The future of light urban mobility: a blog by Paul Etheridge
A key theme of the Ricardo Motorcycle Conference 7.0 Riding Future Technologies is the future of urban mobility. As the global pandemic continues to change mobility possibly forever, we share how Ricardo’s expertise can help manufacturers, governments and logistics companies move people and goods around cities quicker, more sustainably and more efficiently.
The future of light urban mobility solutions reflect the impact of several socio-economic trends and drivers: population growth; urbanisation; life cycle environmental awareness; connectivity; changing ownership models; and emissions legislation.Future light urban mobility solutions will need to cope with significant changes in terms of space availability, legislation and consumer preferences.
As we have seen during the global pandemic, crises can have a significant impact on urban mobility patterns and public transport. As a result of COVID-19, associated lockdowns, travel restrictions and reluctance to use mass public transport, global road transport activity was almost 50% below the 2019 average by the end of March 2020. During and after a crisis, people adopt new mobility patterns, and these changes can become permanent, as witnessed in London after the 7/7 terrorist attack in 2005: Londoners avoided making journeys via bus or tube and party switched to other modes of transport such as cycling. Journeys by bicycle remained high until the end of 2005, with a 9% annual increase in registered journeys compared to the previous year, whereas car, bus and underground use decreased.
The other big change in behavior that the we have seen during the pandemic is the massive increase in home shopping and the consumption of take away food. Even before the pandemic, there was strong growth in home deliveries. Globally, the expected growth in global parcel volumes is likely to be from around 90 billion in 2018 to around 200 billion in 2025. Likewise, the online food delivery industry was worth around $80 billion in 2018 but looks set to at least double by 2025. This rise in home delivery now requires suitably adapted transport solutions.
With consumers remaining wary of public transport and large groups, and a significant increase in home shopping, and consequently deliveries adapted transport solutions are urgently needed. Light urban mobility solutions must satisfy the requirements of a variety of users plus address challenges like emissions, congestion and safety. There will be no single type of transport and vehicle solution to meet all these needs, so industry players need to assess transport users and their needs carefully in order to create solutions which are: green, quick, safe, space efficient, and ecosystem integrated.
Ricardo has an holistic understanding of the opportunities, challenges and diverse solutions for light urban mobility.
We are applying our technology and consulting expertise to support our clients in developing future proof light urban mobility products and services to deliver people and goods around cities quicker more efficiently and more sustainably.
Whether organisations are looking to develop e-bikes, scooters, mopeds, motorcycles, four-wheelers, three-wheeler last mile delivery, mail delivery, on-demand personal transport of three-wheeler public transport vehicles, Ricardo provides light urban mobility clients with a full service offering, ranging from initial product definition, through design and development to effective manufacturing solutions for production vehicles.
Ricardo can offer highly integrated, cross functional services from an early idea generation and market analysis up to a fully developed production vehicle, including manufacturing support and aftersales opportunities.
Our deep strategic market understanding in combination with our proven engineering capabilities for light urban mobility vehicles allows us not only to support the vehicle development, but also the development of a 360° business model considering all relevant parts of the value chain.
Uniquely, Ricardo offers customers both commercial insight and technical or operational capabilities, acting as a trusted technical and commercial adviser, and providing them with critical benefits in the development of their light urban mobility market and product strategy, including speed to market; full-service offering; holistic understanding of the market situation, requirements and solutions.
Our experience supporting a variety of customers globally in their light urban vehicle development projects, giving us unmatched technical and commercial experience.