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Mobility study shows extent of technology's impact on transportation

The study covers 37 cities across 15 countries and looks at social-demographic changes including work patterns, use of digital technologies and regional development.

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New methods of mobility have the potential to rapidly change the transportation landscape
New methods of mobility have the potential to rapidly change the transportation landscape

The vast majority of people (83 per cent) believe technology plays an essential role in simplifying their travel in a city while more than two thirds (70 per cent) of those who own a smartphone use a transport app or maps and plans at least once a month, according to a new global study.

 

Even the most “digimobile” though are worried about being left behind by the speed of technology and almost three-quarters (71 per cent) have concerns about how companies use their personal data.

 

The findings come from the latest mobility monitoring study from shared transport company, Keolis. First conducted in 2007, Keoscopie International takes a look at socio-demographic changes such as patterns of work, increase in the use of digital technologies, increases in life expectancy, development of regions and the impact that they have on mobility.

 

Changing mobility habits

 

The company worked with Ipsos on the latest study, which focused on 37 cities in 15 countries spread over four continents. It investigated the habits of a sample made up of 6,600 people, examining how they use new technologies and the impact that digital technologies have on mobility. It highlights specific national and local features.

 

It is clear from the study that far more diverse patterns of behaviour are emerging around the world and cities and transport operators need to be aware of people’s expectations if their services and solutions are to be compatible with their needs.

 

“Contrary to popular myth, a large percentage of people don’t take the same journey to work or back home every day, Monday-Friday,” said Kara Livingston, group marketing and customer service director, Keolis.

“Lifestyle habits and working patterns are changing and the more diverse patterns of mobility mean that people’s expectations of being able to go and do things at different times is very high”

This means transport polices which are organised around the same commuters travelling 7-9 in morning and 5-7 at night aren’t as appropriate as they use to be. “Lifestyle habits and working patterns are changing and the more diverse patterns of mobility mean that people’s expectations of being able to go and do things at different times is very high,” said Livingston.

 

Rise of multi-modal

 

The study also finds that multi-modal travel is becoming a reality for many people. More than three fifths (62 per cent) say that they use one mode of transport for going somewhere and a different mode for going home and more than half (57 per cent) use different modes of transport from one day to the next.

 

New forms of mobility such as private car services, electric bikes, car-sharing, car-pooling, scooters, Segways, monowheels and hoverboards are also becoming well established. Well over a third (38 per cent) use them at least once a month though this does vary region to region. For instance, in China usage is as high as 77 per cent versus 26 per cent in Scandinavia.

“There is a real appetite for new forms of mobility even to extent that the potential market shares for these [new forms] are the same as those currently for public transport”

“In all countries – although the US and China are further ahead – there is a real appetite for new forms of mobility even to extent that the potential market shares for these [new forms] are the same as those currently for public transport,” said Livingston. “So if that comes to pass, they could quickly become part of the mobility landscape.”

 

More than four-fifths (83 per cent) of the people polled consider that technology plays an essential role in facilitating their journeys in cities (by car, public transport or any other mode of transport), enabling them to do the following in particular:

  • select the right mode of transport at the right time
  • have access to several different modes of transport (such as self-service fleet or shared vehicles)
  • optimise their journey route and duration.

Public transport satisfaction

 

Satisfaction levels regarding public transport are high: 41 per cent of metro users and 36 per cent of bus users award scores of between 8 out of 10 and 10 out of 10 in their cities.

 

Two major expectations stand out, however, as far as mobility is concerned: 45 per cent of the people polled would like to see more frequent services on public transport, including in evenings and on weekends, and 40 per cent would like to see improvements to the levels of comfort (such as air-conditioning and more comfortable seats).

 

Use of smartphones

 

The vast majority of respondents (89 per cent) are equipped with a smartphone and use these mainly for looking at maps (61 per cent), searching for the best route (53 per cent), finding out when the next departure is (46 per cent), looking at timetables (45 per cent) and getting information directly via notifications/alerts (45 per cent).

Even the most digital-savvy have concerns about being left behind by technology and data-sharing

The research found that almost a third (32 per cent) of those surveyed consider themselves to be “digimobile”, meaning they own a smartphone, they are ultra-connected and feel completely comfortable using it for almost everything. This varies from country to country though: for example, only 28 per cent in France place themselves in this category compared to more than half in China (57 per cent).

 

Even the most digital-savvy have concerns about being left behind by technology and data-sharing though. “Whatever their starting point it was a case of ‘things are moving so fast that I’m not sure I understand everything and I’m not entirely clear on how my data is being used and whether it’s a good thing’,” said Livingston.

 

The full Keoscopie International study is available here.

 

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