Car ownership has already passed its peak, and in the year 2030, just nine years from now, around 10% of us may have given up our cars altogether… 

So it’s not the future of flying cars we’d all hoped for yet, but it’s certainly a more sustainable one.

It will be the world’s largest cities that see the change first, within the next decade, a study by Kantar for the UN-Habitat World Urban Forum found[1].

Electric automated vehicles, multi-modality (such as e-scooters, shuttles, and robot taxis), and shared mobility will overtake the number of personal car rides taken.

Fewer people will hold a driving license, a trend that has already been seen in younger generations, with a 15% decline in the number of 20 to 24-year-olds in the US with a license (in the 30 years from 1983).[2]

Will car manufacturers all rent and sell us their version of UBER?

The move towards mobility as a service (MaaS) is already taking place. In 2017, Ford and Toyota renamed themselves ‘mobility companies’ rather than automotive manufacturers[3].

Of the five top-valued companies in the personal transport business, only Toyota and Volkswagen are car manufacturers. The others are mobility services such as the ride-hailing app Uber and the Chinese equivalent, Didi Chuxing[4].

In 2030, it is predicted that consumers will no longer have to pay for their cars, tickets, fuel, and taxis separately. Instead, they will be able to buy a contract with a mobility service, such as Uber or Lyft, that covers all transport avenues[5].

Volkswagen boss Herbert Diess told The Economist earlier this year: “Ownership is not necessarily what you want. You want a car when you need a car.”[6]

Predictions by advisory giant KPMG state that the automotive industry will break into two archetypes – the metal smith and the gridmaster – those manufacturing the sophisticated cars and their technology, and those providing platforms for customer mobility services and harnessing data[7].Whilst this move to mobility as a service is already underway, it is likely to take longer for fully autonomous cars to become part of the general market due to the expense. Initially they will only be taken on by the luxury market.

Will prestige be based on the mobility provider you use?

Yes, probably.

If you’re no longer buying this year’s Bentley or Rolls-Royce and are getting around using ‘shared mobility’ how will anybody know just how stinking rich you are? 

There will still be room for those who wish to own fully automated electric vehicles privately, and of course there will still be people who choose to drive themselves, although as Tesla’s Elon Musk suggested, we are likely to reach a point where it will be safer to ban all human-driving in future[8].

However, for true luxury combined with convenience, mobility services will most likely offer a Premium service – with a state-of-the-art driverless car picking you up within a minute or less and offering entertainment on the journey.

Others suggest that perhaps, with little to differentiate services, eventually there will become a premium on speed – with certain routes or fast lanes only available to those with a premium subscription.

For most however, just as there’s no shame in riding in an Uber Toyota Prius or a London Black Cab, it will be a case of whatever means of getting around are most affordable and reliable.

The market, which is predicted to be worth at least $1trillion, will offer companies massive new sales opportunities as each consumer picks their favourite mobility service.

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