Getting From ‘A’ to ‘B’ in the Post-Covid New Normal
As scientists around the world scramble to find a cure for COVID-19, the alarming possibility that we may have to live with this virus for a long time to come is starting to look more and more likely. In this scenario, all of us would be forced to change our daily habits and adapt to a world full of potential health risks.
Thankfully, incredible developments in online tools have enabled us to continue to communicate and work remotely, but it’s not enough. Whether it's for work, errands, play, or just to take a break; people will always want to move around. There will always be a need for people to travel from A to B.
So what does mobility and transportation look like in this post-COVID world?
Less avoidable long-distance travel:
In business, focusing on positive ROI whilst remaining risk-averse is a surefire way to live through till tomorrow. In our personal lives as well, we make decisions based on perceived risks and try to remain safe where possible.
In the post-COVID-19 world, moving around is now inherently risky. Instead of just getting in a cab, on a plane or on the bus, we will now consider whether the potential health risk is worth the journey. This is why increasingly, people are opting to remain home when possible and take a phone/video call instead of an in-person meeting.
Large-scale conferences and events are also feeling the pressure, and are moving to provide the same platforms online. These decisions to move around less are seen as healthy choices and result in a global decrease in avoidable long-distance travel.
Less public transport:
Heralded as being an environmentally-friendly and cheaper alternative to owning a car, public transport use around the world will be reduced as people view confined and crowded public spaces as potential health risks.
With more work-from-home options being taken by employees around the world, less and less people will be relying on public transport for their daily commute. For those who still commute, they will increasingly look towards potentially pricer alternatives if it means staying healthy and not putting their friends and family at risk.
As the public shy away from public transport, governments may in-turn reduce funding and expansion programs, thus leaving the existing infrastructure to be neglected in place of other alternatives.
As a fast-emerging section of the new mobility industry, micromobility (ebikes, escooters, mopeds etc.) will continue to grow exponentially and become commonplace in our societies. Already the industry is noticing a huge influx of investment as savvy investors realize how important ensuring consumer health and safety will be in a post-covid world
Coupled with rapid advances in battery technology in recent years, single-person battery-powered vehicles are already a practical and reliable alternative to petrol-powered. Also, as renewables come to replace fossil fuels as the primary source of power generation, battery-powered motors will be the undisputed leaders in green-transportation.
Personal vehicles also present an opportunity for people to choose and personalize their ride. Instead of getting on a public bus with a pre-set route like everyone else, you are given the freedom to take the scenic route home. Instead of buying a white, grey, black, blue or brown car like everyone else, you can choose an escooter, ebike or moped to cruise around on and decorate it however you like.
There can be no debate, COVID-19 has changed our world in ways we could never imagine and we’ve only just begun to think about them. For many people, understanding how to deal with our loss of freedom of movement will be one of the greatest challenges we face, but micromobility may prove to be just the solution we need.
Now is a time of unique opportunity for this industry to become a popular alternative to traditional forms of transport. It’s still early days but we can see just how important this space will be in ensuring we as a species stay connected, stay together and stay healthy.