In the fast changing world of mobility, concepts that seemed foreign a few years ago, such as sharing a public car or renting someone’s apartment, have become standard practice today thanks to data and the introduction of new technologies.
To anticipate future uses of mobile technology, international leader in assistance services, Allianz Global Assistance (AGA) has launched a Mobility Observatory that detects the early signs and clues of mobility trends around the world. Drawing on the expertise of research firm Soon Soon Soon, the Mobility Observatory identifies trends that will radically change the way we live.
Damien Arthur, Chief Market Manager, Allianz Global Assistance, explains, “Our business is based on providing assistance to our customers, so everything we do is driven by consumers and their behaviours. The Mobility Observatory will allow us to detect new trends and consumer behaviours that will ultimately shape the services we introduce.”
Every two months the latest mobile initiatives are reviewed on the mobility website, www.reinventmobility.com. The top ten trend categories include: Modular Life, Smart City Mobility, Relational Mobility, Work Here, There and Differently, Space Sharing, Extreme Tourism, Experiential Mobility, Mood Tracking, Civic Mobility, and Virtual Mobility.
21st century nomads share everything, even during their travel time. Time, meeting areas and means of transportation are being shared. Welcome to the age of collaborative consumption, boosted by crowdsourcing and digital devices, which is driven by a community that shares the belief that the definition of ownership is profoundly changing. An example from France:
- Weeleo, a French company, offers individual travellers the possibility to exchange local currencies amongst themselves, at the current daily exchange rate with no added tax.
With the advent of tele-presence technologies, it is now possible to be here or there, without really being there at all. Virtual mobility enables a form of ubiquity. An example from Australia:
- The Melbourne Tourist Office offers Internet users a chance to visit the city with the help of two tourists carrying cameras. Where they travel is broadcasted live and the Internet users can influence their routes and propose activities of their choice to visit the city remotely.
Some travellers consider flying to be lost time and are looking for experiential, distracting forms of mobility to reduce the feelings of frustration. A solution has been invented in France:
- Airbus is exploring the possibility to fit passengers with virtual reality helmets to help them forget that they are inside an aeroplane. This technical solution will address two problems: the boredom experienced by passengers during long flights and the stress of flying, which can result in a real phobia.
Smart City Mobility
Cities are enriching mobility experiences while also making them easier and more comfortable. The ‘smart’ city makes it possible to optimise transportation based on different parameters. An example from the U.S.:
- Bridj: A bus company based in Boston has launched the practical and innovative concept of the “all-comfort” bus, which determines routes and transit schedules based on algorithms that cross match data about where passengers live and work.
Work Here, Work There, Work Differently
Modular cities, flexible spaces, digital technologies and tele-presence techniques: all these factors combined have transformed the work environment and the way we imagine our office. Today, the traditional office is gradually losing its walls in favour of workers’ permanent mobility. An example from France:
- Noticing that required workspace is decreasing and that geographical flexibility is becoming a priority for the young working generation, designer, Tyrone Stoddart, developed BOXED, an office that fits inside a suitcase.