Our mobility methods are constantly evolving. As we move from gas guzzlers to electric supercars, private cars to car sharing, trains to Hyperloops – where is transportation going next? Could it be that we will be driving flying cars within the next 10 years? Will all of our shared transportation systems be connected seamlessly? With so many new technology innovations, climate considerations, growing urban centres – what does consumer adoption look like?
Last month’s Vancouver Entrepreneur Forum (VEF) event brought together innovators and experts from a mix of industries for a discussion on the Future of Transportation. movmi was delighted to partner up with VEF for this event to bring back our in-person ‘Mobility Minglers.’ A big thank you to everyone in our network who attended the event – we were so happy to connect with you IRL!
Keep reading for a few of movmi’s highlights from the panel discussion, or watch the re-cap video below! To check out some content from our previous minglers, click here.
Highlights from Future of Transportation & movmi’s Mingler, 2022
What’s a surprising fact about your industry?
Sandra: Despite the pandemic, every shared mobility project has grown and Vancouver still remains the number one carshare capital in North America.
Jay: Motorcycling is the most important form of transportation in the world at 44% of global miles travelled. It is an economic necessity for 100 mega cities worldwide with a population greater that ten million people.
Simon: Fun fact about hydrogen, is that Europe has just placed the largest hydrogen order in history. They asked for ten million tonnes of green hydrogen to imported from all over the world, partially due to the conflict in Ukraine, but also due to the fact that we are going to need more clean energy if we hope to decarbonize fast enough. To put it into perspective, that order is more than all of the green hydrogen currently being produced today.
Adam: The Lucid air the is the longest range, fastest charging electric vehicle in the world. Fun fact about this industry, last year it was just myself sitting at my laptop with Lucid Motors, the end of this year we will have five locations across Canada.
What are some of the new technologies that will revolutionize your industry?
Sandra: Revolutionize or maybe just optimize in our case. There is a lot of autonomous and AI technology that is weaving its way into shared mobility, specifically micromobility. For example kick scooters are getting smarter. The other is on the infrastructure side. There was a dock from Commute outside which was agnostic meaning it could dock different types of form factors. I think we are going to see new technologies in this area, specifically for one and two seater vehicles and how to dock, charge and manage these vehicles across cities without them being a hindrance for users and pedestrians.
Jay: I think companies will start to take all the great technologies we have and pull them together into a vertically integrated solution. Tesla currently dominates with 75% of the electric car market, which is something that has never happened before and this is because they have integrated these technologies together end-to-end. I think that this is a great opportunity for maybe companies that we will see increase in the future.
Chris: Energy systems and manufacturing processes. Advanced manufacturing is really picking up. We can now get automotive rates at aerospace quality. As we try to find that sweet spot, we will start to see high quality machines that will integrate so many of these technologies and adapt as new technologies come online.
What technology is needed as we shift to shared economy?
Sandra: I think we need to focus on less technology, or maybe just technology that focuses on behaviour change. How do we give people the same experience, the same seamlessness, the same reliability as having their own car downstairs, but without have their own car downstairs?
When it comes to hiring, where should we be focusing our efforts?
Adam: When it came to hiring, I wanted something different. I wanted young people who loved technology. I needed people who could speak at a really high level to battery chemistry, power management and luxury – which is a lot of different things. It took a long time to find the right people and in a lot of cases it was about taking risks. As a car manufacturer, we were specially looking for people not from the automotive industry, instead we wanted people from technology, fashion, retail, etc. and new that we could teach them the things they needed to know, but that we couldn’t teach them passion.
How can we build products for everyone?
Sandra: I think this is a critical piece that we need to discuss. If you take a look at the panel here, there is one person who looks like 50% of the population. For the last five years we have been working on co-creating shared mobility projects around the world and every time we were lucky to have even 20% of the teams, women. Two years ago we started the EmpowerWISM program were we source women entrepreneurs in the shared mobility space. We now have 33 women-founded and owned companies in that cohort. If you don’t see someone like you at the decision making table, you can feel underrepresented and representation matter.
I don’t we need to necessarily make transportation sexy, but we do need to make it appeal to children – start at a young age. Everyone needs to move around no matter how old you are or how able you are, so we need to make it more exciting and safe to work in – for everyone.
From more movmi news and shared mobility updates, make sure to subscribe to our newsletter here.