The MIND-SETS restricted workshop was held on September 19, 2016, at the European Commission in Brussels, Belgium. The workshop, which gathered invited key European stakeholders in transport and mobility and representatives from the EC, aimed at presenting the MIND-SETS approach in understanding the changing role of mobility in people’s lives.
We keep hearing about the new 21st century mobility – automated mobility, virtual mobility, mobility as a service, fully connected mobility. But are these trends really a way forward for social development and growth? Do they really signify a new, more inclusive mobility for Europe? Mobility thinking today is dominated by the potential of new technologies, the attitudes of the digital generations, and optimistic predictions for the ‘future’. But what about the other demographic end, that is, our ageing society? In all of the excitement surrounding the new mobility, there remain concerns regarding the mobility impaired and the issue of mobility deprivation.
In the views of some experts, we may be getting a bit ahead of ourselves in our enthusiasm for the new mobility. They see shared mobility as already close to maximum market penetration. For them, mobility 30 years from now will not look very different than it does now – it will be a mobility dominated by private cars controlled by humans: a road to nowhere. Other experts are circumspect as well, pointing out that shared mobility could reach a much higher level in the next 30 years, creating a disaster for public transport use. Shared automated vehicles could also negatively impact the environment by increasing congestion and urban sprawl: a highway to hell. Yet there is a more hopeful scenario that many experts ascribe to, where shared and automated mobility has a positive impact, accidents are reduced, cities have more parking available, and the control of traffic leads to increased energy efficiency: the mobility stairway to heaven.
Each of these three visions is possible, and public policy will play a key role in determining which one we end up with.
The workshop opened with a brief description of the project, its objectives and its results so far. The MIND-SETS approach was presented, giving an overview of some of the new ways we are starting to look at mobility decision making. Then, an analysis was offered of how the different generations think – along with their likelihood of adopting new mobility innovations. Travel planning practices – and how these are set to change in the future – were then described in detail. Afterwards, the key themes which are at the core of MIND-SETS were discussed: mobility automation, smart and virtual mobility, sustainable and inclusive mobility and seamless mobility.
The presentations were followed by an animated question and answer session that continued to look at generational mind-sets, but which also touched upon segmentation and how it can help bring about behavioural change.
For more information, contact Silvia Gaggi of ISINNOVA.