The mobility sector will reach a market volume of 60,000 million euros in 2027, according to data from a study by the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) presented within the framework of the Tomorrow Mobility World Congress held in Barcelona on November 15-17 together with the Smart City Expo.
To analyze this transformation of transport models, Diálogos en La Vanguardia, with the collaboration of EY, organized the session "Future Mobility", in which experts from the sector agreed to highlight the role of digitization and sustainability as key axes of the changes that are to come.
The meeting, which took place last Monday at the EY offices in Barcelona, had the participation of the head of railway safety management of the Generalitat de Catalonia (FGC) and the Minister of Railway Infrastructures of Catalonia (Ifercat), Adrina Bachelor; the CEO of Abertis Mobility Services, Christian Barrientos; the director of Marketing and Negocios Corporativos de Transports Metropolitanas de Barcelona (TMB), Joaquim Balsera, and the general secretary of the Gremi del Motor y Fecavem, Joan Blancafort, together with the Business Transformation partner of EY Consulting, Miguel Gallo, and the responsible partner from the Automotive and Transport sector in Spain at EY Consulting, Xavier Ferré, who acted as co-hosts of the event.
The new mobility is “connected and digital intermodal”, highlighted Gallo. EY Consulting's Business Transformation partner also warned that "it is not isolated", but is framed in a context of "active population aging, development of large digital and interconnected cities, new consumers with subscription payment and use of services of transport, growth of smart and connected tourism and the sustainable and circular economy”. These five interconnected axes of transformation represent, in his opinion, "territories of new business opportunity".
To the importance of these "vectors", Ferré also added that "one of the great changes in future mobility is that the user will be at the center and endowed with a connected ecosystem to offer mobility solutions, but also services" , which will be supported by “technology and data management”.
“The connected car is already a reality. This provides us with a large amount of information to make travel safer, more sustainable and connected, in addition to improving the user experience on their trips, Barrientos agreed. The general director of Abertis Mobility Services recalled that changes will have to be introduced when financing the infrastructures. The expert advocates "smarter mobility to find the most suitable mix".
Although in addition to connectivity, El Gallo also highlighted the importance that artificial intelligence and predictive algorithms will have for the "planning" of mobility. Technology, according to Barrientos, provides "benefits" when it comes to managing a growing demand for mobility, especially in large cities that currently concentrate 55% of the world's population, a percentage that will increase to 70% in 2050, according to United Nations projections.
“Something must be done to prevent cities from being congested and polluted. Currently there are solutions that range from payment for pollution to payment for use or payment for congestion,” Barrientos said. And he added: "Through our international experience we have verified that these systems are very useful for the climate challenge we have and to achieve the decarbonization of municipalities and the notable improvement in the quality of life of citizens."
“It is necessary to make a deep reflection on the changes in the morphology of cities and offer efficient and adapted mobility services, based on the analysis of what the user needs”, reflected Joaquim Balsera. The current lines of work of Transports Metropolitans de Barcelona, which include metro management, urban and tourist buses, cable cars and bicycles, he explained, are committed to intermodality, the renewal of the fleet with "hydrogen or electric vehicles" and the improvement of the efficiency of “energy use” in the metro.
Bachiller, for his part, also claimed the "role of high-capacity and very well interconnected public transport." In the case of Ferrocarrils de la Generalitat de Catalunya, the company's security manager explained that projects are being developed to implement higher frequencies on the BarcelonaVallès line, improve services on the Llobregat-Anoia lines, interconnect the two lines metropolitan, manage the Lleida-Cervera-Manresa line and achieve fast connection with Barcelona airport and implement the Camp de Tarragona tram. In the field of sustainability, Bachiller highlighted that renewable energies are being promoted through the use of 100% solar electricity.
Despite the rise of teleworking from the pandemic, Adrina Bachiller clarified that "it is unthinkable that mobility needs are reduced", so that "sustainable mobility is at the center of all current decisions, as a fundamental part of the compliance with the Sustainable Development Goals, the SDGs”.
“We are in a disruptive moment and of radical transformation. The impact of technological innovations is revolutionizing mobility and forcing us to rethink absolutely everything”, stressed Blancafort on behalf of the Catalan automotive businessmen. The General Secretary of the Motor Union and Fecavem recalled that the private sector also has the "objective of rejuvenating the fleet" and expressed its "will" to "participate in the decisions" made in terms of mobility.
"There are going to be great opportunities for the mobility sector, but their companies will have to transform and live with the entry of new competitors," predicted Xavier Ferré. The partner of the Automotive and Transport sector in Spain at EY Consulting considers that "smart cities, equipped with efficient and sustainable mobility, will be a differential competitiveness factor for attracting talent and future investments".
The "willingness to collaborate" between the different actors in the private sector and the administration is essential to move towards the mobility of the future, added the partner in charge of Business Transformation at EY Consulting, Miguel Gallo, who concluded his speech by encouraging the actors in the "mobility ecosystem" to "work more and better together".