TIME OF ARRIVAL
The Future of Mobility | 15 January 2018
Like the mobile device manufacturers of the early 2000s,
car companies of today are being forced to radically rethink
their core offering, and they’re finding their long incumbency
challenged by new players with decidedly different strengths.
SILICON VALLEY IS
THE NEW MOTOWN.
Today, automotive manufacturers must compete with
powerful tech giants and a multitude of nimble mobility
startups. With emerging disruptors on all sides, traditional
car companies must adapt or face extinction.
Today, traditional car brands must compete with
Silicon Valley tech leaders like Alphabet, Apple,
and Amazon—companies with deep software
expertise, global brand recognition, and trillions
of dollars for investing in innovation. They’re
deeply integrated into the everyday lives of
consumers in a myriad of ways, offering the full
gamut of devices, platforms, and services.
Blue Origin New ShepardApple Carplay
New inventions will
always be disruptive
to the old way.”
— Jeff Bezos, Amazon
Car companies must also contend with a
multitude of nimble mobility startups like Tesla,
NIO, Uber, and Lyft—smaller companies with
youthful energy, no burdensome legacy, and
little to lose. Without the defensive baggage of
incumbents, they can pivot relatively quickly to
meet changing market demands.
Tesla Model S
Uber ATGLyft & Aptiv AV
Change will require a
newcomer to fundamentally
design the vehicle differently.”
— Padmasree Warrior, NIO
MANY FACTORS ARE
Disruption is being driven by technological advances, shifting
attitudes around ownership and sustainability, continuing global
urbanization, and perhaps the biggest impetus is public safety.
Vehicles are becoming platforms, enabled by
low-cost sensors and screens, efficient electric
batteries, and expanding wireless connectivity.
Interfaces are evolving with touch, haptics,
voice, and augmented displays. Autonomous
vehicles represent the culmination of this
evolving intelligence, as the car becomes its
own pilot and caretaker.
When you look at the major
areas that are being disrupted in
the auto industry, it’s connectivity,
it’s electrification, it’s sharing, and
— Mary Barra, GM
Across many industries, consumers are opting
for subscription services over private
ownership, and younger consumers are more
influenced by ethical and sustainable practices
and messaging. With lagging trends in car sales
and drivers license adoption in the US, many
consumers may never own a car, and those who
do are more likely to prefer an electric vehicle.
The goal of Tesla is to
— Elon Musk, Tesla
Over 50% of the world’s population lives in urban
areas, closer to 80% in most of the developed
world. In many city centers, parking and streets
make up 50% of urban area, and cars remain
parked 95% of the time. Autonomous vehicles
could reshape urban environments, radically
reducing parking, streets, and vehicles, and
freeing up large amounts of space.
Los Angeles is half parking
lots and roads. It’s just
crazy that’s what we use
our space for.”
— Larry Page, Alphabet
Every day, roughly 3,500 people die on roads
around the world, and another 135,000 are
injured. While multiple factors contribute to
accidents, human error is the primary
contributing factor in over 90% of crashes. In
light of statistics like these, the need for change
is more than just technological convenience—
it’s a moral obligation to public safety.
Health + Safety
Our vision is simple: zero
fatalities on our roads.”
— Anthony Foxx, US Secretary of Transportation
Ten years ago, mobile phone manufacturers struggled and mostly
failed to survive the smartphone wave. As automotive OEMs face
a similar sea change, what can they learn from the mobile
disruption of the last decade?
Supply Chain Specialization
Automotive manufacturers rely on suppliers for the majority of
components, and instead specialize in planning and assembly.
As the supply chain becomes more complex, OEMs should
consider vertical integration and strategic specialization in
areas where they can differentiate and defend.
As car companies approach the software side of the modern
vehicle, they should be open to smart partnerships for
sourcing interface platforms, data, and artificial intelligence,
and consider using the application layer to add their own
services with differentiating functionality.
Ridesharing companies are threatening to usurp the customer
relationship by supplanting the traditional distribution model.
Moving forward, OEMs should look to maintain and deepen
their brand presence with consumers through prominent
marketing and more direct distribution.
Automotive manufacturers must begin thinking beyond the car
to build a larger product and service ecosystem. This means
thinking holistically about the mobility journey, considering the
transitions between various modes of transport, and investing
in emerging forms of travel.
OUR VISION STARTS
We cataloged and synthesized movement patterns to
extrapolate a bigger picture of current travel behavior, and
complemented it with secondary desk research on market and
technology trends to understand the trajectory of change.
To better understand the current state of
mobility, we decided to test ourselves. We
invited Punchcut employees to activate the
Timeline feature in Google Maps to capture data
about our mobility patterns over the course of a
few months time, and arrived at a set of
insights that capture our perspective on the
future of mobility experiences.
There are three basic types of
travel: the jaunt, the commute,
and the journey.
Our research identified three basic travel types:
the jaunt, the commute, and the journey. These
trips range from short to long in distance and
duration, utilize multiple forms of transport, and
arise from a range of common motivations.
These categories help us understand the
mobility landscape and represent key areas of
opportunity for future innovation.
Jaunts are short, quick trips of less than
10 miles, under an hour. They’re the
most frequent and spontaneous
category. Most jaunts utilize active,
personal forms of transport, and they
may be solitary or social, including,
family, friends, coworkers, or pets.
Commutes are mid-size trips of less
than 100 miles, under 3 hours. They
account for the majority of travel time
and occur regularly within expected
windows. Commutes utilize a variety of
modes, and they tend to be lonely,
either solitary or with strangers.
Journeys are long trips up to 10,000
miles and 20 hours. They are infrequent
and highly planned. Journeys utilize
mostly passive, shared forms of
transport, and they may be solitary or
with immediate family or close friends,
in addition to strangers.
Emerging forms of transit will
increase speed, expand range,
and reduce travel time.
A variety of emerging forms of mobility promise
to drastically increase the average speed of
transit including autonomous vehicles in
synced formations, new high-speed and
vacuum tube trains, and the resurgence of
supersonic planes. And SpaceX has proposed
suborbital spacecraft that could enable travel
anywhere on Earth in under an hour.
Virgin Hyperloop One
SpaceX BFRBoom XB-1
Visual and motion cues can help prepare and
soothe passengers during changes in velocity,
and elements of the vehicle can transform to
create safe positions for travelers and their
belongings. Experiences should establish
familiar routines, like airplane take off and
landing procedures, to mitigate discomfort and
set passenger expectations appropriately.
Virgin Hyperloop One
Traditional Airline Cues
Most trips involve multiple
modes, and connecting these
modes will be critical.
It’s commonplace for trips of any substantial
distance to include four or more distinct modes
of transport, and today these services aren’t
coordinated with one another whatsoever,
leaving consumers to do all the work to string
them together, demanding organizational
hassle and resulting in wasted time.
As additional forms of mobility emerge from a
variety of competing interests, multimodal trips
will become increasingly common and complex.
Future experiences should focus on enabling
trip planning across multiple services, and
delivering seamless transitions as passengers
progress between modes.
Virgin Hyperloop One App
Future vehicles will offer
privacy with adaptive spaces
and virtual experiences.
Emerging experiences will offer a range of
privacy options through adaptive interior
spaces, and virtual reality experiences can
create private virtual spaces within a shared
reality. Like train travel or ridesharing models,
the level of privacy and additional service
amenities can be offered at tiered rates.
Airbus A³ Transpose
As mobility shifts away from
active human piloting, people
will experience more freedom.
Autonomous vehicles and other passive forms
of transport will offer passengers more freedom
and control than they’ve ever experienced
behind the wheel. When the burden of piloting
the vehicle is removed, people will find
themselves with large amounts of free time
returned to their days.
Today, navigation experiences center on turn-
by-turn direction, but as mobility modes shift
from active human piloting toward passive
riding, navigation should instead focus on
providing awareness of progress and estimates
of travel time and arrival, similar to airline
seatback displays or subway car route maps.
Future forms of mobility will
bring back past pursuits and
enable new possibilities.
Emerging forms of transit will allow greater
freedom of use in familiar ways for train riders of
the past century, and novel ways that we’ve
never seen before, and with advances in virtual
reality, we’re not far off from a “real”-life
holodeck. Experiences will be more immersive,
adaptive, and deeply integrated with the
services that enrich consumers’ lives.
Qantas VR App
Air travel will be the next big
industry to be disrupted, and
then there’s space.
Air travel’s increasing inefficiency drastically
undercuts its potential speed, and its strategy
of “calculated misery” creates intentionally
inferior passenger experiences. Any time there’s
this much friction, many new players will be
looking to disrupt, disintermediate, and reinvent,
and high-speed trains and suborbital space
travel could offer that opportunity.
Virgin Hyperloop One
Space promises another category of travel—
the voyage, a long-distance expedition of
exploration or emigration. Lasting months,
years, even centuries, travelers will live like
nomads, and vehicles will be traveling homes,
communities, and cities. Entire generations
could live and die in space, experiencing only
travel without origin or destination.
SpaceX Interplanetary System
Human colonization on other
planets is no longer science
fiction. It can be science fact.”
— Stephen Hawking, University of Cambridge
As specialists in UX for next-generation connected experiences,
Punchcut partners with companies to envision new mobility
experiences for consumers. If you have an idea regarding the
future of mobility experiences, odds are we can help.