game changer in society and business alike – not only in mobility, but with respect to many other industries as well. It is particularly interesting here to see how not only organizations and companies are going through this process, society itself is becoming more and more digitalized. Smartphones and mobile internet have made it possible. This creates a wealth of opportunity in mobility: Mobility providers can now reach their customers in real-time and supply them with information. Travelers have flexible access to the widest variety of transportation options, like using a smartphone to unlock a car-sharing vehicle that was reserved just a few minutes earlier. On the organizational side, digitalization facilitates the optimization of internal processes, the creation of inter-modular solutions (from provision to payment) and intelligent routing of vehicles and users. Yet everyone is at a different starting position in this process of transformation. Not every business is digitally native. Many organizations, such as transportation companies, have a history that begins long before digitalization. Yet there are also companies looking for mobility for their employees (known as business or enterprise mobility) that are not setup for digital processes per se. Structures and interfaces must first be created, the available data needs to be rendered usable and the potential from new data has to be created via digitalization.
Who stands to benefit from viable mobility solutions and what might they look like?
Isabella Geis: It is important to understand that viable mobility solutions can take on a wide variety of forms. Cities and towns are searching for solutions that will create living spaces that are both attractive and sustainable over the long-term. Companies depend on their employees getting from A to B in an efficient manner and need internal mobility concepts that meet their individual needs as well as external requirements like emissions reduction. Government authorities and agencies often have very tight cost constraints on mobility, but still need custom solutions that are adaptable as time goes by. Even organizations that come directly from the mobility business, like transportation companies, will benefit because innovative solutions can provide access to new business opportunities, generate customers and bolster competitiveness. What those solutions look like will depend on the individual needs of the customer. What they all have in common is that mobility can be used flexibly to meet the customer’s requirements and that it works hand-in-hand with existing infrastructures and solutions. There is no one-size-fits-all solution. We approach this complexity and individuality by finding and implementing solutions together with our customers so they can use and shape intelligent and connected mobility with integration into their own processes in a beneficial manner.
What’s next? How are these new mobility solutions created and what do companies and organizations need to do to be ready for the future?
Isabella Geis: Intelligent and connected mobility is a complex task, even in the microcosm of a company, but especially for cities and transportation companies. That’s why the first step requires a strategic decision to orient the organization toward intelligent and connected mobility – with internal processes or as a new business field. To achieve this, the relevant stakeholders need to come together. The next step is to clarify which developments are interesting and important in the respective context. The remainder of the process spans from strategy creation to execution. We are able to accompany our customers every step along the way to ensure that both digital and analog transformation processes work.
How are we positioned in this regard at Q_PERIOR?
Isabella Geis: Mobility is a central business and competitive factor in Germany and Europe. It simultaneously has significant influence on a society’s quality of life and sustainability. At Q_PERIOR, we see relevant areas we are addressing today and not at an indeterminate future time. That is why we have made the decision to strengthen and further enhance our mobility capacities.
Mobility 4.0: mobility management in municipalities and companies, mobility-as-a-service and the digitalization of mobility processes like intelligent parking management or digitalization of public transport. All of this reflects just part of our portfolio. As mobility developers, innovators and implementers, we guide and assist our customers from the strategic decision to the implementation of mobility concepts and processes, digitalization strategies, innovative technologies, new business sectors and mobility solutions.
With our cross-sector approach (automotive, energy, transport and logistics as well as public sector), we approach mobility both as a business and organizational process as well as a business segment. Together with our customers, we are addressing the future of mobility and finding answers to its challenges.
Isabella Geis is a mobility consultant at Q_PERIOR. She has been active in this field for many years as a passionate mobility developer and innovator as well as a competent key note speaker. From 2015 to 2018, she headed mobility at the Center for Logistics and Mobility at Fraunhofer IML. Before that she was on the academic staff in the Department of Mobility, Trade and Logistics at Zeppelin University and worked as a freelance project manager. She is currently doing doctoral work on the economic-technological framework conditions for intelligent transport systems.