Future Mobi­li­ty

6 game-changers impacting the future mobility landscape in 2019

6 game-changers impacting the future mobility landscape in 2019

2018 mar­ked many „firsts“ for the world of mobi­li­ty and trans­por­ta­ti­on: the first com­mer­ci­al „auto­no­mous“ ODM ser­vice in sub-urban Phoe­nix, the first appro­val to test level 5 self-dri­ving vehi­cles without back-up dri­ver in Cali­for­nia and, unfor­tu­n­a­te­ly, the first casu­al­ty in Tem­pe, Ari­zo­na. 2018 was a year of tech­no­lo­gi­cal pro­gress, cor­po­ra­te con­so­li­da­ti­on, bold pre­dic­tions and strong mar­ke­ting cam­pai­gns.

Exten­si­ve rese­arch in the field of future mobi­li­ty allo­wed us to iden­ti­fy ear­ly signs of new trends in this sec­tor. Here are six trends we expect to hea­vi­ly impact the future mobi­li­ty sec­tor in 2019:

More col­la­bo­ra­ti­on bet­ween local governments and mobi­li­ty solu­ti­on pro­vi­ders

We see that an increa­sing num­ber of public trans­por­ta­ti­on aut­ho­ri­ties are eager to set up dili­gent plans toge­ther with mobi­li­ty solu­ti­on pro­vi­ders. At the same time, pro­mi­nent solu­ti­on pro­vi­ders like Uber move from ‘the bad boys’ try­ing to revo­lu­tio­ni­ze urban traf­fic against the sta­tus quo, towards ‘tamed part­ners’ rea­li­zing that sustain­ab­le solu­ti­ons have to be imple­men­ted with muni­ci­pa­li­ties, not against them. We expect that in 2019, two major types of cities will beco­me active in try­ing to inte­gra­te more mobi­li­ty solu­ti­ons:

The grid­lo­cked cities, which inclu­de many of the major urban are­as on the glo­be, espe­ci­al­ly in Ame­ri­ca and South East Asia. Cities like Sao Pau­lo or Bogo­tá have reached a point whe­re dai­ly busi­ness and pri­va­te life is, at times, com­ing to a halt becau­se of the unpre­ce­den­ted levels of traf­fic. On the other hand,


An examp­le of a grid­lo­cked city – one of the worst traf­fic situa­ti­ons in the OECD coun­tries in Tel Aviv, Isra­el

The pre­ser­ver cities are tho­se that have the means and the inno­va­ti­ve desi­re to inte­gra­te new solu­ti­ons into their high living qua­li­ty cities. Examp­les inclu­de many Euro­pean cities like Oslo or Zurich, but the­re are count­less other examp­les across the glo­be, such as Los Ange­les, which is slow­ly try­ing to move from a grid­lo­cked to a pre­ser­ver city.

Good-bye mar­ke­ting, hel­lo busi­ness model

We have seen Way­mo set up the per­fect mar­ke­ting cam­pai­gn for their self-dri­ving car ope­ra­ti­on in Chand­ler, Ari­zo­na. It caught the world by storm and forced invest­ment banks to value the busi­ness befo­re it has made a sin­gle dol­lar in reve­nue. In San Fran­cis­co, Crui­se Auto­ma­ti­on made noi­se and set grand dead­lines, on which they could not deli­ver. Many of the­se pro­mi­ses and cam­pai­gns are slow­ly con­ver­ting into rea­li­ty, hand-in-hand with testa­ble busi­ness models. The key ques­ti­on to be asked here: How much auto­no­my do we need befo­re pro­fi­ta­ble busi­ness can be made and can the mar­ket lea­ders tru­ly deli­ver in 2019? Our on-field rese­arch indi­ca­tes that the­re are still tech­no­lo­gi­cal hick-ups that may affect the via­bi­li­ty of any busi­ness model.

The batt­le for the „eyes of the car“ will show first results

Over the last years, the race towards the ‘per­fect’ sen­sor set-up has reas­sem­bled some of the key dis­cus­sions. For a long time, Tes­la defen­ded their no-LiDAR approach against, pret­ty much the rest of the indus­try. With the com­pa­ny final­ly admit­ting that LiDAR sen­sors, despi­te their costs, limi­ted sup­ply, and in parts low relia­bi­li­ty, will play a role in high level auto­no­my, we expect some con­so­li­da­ti­on to the expe­ri­ments around hard­ware set-ups. We expect fur­t­her con­so­li­da­ti­on in the LiDAR mar­ket and the begin­ning of cer­tain stan­dards also across dif­fe­rent firms. In addi­ti­on more ‘exotic’ sen­sor sys­tems like ground-pene­tra­ting radar and advan­ced infra­red solu­ti­ons have to show their via­bi­li­ty soon.

5G tes­ting on rele­vant sca­le

Many coun­tries are in the midst of set­ting up or laun­ching their 5G ser­vices. While some app­li­ca­ti­ons wit­hin auto­no­mous and con­nec­ted vehi­cles, given their limi­ted data trans­fers, can ope­ra­te on a 4G basis, sca­la­bi­li­ty of con­nec­ted vehi­cles enab­ling true posi­ti­ve net­work effects, requi­res the abi­li­ty to send and recei­ve lar­ge data packa­ges swift­ly – Hence, 5G. Our experts in Phoe­nix have wit­nessed with their own eyes how auto­no­mous vehi­cle – human dri­ver inter­ac­tion remains uncer­tain and dod­gy at times. Only when the vehi­cles are able to relia­b­ly com­mu­ni­ca­te with each other, will we over­co­me this issue.

Patent batt­le

Stron­gly fueled by the per­sis­tent lack of human talent working on AI, and com­pu­ter visi­on, we expect fur­t­her indus­try batt­les taken to court. With the most valu­able talents ent­e­ring one firm through the front and lea­ving again through the back door once they recei­ve a more pro­mi­sing offer, we will necessa­ri­ly have more (paten­ted) know­ledge tra­vel­ling across firms. While some law suits are sett­led out­side court, we belie­ve that poten­ti­al patent infrin­ge­ment will be a more com­mon phe­no­me­non in this field – the­re is sim­ply too much mone­ta­ry poten­ti­al in the app­li­ca­ti­on of many of the paten­ted tech­no­lo­gies.

Tes­ting of new mobi­li­ty solu­ti­ons like UAV and hyper­loop

The­re always is the ‘next big thing’. We obser­ve an increa­sing num­ber of firms working on Ver­ti­cal Take Off and Lan­ding Solu­ti­ons with real-life pro­to­ty­pes try­ing to intro­du­ce air­bor­ne indi­vi­du­al mobi­li­ty into urban spaces. At the same time, vacu­um-tube based Hyper­loop still works towards high-speed fixed ope­ra­ti­ons. Despi­te many chal­len­ges in the tech­no­lo­gi­cal, regu­la­to­ry, and eco­no­mic realms, examp­les like VTOL per­so­nal mobi­li­ty and Hyper­loop will enter a cross­road in the years to come, deci­ding whe­ther they are unfe­a­si­ble dreams or a valid opti­on in a mul­ti­modal mobi­li­ty land­s­cape of the future.


Rainer Hoffmann

Seni­or Part­ner



Andreas Gabriels

Head of
Busi­ness Intel­li­gence



Benjamin Scher

Stra­te­gy &
Inno­va­ti­on Con­sul­tant