What will the long-term business model look like for smart mobility in the average US city?
For most of the past decade, companies have teamed up with local municipalities to enter the smart mobility phase of long term urban planning. The goals? To combat city traffic congestion in downtown areas due to last-mile travel, solve parking issues due to reduction of spaces, reduce pollution, and increase safety. Out of the many pilot projects came electric shuttles, and connected scooters and bikes. Well-known autonomous vehicle and connected vehicle trials have been active for the past 7 years; autonomous trucks are already on the road, hauling cargo.
Terabytes of data have been collected so far, but where is all of this going? Despite the hype, there are so many considerations, public and private, involved in building supporting infrastructure, that no long-term business model for smart mobility has emerged – more than 5 years out. Some of the challenges they’re facing are scalability, a necessary change in driving culture – which may be harder to breach in the US than in other countries – and how to monetize this industry. Key monetization factors will be in curating the customer experience, all aspects of data stream management, and the structure of roadway usage. I’ll be following developments in this industry as it progresses.