Importance of public-private-people partnerships for future mobility

If one worked in the automotive, mobility or even robotics industries in the past decade, mantras such as “Company XYZ to launch full driverless vehicles by 2020” and “City ABC to have fully autonomous buses services by 2021” are not isolated cases.

A lot of these expectations and claims are yet to be manifested because commercializing autonomous, connected, electric and shared (ACES) mobility is not as easy as making a vehicle that can drive autonomously from point A to B in controlled environments. Instead, there are a lot of other concerns that are required.

Despite that, the benefits of ACES solutions are apparent.

According to reports by the International Labor Organization, while 120,000 jobs will be made obsolete by the move to ACES mobility, the transformation it caused to the automotive industry will create more than 2 million jobs.

From a safety standpoint, integrating vehicle-to-everything (V2X) technology into vehicles could reduce global fatalities by up to 30 percent, according to the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile.

Furthermore, given that the estimated market value for shared mobility in Europe is 70 billion euros today, it is impossible to disregard the impact that the move to ACES solutions will have within the automotive and mobility industry.

A report by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development has identified the need for strategic public-private partnerships for emerging technological innovations.

This is also true for ACES mobility solutions. And to make it work will require collaboration because no one entity has the solutions to every potential problem. This is because the move to ACES mobility disrupts technical aspects as well as user behaviors and related industrial processes.

It is important to not only have private and public partnerships, but also to get feedback from the end users to advance future mobility discussions. Co-creation across different entities will lead to safer, more reliable ACES mobility that can be widely deployed to the public.

Here is an example why it takes multiple organization for this to work. If an organization has a strong software and automation background, it does not mean that it has the required expertise to develop reliable safety elements such as exogenous sensors or crucial mechanical parts. Therefore, collaboration is needed to create safe autonomous driving technology.

Since ACES technology is primarily driven by innovation, one of the main blockers that could impede the full deployment of driverless mobility is the shortage of regulatory discussions. To assure that the desired, region-specific regulations are formulated, co-creation between private companies and public organizations is needed.

As an example, dialogues with various organizations such as the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and National Transportation Safety Board in the US, the European Transport Safety Council, the Singaporean Land Transport Authority and Malaysian Institute of Road Safety Research, just to name a few, might give extensive feedback about the required compliance and homologation aspects for the future mobility development.

Similarly, talks with municipalities are important to meet the required city-related infrastructure changes for future mobility requirements.

And let’s not forget about collaboration with end users.

User experience has a major influence on successful software development and deployment, so it is essential to incorporate the feedback from people using the products throughout their life cycles.

Furthermore, discussions of service design between internal and external stakeholders during the development should also be highlighted.

For safe, reliable and feasible autonomous, connected, electric and shared vehicles to be widely deployed, it is important for companies and organizations to include the private-public-people partnership within their development strategies.