In order to keep cities liveable and accessible, we need to make our mobility cleaner, safer and more efficient. New technologies and trends such as the energy transition and sharing economy are going to help us do this. This is how we see tomorrow’s mobility.
The way in which we travel to work has been the same for generations. Thanks to a car outside the door, a bicycle in the shed and an OV-chipkaart in the pocket, we all get going every morning and evening at the same time. It's time to upgrade to smarter mobility. We are TNO, the independent researchers of the Netherlands. It's our job to give the right answers and ask the right questions, including on the future of our mobility.
We live in a platform economy in which mobility is increasingly being offered as a service. With new smart services, you can quickly and easily arrange, order and pay for public transport, a car, a taxi or a shared bicycle. We call this Mobility as a Service, abbreviated to MaaS.
Technology is part of the answer. At TNO, we see four major developments converging. Digitisation enables the emergence of the platform economy. We are connected everywhere: choosing, ordering and paying online without limits. How we travel is increasingly determined per journey through Mobility as a Service. We increasingly prefer to use instead of own and we share that ownership more easily.
One example is our home when we're on holiday, but new sharing services are also emerging for cars and bicycles. Means of transport are also becoming smarter. Many cars can already carry out driving tasks themselves, and automation is increasing for other means of transport as well. And finally, we are in the midst of an energy transition which is also affecting our mobility with the advent of electric driving.
Can we reduce the need for physical travel through disruptive mobility concepts? TNO is investigating how ground-breaking innovations such as extended reality (XR) and avatars can solve our current mobility and environmental problems.
We are at the forefront of all these disruptive developments and boasts in-depth knowledge. The biggest challenge is that innovations in these domains are not linear. The playing field for mobility is complex and is changing very rapidly. In addition to traditional parties such as public authorities and public transport providers, there are an increasing number of start-ups, scale-ups and established technology companies that can have a major impact on our travel behaviour in a short period of time.
New York was gridlocked because commuters preferred to take a shared taxi rather than a metro or train. Technology giants want to accelerate the advance of automated driving. Or perhaps we won't travel at all in the future: virtual reality and the use of avatars could make these dynamic forces even more complex. TNO strives for an optimal balance between the interests of users, public authorities and companies. After all, without direction, the negative consequences for our society could be considerable.
Will travel time by car soon also be working hours? The technology behind automated driving is developing rapidly. But is our society and infrastructure ready for the self-driving car? We are researching what is needed to make automated driving a success.
Only by managing the mobility transition innovations can contribute to our societal goals: zero casualties, zero emission and zero loss. We consider this destination more important than the exact route because the mobility transition could take various paths. We are exploring these transition paths and revealing their societal impacts. With this destination in our sights, the starting point for tomorrow's mobility is always the user. That means us. We all want a safe, affordable, fast and comfortable journey from A to B. We can already envision that journey. Can you?