The future of mobility after COVID-19

The pandemic has shut millions of people in their homes and disrupted every part of the transportation domain, but leaders can’t simply wait to see how tomorrow’s reshaped mobility ecosystem turns out. Deloitte and Saleforce offer four possible scenarios for the future of mobility.

Four possible scenarios of mobility

Deloitte and Salesforce assembled renowned scenario thinkers to develop a series of possible long-term (three-to-five-year) outcomes for a post-COVID-19 world. At the highest level, the postcoronavirus landscape will likely be shaped by the evolution of two key factors: the duration and severity of the pandemic itself, and the degree to which governments collaborate within and between themselves in the response. Based on the key uncertainties, they developed four notional scenarios:

A passing storm. The COVID-19 pandemic shakes society but, after a slow start, is met with an increasingly effective health system and political response. The virus is eradicated earlier than expected due to coordinated measures by global players to spread awareness and share best practices. Their competence in the crisis renews trust in public institutions. Despite being relatively short-lived, the pandemic causes long-term economic impact. Fiscal and monetary stimulus help blunt the shocks but cannot reverse the losses that small businesses and lower- and middle-income individuals have begun to experience. Tensions sharpen between socioeconomic classes.

Good company. The COVID-19 pandemic persists past initial projections, placing a growing burden on governments around the world that struggle to handle the crisis alone. Public-private partnerships surge as companies step up to be part of a global solution. New “pop-up ecosystems” arise as companies across industries partner to respond to critical needs and drive much-needed innovation. Social media companies, platform companies, and tech giants gain new prestige. Ultimately, companies shift further toward stakeholder capitalism, with a more empathetic stance on how they can best serve their customers, shareholders, and employees in rebuilding after the crisis.

Sunrise in the east. The COVID-19 pandemic is severe and unfolds inconsistently across the world. China and other East Asian countries manage the disease more effectively, whereas Western nations struggle with deep and lasting impacts—human, social, and economic—driven by slower and inconsistent responses. The global center of power shifts decisively east as China and other East Asian nations take the reins as primary powers on the world stage and lead global coordination of the health system and other multilateral institutions. The ability of China, Taiwan, and South Korea to contain the outbreak through strong, centralized government response becomes the gold standard.

Lone wolves. The COVID-19 pandemic becomes a prolonged crisis as waves of disease rock the globe for longer than anyone was prepared for. Mounting deaths, social unrest, and economic free fall become prominent. The invisible enemy is everywhere, and paranoia grows. As isolationism grows, nations put strict controls on foreigners and force supply chains home in the name of local security. Government surveillance is commonplace, with tech monitors on people and their movements.

Comments: I believe we are going to see market-led innovation with increased partnerships and collaboration between large automotive and technology companies to advance EV, AV and shared mobility solutions. Consolidations will continue to take place, where larger OEM’s will absorb underfunded players.

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