Spread the ideas, not the virus: remodelling the smart mobility paradigm

These are difficult times. The COVID-19 pandemic has plunged the world in an unprecedented situation. The global spread of the coronavirus is impacting our societies and economies as well as our personal lives. Every continent and every business sector is affected. And, although it’s too early to calculate the damage, we can already say that the fleet and mobility industry is hit especially hard.

The various lockdowns put in place to combat the COVID-19 pandemic have effectively shut down an important part of our core business – moving people and goods from A to B. Global airline traffic has collapsed by up to 90% compared to the same period last year. Ridership on public transport systems in Europe and North America has plunged by more than 80%.

Perversely, the crisis seems designed to hurt MaaS and shared mobility solutions the most. Their USP consists of combining mobility modes and sharing them with other users – exactly what a virus-averse public is now keen to avoid.

It’s plausible that reluctance to use MaaS, shared mobility and public transport will linger for some time after we’ve overcome this crisis. Another legacy will be the increased adoption of remote working and digital meetings which should contribute to a healthier work-life balance for the employee, better productivity for the company and a smarter and less congested society in general. And when normal life re-emerges and the economy restarts, the need for efficient mobility will also resurface.

However, the post-corona world will be different from the one that came before – also in terms of mobility. The main difference: users will have more exacting demands when it comes to the sanitary aspects of transportation. They will select suppliers not just on their ability to deliver solutions that are efficient in terms of time and cost, but that are also excellent in terms of health and safety. That will be the new balance mobility customers will be demanding and mobility suppliers should be providing.

COVID-19 will have a severe impact on the global economy – the World Bank predicts many major economies could experience negative growth this year – but crises are also opportunities for new beginnings.

Let’s take this shock as an opportunity to rethink and remodel our smart mobility paradigm. Post crisis, people and goods will still need to move from A to B. The solutions will need to be more digital and resilient, and the customer experience more seamless and personalised than ever before. And if this sanitary crisis could have a more clever and intelligent set-up of corporate and employee mobility as a positive flip side, then let’s not waste that opportunity. Share your ideas and your innovative solutions with me and our editorial team.

Stay safe – and look ahead!

Steven Schoefs, editor-in-chief, sschoefs@nexuscommunication.be

With the Blog 'Spread the ideas, not the virus' we aim to support the fleet & mobility industry at times of the global spread of the coronavirus. We give the opportunity to our community to express their opinion, their ideas, their support in the format of a letter of max. 500 words to our community. It’s your personal insight to share with your peers and partners in the industry. Send your letter to Steven Schoefs, sschoefs@nexuscommunication.be