By Dean Whittaker

Mobility – the movement of people and goods from place-to-place. 

Earlier this month I heard a presentation by Jeff Stout, Executive Director, APDS at Yanfeng, a global automobile interiors manufacturer.  In his message he described the autonomous driving vehicle (including trucks), mobility delivered as a service to which you would subscribe, and the impact that the switch to electric vehicles will have on the entire transportation eco-system including: insurance, law enforcement, parking garages, gas stations, etc.  Jeff said that 80% of the top 10 OEM’s are developing highly autonomous vehicles. Robotaxis will become the cheaper mobility option in urban areas by 2030. He also said that one in ten cars sold in 2030 will be a shared car (part of the sharing economy) and not individually owned.

Jeff told the audience that the Chinese government is installing 5 million charging stations by 2020.  He further said that Hainan is the first province in China to ban the sale of diesel and petrol cars starting March 1, 2019.

In terms of connectivity, Jeff said that software will make up 30 percent of the vehicle value in 2030. A vehicle’s ability to connect to other vehicles and to the Internet will heavily influence brand selection.  5G and the Internet-of-Things will usher in a wide-range of applications, including traffic re-routing, home awareness, passenger health monitoring and much more. Mobility start-up companies are attracting billions in investment capital from technology companies outside of the automotive industry. From 1970 to 2018 the Asia-Pacific share of the vehicle market increased from 20% to 55%.  As a result, the Asia-Pacific region will drive the market and the type of vehicles to be produced. Jeff said that there will be many types of vehicles to fit each specific need.

We were told that millennials prefer experience over objects and this plays out in the future of mobility, according to Jeff. A digital experience such as an augmented reality overlay will be more impactful on consumers than an ordinary analogue experience.  The interior of the vehicle will become more important with a design focusing on providing a feeling of openness through large windows creating a sense of exposure while in a different part of the vehicle a sense of being enclosed as in a cocoon will be offered.

Click on the link to see a video of the prototype by Yanfeng demonstrated at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.