Skip to content

The True Future of Transportation Has Two Big Barriers to Entry

Open data and smart devices will be the cornerstones of tomorrow's urban mobility.
relates to The True Future of Transportation Has Two Big Barriers to Entry

In the wake of the automobile's 20th-century boom, the next notable shift in urban transportation may largely be defined by the digitization of mobility, including public transit and shared-vehicle services. With a growing population of multi-modal travelers and the development of shared-use transportation, the demand for seamless access to different modes is rising, particularly as environmental and socio-economic pressures mount. Shared-use mobility facilitates this short-term access to various modes: public transit, carsharing, bikesharing, car- and vanpooling, on-demand ride services (such as Uber, Lyft, and Sidecar), and shuttle services (such as RidePal, Genentech, Google, and Facebook shuttles).

But transitioning from a world chock-full of tickets, memberships, and key fobs to a world where travelers compare modes, plan routes, and pay for publicly accessible services on a single digital platform involves overcoming many barriers. Even the most advanced smartphone apps and other digital platforms that aggregate trip data and services still have major limitations. This vision of urban mobility hinges upon transportation providers — both public and private — sharing data, collaborating, and supporting innovation.