As advisers to some of the most dynamic companies in the world, we, at Deloitte, make it a point to closely watch developments in different industries, primarily so we can help our clients prepare for, or anticipate, changes or disruptions in their own marketplaces.
The automotive industry – specifically, the area of personal mobility – is one sector that has seen great changes over the past few years. The increasing popularity of ridesharing services such as Uber, for example, has disrupted the operations of traditional taxi companies, and rapidly advancing technologies are looking to create a world navigated by driverless cars.
Based on the intersection of these two critical trends—vehicle control (driver vs autonomous) and vehicle ownership (private vs shared)—Deloitte sees four different future states for personal mobility. These states may well exist simultaneously, albeit in different parts of the world, within the next five to 15 years.
Future state 1: Incremental change
In this most conservative vision of the future, private ownership will remain the norm, partly because for consumers, it is still the most convenient, flexible, and secure option.
This is the scenario we expect to play out in the Philippines, where conditions—an expanding middle class, attractive financing packages, declining fuel prices—are making car ownership easier and more affordable.
Automakers will continue to roll out new vehicle lines, but expect these models to feature increasingly advanced technologies as car manufacturers, some in partnership with tech firms, look to shift control from driver-only to driver-assist, and even autonomous drive.
Future state 2: A world of carsharing
This future state anticipates continued growth in shared access to vehicles as carsharing services expand to new geographic territories and more specialized customer segments.
Besides offering consumers the convenience of not having to drive through traffic or worry about parking—two very real concerns for Filipino commuters—ride-hailing companies are continuously tweaking their software and hardware systems based on observed behaviors to improve matches between drivers and riders, which in turn improves consumer experience.
In some territories, the growing popularity of shared mobility will mean multivehicle households can begin reducing the number of cars they own, while others may forego ownership altogether.
Future state 3: The driverless revolution
In this state, driverless cars are viable, safe, convenient, and economical, but private ownership continues to be the norm. In this scenario, where the cause of almost all accidents is removed—i.e., human error—vehicles will hardly ever crash and traffic jams will be rare as technology allows for less space between vehicles with real-time awareness of congestion.
Businesses, academics and regulatory agencies are already collaborating to make this scenario a reality. But technological limitations—sensors that can function in all types of weather and wide availability of 3D mapping, for example—are proving to be a big hurdle. Also, while consumers appreciate the driverless functionality for its safety and other potential benefits, it is likely they will continue to own cars for the same reasons they did before driverless vehicles became a possibility.
Future state 4: A new age of accessible autonomy
This state is the convergence of the autonomous and vehicle-sharing trends.
Fleets of autonomous shared vehicles offer the potential for faster trips, thanks to reduced distances between driverless vehicles and routes enhanced by real-time awareness of conditions. For ridesharing services, this scenario could allow them to reduce one of their biggest operational costs: the driver. For Filipinos, in particular, this would make the roads much safer from bad drivers.
The absence of a driver opens an opportunity for in-vehicle content-experience providers: Software and infotainment firms and data owners such as telecom companies, for example, could use the commute to monetize the value of passengers’ attention.
As with carsharing services, urban dwellers are likely to be the early adopters of these autonomous shared vehicles, but as smart infrastructure expands, these vehicles could spread to densely populated suburbs and beyond. In the Philippines, these are possibilities contingent on the resolution of our chronic road infrastructure challenge.
These are just some of the developments we see taking place in the global automotive industry, but already emerging is a very different picture of how people will get from point A to point B in the near future. Players in the sector—and even those in the extended value chain—would do well to diligently watch the trends and constantly find ways to build new and different capabilities.
For those who are interested in reading the complete report this article is based on, “The future of mobility: How transportation technology and social trends are creating a new business ecosystem” is available for download at this link: http://dupress.com/articles/future-of-mobility-transportation-technology/.
The author is the Financial Advisory Services Leader of Navarro Amper & Co., the local member firm of Deloitte Southeast Asia Ltd., a UK private company limited by guarantee (DTTL”). Deloitte provides audit, consulting, financial advisory, risk management, tax and related services to public and private clients spanning multiple industries. It has more than 220,000 professionals worldwide, including those in Deloitte Southeast Asia Ltd., which covers Brunei, Cambodia, Guam, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.