In the last 10 years, we’ve seen changes in the way that people and freight are moved. From autonomous and electric cars, to drones and block chain technology, we’ll see many more changes in the next 10 years.
Many believe the next fundamental change is likely to be the end of car ownership. For a very long time, the private car has symbolized freedom, power, personal independence and status. Ride sharing, car-pooling, on-demand transport, mobility as a service subscriptions and autonomous vehicles will redefine our relationship with cars, the biggest change being that we may not want to own our own car.
Aarjav Trivedi, chief executive of Ridecell, a San Francisco company that provides the back-end software for car sharing says that in the future “the majority of transportation in urban cities with temperate weather will be on demand, shared and likely autonomous.”
Faraday Future, the Los Angeles-based electric car startup, believe the car industry will be reinvented with car subscribers, with car subscriptions sold more than actual cars.
This change is happening now. According to the Millennials in Motion. Changing Travel Habits of Young Americans and the Implications for Public Policy study by US Public Interest Research Group and Frontier Group, between 2001 and 2009 the average number of miles driven by 16 to 34 year-olds dropped by 23 per cent and millennials made 15 per cent fewer trips by cars over the same period.
We’ll see many dramatic changes in the next 10 years. Change will present significant challenges and countless opportunities. Our role, as planners and engineers, will inevitably evolve and transform. We don’t know exactly what the future holds but we do know that if we effectively prepare, we’ll be able to thrive not just survive. Here’s how:
1. Let’s be aware
The first, and perhaps biggest, mistake anyone could make is not being aware of – or understanding – emerging trends and technologies. It’s easy to be ‘blissfully unaware’ but it’s crucial to look at where our industry has been, where it’s going and where it may or may not be in the future. A solution is to start listening to people who have a keen eye for emerging trends.
2. Let’s not be so focussed on perfection
The second mistake we could make is our focus on perfection. Problems come and go. Problems change and evolve. Problems are solved and new problems arise. Author and entrepreneur Mark Manson says “When we let go of our conception of what is perfect and what ‘should’ be, we relieve ourselves of the stress.”
One solution is to accept there will be imperfections, and failures, as our industry transitions.
3. Let’s not be too scared to act
The third mistake we could make is being too scared to act. The book Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway was first published by Susan Jeffers almost 30 years ago, and it’s still relevant today. Being brave is about feeling the fear, the anxiety, the doubt, the insecurity, and deciding to act nonetheless. The solution, therefore is to prepare, rather than being scared.
4. Let’s not be personally irresponsible
The fourth mistake we could make as our world changes is failing to take personal responsibility. It’s tempting and perhaps satisfying to blame others — the economy, the start-ups, the entrepreneurs. Blaming others may make us feel happy, but ultimately it implies that we’re incapable of controlling our own fate. It’s our responsibility to prepare ourselves, not our bosses’. So let’s get ready!