Providing mobility as a service instead of simply selling cars is hard. Look at the following two examples:
Increasingly, we are being asked by clients how they we can help them to make their businesses greener. What this actually means is changing. A few years ago, material or aerodynamic performance were at the forefront of clients’ minds. Environmental friendliness could be achieved through improved engineering. Green products would stretch our resources further. These days though, the challenges our clients are facing require deeper, more profound changes to not only their products, but also their services and even business models.
This year marked a significant change for the Royal College of Art’s Vehicle Design course with its evolution into ‘Intelligent Mobility’. The course has always been a hive of thoughtful and sometimes provocative work and it has been good to see how well this year’s students have adapted to the new course structure and emphasis. Whilst the inherent visual nature of the majority of students was still evident in the work on show, it was interesting to see the growing importance and strength of the narratives behind the elegant forms.
Last autumn, BBC News published a thought-provoking piece on their website called ‘Why you have (probably) already bought your last car’. In it, they made the case that, just as the age of horse-drawn transport effectively ended a mere twenty or so years after the first Model T Ford left the Piquet Avenue plant in Detroit, the next transport revolution could happen a lot faster than we expect. A combination of the promise of the imminent arrival of autonomous cars, simpler and longer-lasting electric vehicles were cited as two of the key drivers (no pun intended) for the extinction of the privately-owned car.
We’ve been feeling increasingly that right now, we are living through an automotive Cambrian Explosion, a time when an extraordinary number of new types of vehicle are being created. We know that not all of these will survive – the bar to entering the automotive market has long been punishingly high – but even those that perish will more than likely leave a mark, shaping the survivors in ways that we can only begin to imagine right now.
Hello and welcome to our new website. We’ll be bringing you regular updates about what we are doing very soon.