One for the road: Car makers now also transport solutions providers
The imminent and growing challenges of rapid urbanisation and resulting congestion would make car use on roads either impossible or prohibitive in future, calling for new vehicles and new mobility concepts. This is what the Future Affairs team at Volkswagen thinks as they pilot new mobility concepts such as car sharing, trip sharing, electric subcompacts and ideas for creating new space for motorised private transport.
Terming the concept “Micro City”, Caroline Rudzinski, member of Volkswagen’s Future Affairs team, says Volkswagen has been working on this idea for two years. There are areas in Europe where cars cannot be driven, China is restricting cars in some cities by using a lottery system, and parking is being made expensive in other countries. The Future Affairs multidisciplinary team of 15 at Volkswagen is looking solely into the challenges that urbanisation will pose for automakers.
The concept of trip sharing is about better utilisation of cars and avoiding unnecessary trips. Usually, only one person is seated in a four-seater car and many such cars move in the same direction. What if these unknown people could hop on to one car and reach their destinations together. The driver of the car gets a small rent for this and earns some money. A