The automotive industry is in a time of change
Driverless autonomous vehicles will make new services possible. The result is a mobility system that combines the comfort of the train with the various possibilities of automotive transport. This is another step toward a completely free and independent way of moving. However, it is not just about more comfort and freedom: it is about a completely different understanding of movement – a new travel culture!
The journey itself is the destination – Scenario
In the future: Road and rail traffic has been largely automated. Autonomous and environmentally-friendly vehicles bring us safely to the place of our choice. Long distances are no longer “covered”, but understood as an extension of their own open space:
Lora, her husband Carl, and their son Tommy are from Hamburg. They have two weeks of holiday vacation and are planning to visit Lora’s sister in Rome. Along the way there is a lot to explore and discover. When planning the route, the shortest way is of no concern, but what is important is finding the routes that have beautiful views and scenery and that also pass by places that have interesting offers for families. Thus a nice intermediate stop can be planned into the trip every two hours. The family has the larger pieces of luggage picked up by a logistics partner (NEXT LOGISTICS) beforehand. At their house, they get into an autonomous city vehicle and are driven out of the congested area of the city. The booked Family Panorama Mobile is already waiting at the transfer station on the edge of the city. In addition to plenty of space and a sleeping area, it offers toys and a reading corner for Tommy. The boy immediately jumps over to the large windows because there is not only much to see, but also much to experience: While mom snoozes a little and dad reads a book, an audio guide tells exciting and amusing tales about the rivers, lakes, mountains, castles and animals that come into view. They are now going past Mr. Schulze’s farm on the right, which is home to the Holstein dairy cows. He sells fresh organic milk at his milk station – well, if that isn’t a great place to stop!
Later, the vehicle stops at a restaurant and Lora picks up the previously ordered dinner. On the evening of the first day of vacation everyone is tired due to all the wonderful sights and they all lie down to sleep in the comfortable beds of the Family Panorama Mobile. Through the panorama roof, they have a wonderful view of the clear starry sky.
The next day, the family wakes up 1000 kilometers further south and enjoys the Mediterranean landscape. The vehicle stops at a wellness facility so that the family can shower and have breakfast. As the ride continues, the on-board computer calculates the arrival time in Rome: 5:38 PM. However, no one is in a hurry because who knows what else there is to see and explore?
A new quality of mobility
In the future, it will be less about the journey as such, and more about the possibilities of time and travel. It can be about beautiful experiences or peaceful stillness, but it can also be about finishing certain tasks or purchasing certain things – almost as an aside – during the trip, something that you would otherwise not be able to do. Depending on the length of the trip, hobbies or interests, providers of certain services can be integrated via smartphone or vehicle user interface: Restaurants, hotels, stores, places of interest and events. However: This new mobility will become more diverse and the individual interests of the travelers will become increasingly differentiated. Certain wishes will be fulfilled during the journey with the vehicle, which is something that we can hardly imagine today.
Networked and easily accessible services in combination with different autonomous vehicle fleets will enable a higher quality of mobility. The trip becomes an experience that we can individually arrange according to our wishes, while remaining in control of the route and time schedule. Not only are families interested in comfortable mobility, but also commuters and business travelers who can use an autonomous vehicle as a mobile office, as well as larger travel groups who can travel with larger vehicles for a short period of time.
Car sharing: Improve the city
Air laden with fine dust, parking spaces full in downtown areas, congestion and traffic noise – all this will soon be history thanks to self-driving electric vehicle fleets. With autonomous vehicles, congested city centers will improve: By communicating with each other, electric vehicles can travel independently around the city and quickly reach the desired pick-up or drop-off location. Since the vehicles do not sit around most of the time, but instead are constantly in use, a large portion of parking structures and spaces become superfluous and can be used in a more humanitarian way. A proposal for this is PARKPARK. One-way street rules are no longer required in some instances due to the intelligent control of vehicles and infrastructure. Depending on the volume of traffic, the driving direction can be determined for individual road lanes. The infrastructure and the vehicles will be more effective and adapt to traffic patterns and volume.
It will gradually develop into city center zones where mainly public transportation and car sharing occurs – while at the same time private transportation using internal combustion engines is still possible outside of the metropolitan areas. At the edges of the cities there will be transfer stations that enable an intelligent and smooth transition between private and public transport.
THE USER benefits from a wide range of services which can be accessed at any time from home or on the road – via the user’s smartphone or the user interface of the vehicles. An intelligent system will help the user and respond to the user’s wishes and habits. It connects users, vehicles, infrastructure and services: This creates a completely new kind of mobility.