How cities can accelerate efforts to improve mobility

Mobility is the economic and social lifeblood of modern cities, where efficient transportation systems help power growth. But most megacities are struggling to expand their existing infrastructure and meet the ever-growing demand.

When citizens are driving mobility session

At EY World Entrepreneur Of The Year™ 2019, mold-breaking entrepreneurs explored how to prepare for the NextWave of industries as new technologies fundamentally change traditional ecosystems and business models. 

To help cities create places where people want to live, work and play, entrepreneurs and governments must work together effectively to come up with innovative approaches. Our panel discussed what cities will need to do to stay on the innovation track.

Here are some key highlights of the discussion:

  1. Regulation should enable future mobility business models. Transportation of goods and people is highly regulated; therefore, it is critical to see regulation as an enabler — not a barrier — for new mobility business models. Cities need to develop a holistic, long-term mobility strategy to pave the way for future mobility. Communication with existing and future mobility ecosystems partners is critical to enabling regulation that allows multimodal, coordinated mobility.
  2. Business models need to bridge the distance between companies and customers. Only a few players within the mobility ecosystem will have direct access to customers and their data. Therefore, companies should adjust their business models so they can get as close to the customer as possible, placing the customer at the center of their focus.
  3. Mobility business models should reflect the uniqueness of local ecosystems. While the underlying technology is standardized, mobility ecosystems are differentiated by local infrastructure, national and city regulations, and culture. While there is no one-size-fits-all mobility model, leading practices from other places can offer lessons.
  4. There’s no reason to repeat mistakes. Stakeholders, especially in emerging markets, can learn from historical mobility and infrastructure mistakes made in mature countries and cities. Rather than repeating these missteps, stakeholders should work to develop a more advanced mobility ecosystem.
  5. Focusing on the public transportation system can drive change. Putting pressure on individual mobility (e.g., via high and dynamic taxes or road charges) might help cities reduce traffic and emissions. But improving and connecting existing public transport offerings could enable a shift from individual mobility.
  6. Planning for the future of cities requires complete stakeholder involvement. City leaders need to rethink operating models and how they will attract businesses, entrepreneurs and people. For mobility, cities must take the lead in defining challenges and designing the collaboration model for tackling the issues while making sure the less-privileged aren’t excluded.
  7. 5G has promise when it comes to servicing smart city infrastructure. New tax and incentive models that spur the use of electric vehicles can help alleviate congestion, a key issue. Real-time data that is accessible through 5G technology will enable traffic monitoring and management capabilities, help in crime prevention and address other problems. However, a lot of privacy issues still need to be resolved.

Thank you to our discussion leaders:

Frédéric Genta, Country Chief Digital Officer of the Principality of Monaco

Ridhwan Khan, Founder and CEO, Mobicel, and EY Entrepreneur Of The Year 2018 South Africa

André Schwämmlein, Managing Director, FlixMobility GmbH, and EY Entrepreneur Of The Year 2018 Germany

Frank M. Rinderknecht, Founder and CEO, Rinspeed

Dominik Schiener, Co-founder, IOTA

George Atalla, EY Global Government & Public Sector Leader

Randy Miller, EY Global Automotive & Transportation Leader