Why cities should prepare a shared mobility plan for the future

Shared mobility may still be in its early stages, but this is one trend that could have a major impact not only on the automotive industry but also on cities themselves. Shared mobility is predicted to only partially replace car ownership, but by 2030, this part could equal up to a third of vehicle sales. Europe currently ranks third in the market in terms of shared mobility, with the challenge of lacking a “one-size-fits-all” model, since each city has its own regulations. Let’s take a look at some of the struggles European cities may face when it comes to the future of shared mobility, and how cities can start planning today to see the benefits of adopting these mobility solutions tomorrow. — Philippe Leonard


Shared mobility city challenges and solutions

Thanks to e-hailing players, China and the United States are dominating the shared mobility market, which comprises a total of €20 billion and €19.5 billion, respectively. In Europe, the market share is just €5.1 billion. One of the obstacles is the varying regulations. Taxi regulations in Berlin, for example, hinder the city’s e-hailing opportunities, while Beijing’s €595 million shared mobility market thrives thanks to its e-hailing platform, with one company acting as a monopoly over the market.

E-hailing is just one of the obstacles European cities face when it comes to adopting shared mobility solutions. While shared mobility may make sense in larger cities like Berlin, more rural parts of Germany may have a harder time getting citizens to adapt to this new mode of technology, since these solutions may be more expensive and not as convenient (or readily available). For example, a parent taking their child to a music lesson or dance class and then going grocery shopping may not want to have to lug instruments, grocery bags and children from car to car (and wait on one to arrive) during these multi-stop trips. Someone attending an event or concert in a major city, meanwhile, may enjoy the convenience of hopping in a car and not worrying about driving or finding parking.

Cities such as Toulouse, meanwhile, have found a solution that gives citizens access to shared mobility services, as well as public transport. With the Pastel card, Toulouse placed the power of urban mobility in the hands of its citizens, with one card that offers access to public transportation, as well as city’s bike- and car-sharing systems.

A 2017 McKinsey survey showed that in the US, 67 percent of those surveyed would rather drive their own vehicles than hail one through an app. While this figure may seem high, the market will depend on the evolution of technology and growth of industry players. City initiatives could help make shared mobility more cost-effective, and in turn, boost its presence and acceptance among citizens, meaning less pollution and congestion on the roads, as well as a rise in autonomous and electric vehicles.