As governments look for ways to tackle urban congestion, they are accelerating efforts to upend conventions about how we get from one place to another — in ways that automotive and transportation companies need to be prepared for.
For instance, Vancouver made a massive investment in protected bike lanes and automated transit systems. Milan is paying commuters to bike to work. Dubai is mandating that public servants buy electric or hybrid vehicles. Oslo plans to ban parking within its city center, and by 2025, Norway as a whole intends to ban the sale of all vehicles that run on fossil fuels.
More prevalently, technology is used in more modest efforts, and the resulting data can serve as a foundation for broader change. One European city is working with EY to conduct a smart-parking pilot. Residents with parking permits use a booking app synced with a smart device in their car to find the nearest parking spot. Rather than penalizing those who overstay, the system sends drivers reminders to either move their car or authorize an additional charge to extend their parking time. Although the pilot is not directly getting cars off its roads, the city is now experimenting with the data created by the system to improve traffic, parking patterns and speeding policies.
Data at the core
Many mobility companies are seeking to own what we have termed the “Golden Map”: aggregated data from solutions at the individual, trip, vehicle and city levels solutions that will enable a complete mobility ecosystem. But cities want to avoid multiple stacks of data owned by different parties. It’s in their interests to create an environment that fosters greater collaboration.
The most important thing cities can do to promote carpooling and public transport use is to encourage data sharing among all transport providers. Then the data from initial services can be re-applied to other applications, creating value by enhancing functionality and user experience.