New means of getting from A to B are disrupting carmaking

Forums General Discussions (General) New means of getting from A to B are disrupting carmaking

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        These various modes of transport are being stitched together into seamless trips by specialist journey-planning apps. They let travellers take a scooter to the underground station, take the metro, then jump in an Uber for the last mile—or pick whatever other combination of price and travel time is most suitable. They charge the individual service providers a commission for including them in a journey. Some are experimenting with subscription plans.

        Ahead of everyone by a country mile is Tesla an American company that has disrupted the car industry by turning electric vehicles from an unsightly curiosity (remember the G -wiz?) into a serious challenger to the internal combustion engine. Rounding off the top five are not carmakers at all but Uber an American ride-hailing giant worth over $100bn and Didi Chuxing a Chinese one that on April 10th was reported to have filed confidentially to go public in New York and hopes for a similar valuation. In 2019 ahead of its flotation Uber put it at $5.7trn based on the 20trn or so kilometres that passengers travel each year in 175 countries using road vehicles including public transport.

        Accenture calculates that revenues from mobility including car sales will hit $6.6trn by 2050; new transport will make up 40% of the total. For every ten miles travelled Americans use the car for eight Europeans for seven and Chinese for six. A survey of American travel habits by LEK a consultancy showed that car journeys declined by just 9% last year compared with 55-65% for public transport and ride-hailing. In the first three months of the year Chinese car sales rebounded close to their pre-pandemic peak. Whim of Finland gives access to public transport taxis bikes and cars for a single subscription in several European locations. Five years ago in a bid to convince investors it was a “mobility” firm not an irrelevant behemoth GM launched Maven a brand offering car-sharing and a peer-to-peer rental. The same year Ford GM ’s Detroit rival acquired Chariot a shared minibus service and Volkswagen launched MOIA which employs 1 300 people developing on-demand transport. In 2019 BMW and Daimler two German makers of luxury cars combined their mobility businesses into a joint venture called Free Now and Toyota launched its car-sharing and travel-planning platform Kinto which has since expanded to several European countries. Some upmarket carmakers including Volvo (a Swedish brand owned by


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