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Driving the future of sustainable mobility

Tomorrow’s mobility: How Porsche is facing up to new challenges

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How we get around sustainably and remain mobile in an increasingly busy world is a hotly debated topic at the moment. In this context, mobility does not just describe movement from A to B. Instead, when we talk of mobility now, we refer to all aspects of providing the services, tech, hardware, and software that enables movement.

In today’s rapidly changing world, all those involved must adapt to changing requirements more quickly than ever. This applies especially to car manufacturers, at all levels, including premium sports car marque Porsche.

Being a premium brand does not immunize the German marque from the demands that come  from changing customer behavior, competitive pressure, and the increasing desire of cities to shape the boundaries of mobility. To ensure it’s able to meet future customer needs, the Stuttgart-based sports car manufacturer is devoting a great deal of attention to overcoming the challenges of future mobility with new products and services.

Many things are in flux when it comes to people’s mobility behavior right now. In the urban environment, it’s not absolutely essential to own a car anymore, as large numbers of new offerings make mobility easier, more comfortable, and cheaper. 

Established car manufacturers are creating innovative services and increasingly linking them with each other. Traditional mobility providers are also expanding their core business with other products and services – including car rental firms and public transport organizations.

Cities and municipalities are also increasingly recognizing the importance of mobility for the quality of life in urban spaces. As a result, they are also becoming important stakeholders when it comes to creating and realizing new mobility offerings. 

There are also entirely new concepts from brands such as Uber, Lime, and Lyft, which challenge the way public mobility services are offered to the masses. 

Urbanization has a particularly large influence on mobility

When dealing with tomorrow’s mobility solutions, a major focus is on cities. More than half of the world’s population already lives in cities and experts don’t expect people to leave urban areas any time soon. In some high-growth regions, such as China, the share will probably increase to more than 70 percent. 

In fact, a growing number of people are moving from rural regions into urban areas. This is above all due to the economic strength of cities attracting more young people for work. A comparison of gross domestic product figures shows that the economic output of New York is equivalent to that of Canada, for example. With bigger more productive cities, comes an increase in people and those people need to get around.

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Credit: Porsche
Porsche is developing a number of products and apps that help users pay for parking and gain access to vehicles for temporary use. The company is also exploring new transport methods of the future like eVTOL vehicles.

As a result traffic infrastructure is experiencing increased strain, and parking spaces are becoming rarer. Traffic congestion and environmental pollution are also worsening. 

In response to these unique challenges, new means of transport are being explored, including battery-electric aircraft (eVTOLs: Vertical Take-Off and Landing) in the long term. In addition, more affordable offerings such as sharing services for escooters and bicycles, as well as shuttle services, are establishing themselves in cities around the globe.

Changing customer needs and values demand new offerings 

Due to increasing digitalization, customers are accustomed to different mobility options being linked together. The boundaries between hardware, software, and services are becoming more and more blurred. 

Customers expect to be able to book mobility services via apps at the “push of a button.” This is actively changing their mobility behavior in other areas. For mobility tech, the focus in the future will be less on individual products and more about how individual devices and services are connected as part of an overarching ecosystem. 

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Credit: Porsche
Porsche’s vision of our mobility future involves a host of different solutions that all connect to form part of an overarching ecosystem.

The value system is also changing along with the generational change in society, which is seeing the importance of intangible goods increase. For many people, it is more important to have access to services that provide them with the time and flexibility, than to own the devices they use. That said, certain products are still important as status symbols. 

People are also developing increasing awareness of sustainability issues. The influence of one’s own mobility behavior on nature and the environment is becoming more important as well.

This means that owning a car is still relevant, particularly in the premium segment, but the impact that the car has on the world is also more important than ever. 

Porsche’s solutions for tomorrow’s mobility

In order to meet these changing demands, Porsche is working on innovative mobility solutions in its Smart Mobility Services team. As one example, the sports car manufacturer is continuously expanding its global offering of flexible mobility services under the umbrella brand “Porsche Drive.”

porsche, car, drive, app
Credit: Porsche
Porsche Drive gives users access to Porsche vehicles for a single subscription fee for relatively short periods of time.

In North America, the service includes a “Single-Vehicle Subscription,” where subscribers obtain access to a single Porsche model for one or three months, rather than buying it outright. 

Porsche’s “Multi-Vehicle Subscription” is a monthly program that offers users the possibility of unlimited vehicle changes at the push of a button via the Porsche Drive app. The premium rental service “Porsche Drive – Rental” offers rental periods of less than one month, useful for weekend outings or vacations. 

Launched in Stuttgart in 2014, Porsche Drive Rental is now available in many other locations in Germany, France, Switzerland, and North America. 

The goal of the new mobility solutions is to ensure that more customers can benefit from a more comprehensive selection of Porsche products than ever before. 

Porsche is also introducing a host of new parking services in many countries. Across Germany, the company already offers “Parken Plus,” an app-based parking service which lets drivers book and pay for parking tickets remotely.

Despite being known primarily as a carmaker, Porsche is also turning its gaze from the tarmac to the skies and is exploring the future of airborne mobility. As part of this, an international team is working on different aspects of urban air mobility. 

Right now, the German marque is investigating, exploring, and analyzing what it is that people actually want from premium urban air travel and where services, like flying taxis, could be used. 

Tomorrow’s mobility tech is no longer just a dream of the future. It is already driving on our roads of today. 

However, the long-term future of mobility tech cannot be the sole responsibility of individual vehicle manufacturers. Service providers, tech startups, cities, and municipalities must work closely together in order to create an entirely new mobility ecosystem that works together for citizens and the planet. 

In a panel discussion at TNW2020, you can hear more about how Porsche plans to bring its future mobility services to life. At 4.00 pm on October 2, 2020, you can hear Philip Kastel, Director Mobility Services, explain just how the German brand is helping develop the mobility tech of tomorrow.

This article is brought to you by Porsche AG.

Published September 28, 2020 — 15:23 UTC