4 Key Trends Driving Innovation in Transportation

By Ken Mihalyov, Chief Innovation Officer, Xerox Transportation

Ken Mihalyov, chief innovation officer for Xerox Transportation.
“One of the common aspects of all these trends is the use of data to make more actionable decisions.” — Ken Mihalyov, chief innovation officer for Xerox Transportation.

The transportation industry is constantly changing. Preferences shift, laws are implemented or revoked, and new technologies emerge. As I see it, four major trends are driving innovation in the transportation industry.

Here they are:

  1. Urbanization: An increasingly greater percentage of the world’s population will live in cities, and a larger number of cities will have greater than 10 million residents: This will put stress on the current transportation infrastructure. Governments will continue to look at ways to use data for actionable ways to improve the services offered to city residents, creating “smart” cities and regions.
  2. Changing demographics of city populations:  The Millennial generation, which is predicted to soon represent 50 percent or more of the urban workforce, desires livable cities and the sharing of available mobility resources. Research demonstrates they want to make mobility decisions immediately via mobile devices. Cities will promote their mobility resources as they compete to attract and keep these citizens.
  3. New business models: New and unconventional ways of meeting mobility needs are emerging. Mobile apps and start up private companies are providing services directly to mobility users, without being tied to city agencies typically entrusted with providing public transit to citizens who may or not have other means of transportation. The private sector is driving growth in transportation.
  4. Innovating to zero: Technology will be utilized with the intention of driving unwanted outcomes toward zero – for example, zero breaches of security, zero accidents, zero fatalities, zero emissions, zero defects and a zero crime rate. This is, of course, a trend aimed at an idealistic goal, but it pushes change in the right direction. The development of connected and automated vehicles is an excellent example of this trend, as the primary goal has been stated to be a significant reduction in traffic accidents and fatalities. “Innovating to Zero” also means speeding up the cycle of innovation.

A version of this article originally appeared in our quarterly newsletter, Innovator’s Brief for the Transportation Industry. Be the first to receive the latest news on innovation in transportation. Click here to subscribe to the Innovator’s Brief.

Data is the Common Denominator

One of the common aspects of all these trends is the use of data to make more actionable decisions, such as:

  • Transit providers using existing resources to meet the changing needs of users.
  • Reducing congestion and emissions.
  • Helping citizens make better choices about how to get from point A to point B based on their preferences.
  • Better application of human resources to achieve a higher performance organization.

Are there other trends driving innovation in the transportation industry that you would include in this list? How are you using data to make more actionable decisions?

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