Short-term development of the mobility market
Since 2010 investments in innovative mobility have been less affected by the car manufacturing industry's recession than people expect. Technology, Venture Capital, and Private Equity companies invested much more than car manufacturers in new technologies and innovation. Because of the reliable support of various investment and technology companies and the different automobile manufacturers the future of mobility is looking bright and is making steady progress. We see several global trends, identified by the acronym ACES: autonomous driving, connectivity, electrification, and shared mobility. ACES technologies will continue to develop and disrupt the automotive ecosystem.
Autonomous Driving – Disruptive technologies for autonomous driving will change the concept of mobility, increase safety and require changes in business models in most industries. In the future, safety will always come first, while another focus will be on passenger comfort. Most forecasts point to a market entry at the earliest in 2030. In the short-term however, so-called level 4 autonomy will start playing a significant role, where the first cars are expected as soon as 2021-2022. Level 4 is considered entirely autonomous driving, even though a human driver can request control and the car still has a cockpit. The driver must remain fit to drive and be able to take control at any time if required. Autonomous driving brings considerable advantages. These include increased personal safety, mobility for non-drivers, time savings for drivers, reduced environmental impact, and lower transport costs.
Connectivity – As vehicles become increasingly connected, the data will unbolt new advantages and challenges for customers, car manufacturers, high-tech giants, and many new companies active in the value chain. The increased connectivity will impact both the user and the vehicles:
- Car2X allows users to connect and network with the world outside their vehicle. They will be able to communicate, work, access multimedia services or surf the internet while driving.
- Car2Car refers to exchanging information between different cars and connecting to transport infrastructure, such as devices to measure traffic or traffic lights.
Electrification – Electrified vehicles are approaching a turning point due to changes in regulatory policy, consumer attitudes, battery economics and infrastructure, therefore creating opportunities for the automotive industry. Last year, the percentage of newly registered Electric Vehicles and Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles accounted for 2,68% in Belgium, which is the best result in the EU after Sweden. One of the main challenges in our country however, is the infrastructure of charging points. Today the majority of charging stations in Belgium can be found on companies’ premises rather than in public spaces or on one’s private property. Companies operating under the corporate tax system benefit from an increased deduction on investments in charging infrastructure under the condition that they are accessible to the public. Therefore their investment will pay off much faster. Another positive trend is the energy and climate plan of the Flemish government that plans to invest 300 million EUR in additional charging infrastructure. This investment will allow for 1 charging station for shared mobility cars per 100 inhabitants by 2030.
Shared Mobility – There is a rapid expansion of new and different modes of mobility such as e-hailing (the process of ordering a car, taxi or any other form of transportation pick up via virtual devices) , self-service bicycles, scooters, car sharing and more. Their characteristics make them cost-effective, convenient, and less stressful alternatives to car ownership. Shared mobility is an important complement to the traditional public transport system and the company car in our efforts to reduce traffic, pollution, and CO2 emissions. In Europe, in regards to the density of shared mobility, the Brussels-Capital region comes second to only Paris.