New ways of getting around
New Mobility is a collective term that summarises many innovations and concepts around the topic of urban mobility. The much-discussed topics include, for example, concepts on smart parking, micromobility, bikesharing, carsharing, e-scooter rentals, etc. The ultimate goal of New Mobility is smart solutions that curb the acute lack of space - overcrowding - in cities, while conserving resources and increasing efficiency. Especially in large cities and metropolitan regions, many New Mobility concepts are already in use today - and the trend is rising.
Definition: What is New Mobility?
New Mobility - also called new or intelligent mobility - combines classic mobility with the advantages of the internet and the use of mobile devices.
Through the networking of vehicles, new transport options, more automation and electrification, concepts around New Mobility are changing the way we get around and use infrastructures - together.
Challenges of the New Mobility
As the trend is for more and more people to live in cities, the development of increasingly efficient transport systems will be of great importance in the future.
Chronic lack of space and overcrowding already characterise the image of many large cities and lead to many social and environmental problems – e.g. more...
- Housing shortage
- noise and air pollution
- traffic jams and accidents
- logistical delays
- and much more.
What is overcrowding? Overcrowding defines the condition where more people are in one place than is justifiable from a safety or health point of view. Overcrowding usually occurs in public transport, squares or places. Negative effects include lack of sleep, noise pollution, poor hygiene and nervousness.
Goals of New Mobility
Various new mobility concepts focus on these "neuralgic" points, e.g. to achieve improvements or to implement new solutions.
The most important goals of most new mobility concepts include:
- Resource-efficient transport infrastructures
- Flexible mobility & sharing offers
- Modern parking space management or smart parking
- Improvement of public transport
- Promotion of micro-mobility
- Expansion of teleworking
Good to know: The overarching goals of New Mobility can only be achieved through an interlocking of different mobility concepts. Fewer (to no) private cars in city centres. Fewer traffic jams. Fewer accidents. Fewer pollutants. More quality of life, etc.
Improvements through New Mobility – Examples
So what specific improvements can be expected from New Mobility concepts? Since New Mobility is in principle a large collective term for many different concepts around the topic of urban mobility, we present a few concrete examples below.
Example 1: Modern transport infrastructures
In the implementation of modern transport infrastructures, data-based control systems and networking between vehicles and these transport systems play a key role. If, for example, traffic lights are networked with the vehicles of a city, then intersections offer enormous potential for CO₂ savings. Here are a few facts and figures:
- Data-based traffic light systems can reduce waiting times by up to 40 % and increase traffic flow by up to 60 %.
- Automated systems can monitor compliance with speed limits or minimum distances much more efficiently.
- Automation reduces congestion in front of traffic lights and reduces accidents by up to 80 %. This not only saves money (e.g. for logistics), but also protects the environment.
Example 2: Flexible Sharing-Offers
If city residents can effectively use sharing services such as car sharing or ridehailing at any time - flexibly and at the lowest possible prices – it is much easier to do without a private car.
Especially because sharing services have one advantage over the private car: They do not have to park in city centres, where parking space is notoriously scarce and the search for a parking space can cost a lot of time and nerves.
Good to know: According to studies, one car sharing car can replace between 8 and 20 cars.
Example 3: Smart Parking
Up to 40 percent of traffic in cities is accounted for by the search for a parking space alone. Modern parking space management or smart parking aims to remedy this situation. Because even if cars are shared more in the future and can drive autonomously at some point, they still need to be parked and parked safely – e.g. through the following solutions:
- Apps that show free parking spaces nearby (matching the size of the car).
- Central car parks near mobility hubs.
- Reservation and payment of parking spaces via app.
Example 4: Attractive public transport
Improvements in public transport should favour two important developments in particular:
- Transporting more passengers from A to B.
- Emit fewer emissions.
The latter is in principle easy to achieve as soon as buses switch to alternative fuels and trams, trains, etc. run only on green electricity. Both are already a reality today. But to get more people to use public transport instead of cars, a bit more transport policy planning or better incentives are needed. Here is a selection:
- Comprehensive expansion in city centres
- Low fares/subscriptions
- Journeys every 5 to 10 minutes around the clock (24/7)
- Transfer possibilities to e-bikes, e-scooters, etc. at stops - for the last metre
- Connecting trains/buses to city limits and outlying urban areas
Good to know: If all accessible means of public transport, rental bikes, e-scooters, rental cars, etc. are centrally linked and can be accessed via an app, city dwellers can travel flexibly from A to B without having to use their private car.
Example 5: Promotion of micromobility
The question of the last mile is crucial to motivate people to leave the private car at home. Since the approval of e-scooters in Germany, more cars have demonstrably been left standing – especially in good weather – but there is still a lot of room for mprovement in the promotion of micromobility.
- According to McKinsey analysts, the market for micromobility will grow about three times as fast as that for car-sharing services by 2030.
- This generally includes small and light means of transport – mostly with electric drive – such as electric bicycles, e-scooters, Segways or cargo bikes and many more.
Example 6: Promotion of teleworking / home office
What does teleworking have to do with New Mobility? This may only become clear at second glance. It is mainly about saving employees the commute to work, which may mean:
- less time lost in traffic jams
- less stress on the packed commuter train (or rush hour).
Employers do not necessarily have to shift 100% of the work to the home office. Concepts of rented open-plan offices or co-working spaces in different city districts are also conceivable, so that employees can work from their neighbourhood.
It remains to be said: Sharing workplaces and work equipment also saves resources, gives employees more freedom and reduces traffic congestion.
Conclusion: New Mobility
The last example in particular shows that there are many new challenges and trends coming up in the field of New Mobility that will make transport in cities more sustainable and efficient. Understanding and adapting the requirements for all means of transport and their users are key to meeting the needs of tomorrow's society and economy.
Last but not least: What if there were an intelligent infrastructure that connected road, rail and other modes of transport in such a way that they all work together perfectly to meet our mobility needs? Concepts around New Mobility are already providing the first answers to this.
FAQs – Frequently asked questions briefly explained
New Mobility is a collective term that summarises many innovations around the topic of urban mobility - e.g. concepts about smart parking, micromobility, car sharing, ride-hailing and many more. The ultimate goal is to conserve resources and increase efficiency.
The majority of future transformation processes will take place in cities and metropolises. The entirety of these technologies, concepts and processes driving change is summarised under the buzzword urban mobility.
In the future, the networking of vehicles, new transport options, more automation and electrification will contribute to urban dwellers increasingly foregoing their cars and resorting to alternative - shared - means of transport.
The mobility of the future lies in digitalisation: Big Data, 5G, artificial intelligence and more connectivity increase safety, improve efficiency and reduce environmental pollution. The resulting mobility concepts are setting profound changes in motion.