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What Trends Are Shaping Transportation in 2019? 16 Experts Share Their Insights

  • 30 June 2019
  • Sam Mire

How often do you find yourself walking somewhere that you truly need to go? Sure, most of us take a stroll for our health or for our dog's sake, but how many of us walk to work or social gatherings? It's just not practical in the vast majority of situations.

So we've established that transportation is essential. Now, we must ask where transportation is headed. What will our collective modes of transportation look like by 2025? Or 2040?

We can't say for sure, but these industry insiders have an inkling. Here's how they see the trends that are shaping the future of transportation that we will rely on just as heavily as we do today:

1. Jeff Tumlin, Principal at Nelson/Nygaard and Author of Sustainable Transportation Planning 

“-Pricing. Congestion is an economic problem. Unlike other sectors, in mobility we balance supply and demand with travelers’ time, not road price. Fools still believe we can solve congestion through capacity. Decongestion pricing, as recently passed in New York, is a path toward more equitable, efficient mobility.

Micromobility – scooters, e-bikes, etc — is rare among mobility technologies in offering both convenience and efficiency. Most offer one at the expense of the other.

-Data. LA’s Mobility Data Standard (MDS) is demonstrating it’s essential and safe for cities to manage their streets with good data. Make it universal.”

2. Susan Shaheen, Ph.D., Co-Director of the Transportation Sustainability Resource Center at UC-Berkeley

“Increasingly travelers are assigning economic values to their transportation choices and making decisions based on cost, travel and wait time, number of connections, convenience, and other attributes. This is contributing to the growth of integrated and bundled services where mobility and goods delivery options are traded, repackaged, or exchanged in thetransportation marketplace. This is leading to the physical, payment, and digital integration of services that in turn improves the user experience and can enable more informed and sustainable transportation choices.”

3. Madhav Durbha, Ph.D., Group Vice President, Industry 
Strategy at LLamasoft

“The driver shortage will continue into the foreseeable future– and is projected to hit a shortage of 160,000 drivers in the US alone by 2027. This, in addition to increasing regulations like the Electronic Logging Device mandate that logs driver activity and Hours-of-Service restrictions, will continue to constrain transportation capacity. As a result, the adoption of relay trucking is a trend to watch for helping drivers return home more frequently.

In addition, ocean carrier consolidation will continue to pressure shippers in finding capacity, venture money will continue backing last mile delivery companies and network effects will take hold, resulting in regional duopolies.”

4. Alex Nesic, co-founder & CBO at CLEVR Mobility

“Cities and regulatory entities are realizing the power they hold over their infrastructure and how private companies can use it. I also believe that we will start seeing more public private partnerships established to introduce new transportation alternatives. Transportation has long been the domain of the public sector and has never been a profit making endeavor which is something that private companies have to learn the hard way – the only equitable and responsible way forward is to have more joint investment and execution between the public and private sector.”

5. Richard Reina, Product Training Director at CARiD

“Electric components, whether it be a hybrid or a pure EV have flooded the market. Both are shaping the world we drive in today. With that said, you may have noticed more and more charging stations, especially Tesla, popping up whether it be at gas stations or in parking lots. Car buyers are starting to shift their focus onto to EVs for multiple reasons including environmental impact and lower than average costs of ownership.”

6. Juan Rodriguez, co-founder and CEO of FlashParking

“A couple of things come to mind…but the first is voice. For example, say I’m in my apartment and I need to get to a dentist appointment. I can ask Alexa what the best way to get there is, evaluate the cost of taking an Uber or a Lime scooter–and get all that information only using voice.

So, I think a lot of the changes we are seeing are more about the relationship between information and transportation; it’s all about that calculation of alternatives that used to be a hassle—but now computers do it for us.”

7. Sara Schaer, founder and CEO of Kango, ridesharing for kids

“In addition to ridesharing and new technologies, I think the switch from car ownership to using transportation as a service (Taas) is a fundamental and inevitable behaviorchange. I also see and last-mile solutions like electric bikes and scooters playing alarger role.”

8. Eugene Tsyrklevich, Founder & CEO, Parkopedia

“Personalized services are the biggest trend to impact transportation in 2019, specifically within private vehicles. Recent research by Parkopedia  shows that (51%) would like their in-car navigation system to make personalized parking recommendations based on their destination. Car manufacturers are already building out the portfolio of services available to drivers via the in-car head unit. Drivers can set up a central account (usually with the car brand) that enables sub-accounts with service providers, for example allowing automated parking payments for enabled on-street and off-street locations, a feature which is welcomed by 24% of drivers surveyed.”

9. Matt Caywood, CEO of TransitScreen

“The concept of micromobility is completely changing the way people move – and subsequently, how they live – in urban areas. We're already seeing the impact these transit options are having on communities – through increased bike lanes, pedestrian-only areas, etc.These micomobility options
are providing a missing link to modern-day transit in 2019 and will continue to do so down the road.”

10. Mark Cann, CEO of Cryo Energy

“For the markets that are densely populated, there are more last mile options becoming available that will increase utilization of mass transit. The biggest trend that will surprise many is the slow down of sales of Plug-In vehicles within the Chinese market. The general automotive market has been quite weak in China over the past year and the elimination of subsidies for Plug-In vehicles in a few months could result in the market segment being flat year or year. That would be a massive blow to the narrative of continuous exponential growth of BEV/PHEV within the Chinese market.”

11. Etienne Deffarges, Author of Untangling the USA: The Cost of Complexity

“In large cities worldwide, bicycles are making a comeback! High-tech bicycles that is, with electric motors to supplement human power, and flat-beds to carry useful loads. Global efforts are underway to reduce congestion, from electronic road pricing to regulations limiting the number of on-demand vehicles. Individual automobile purchases are declining worldwide, with electric cars becoming more common. For intercity travel, many in Europe are eschewing air travel when high speed rail alternatives exist: A full Boeing 747 will achieve 100 mpg per passenger, but a 200mph train reaches 500 mpg, less if its electricity is produced from renewables.”

12. Somdip Dey, Embedded AI Scientist, University of Essex | Samsung R&D UK

“If someone follows technical conferences and journals related to transportation such as IEEE International Conference on Intelligent Transportation Systems, IEEE Transactions on Intelligent Transportation Systems, you would instantly notice a lot of focus on the applicable research side is on using Deep Learning to solve different challenges associated with transport systems. These challenges could be traffic flow prediction, traffic categorization, vehicular speed detection, mobility patterns of public transportation, etc, and all these could be solved easily with variations of neural network implementation. We could also notice a lot of companies from industry are collaborating with academia to solve these challenges together by accumulating their resources. So, by the end of 2019 we could see a rise in applications of artificial intelligence towards the development of intelligent transport systems.”

13. Tom Berkovits, Head of Operations at RideOn

“In 2019 the autonomous car is taking some steps ahead and also some AI-based cloud services for transportations management are becoming more relevant this year.”


14. Gunnar Rhone, EIT, Engineer II, Highway/ITS at HNTB

“Large scale transportation solutions take a long time to develop and successfully implement, due to the safety precautions that need to be taken. Some of the emerging solutions that we could see become more mainstream in 2019 are truck platooning, connected vehicle pilots, automated shuttles, and Mobility as a Service (MaaS) platforms.

Although the technology itself is having an impact on transportation, policy development is also having a big impact on the transportation industry. States and federal agencies need to develop policies to regulate the emerging solutions to keep a balance between safety and technology. For instance, the FCC will soon be making a ruling whether to keep or dissolve the automotive industry's reserved DSRC spectrum, which could be replaced by C-V2X. Other policies would include regulations similar to Pennsylvania's vehicle platooning policy and automated vehicle testing policy.”

15. Bernie Wagenblast, Owner of Transportation Radio

“The two most significant trends I see in 2019 are funding and again, technology. While not as exciting as technology, the infrastructure which underlies all transportation systems is what allows transportation to work. After decades of underfunding, it seems the importance of infrastructure and the realization of the poor state of infrastructure are being recognized. However, improving infrastructure requires huge sums of money and that's where politics has been a hurdle. On the federal level, Republicans and Democrats have not been able to agree on how to fund infrastructure improvements. On the state level, it appears there has been more willingness to make difficult decisions, such as increasing fuel taxes to raise money.

On the technology side, there will continue to be steps to use technology to make decisions that operators once were relied upon for. This crosses all modes with autonomous operations being trialed in shipping, railroading and driving.”

16. John Niles, Western Region Director at Harmonize Mobility, Inc.

“Growing volume of movement of people and goods across most modes. Congestion growth as well, although there is hope for relief through technology applications. A quest for efficiency and competitive advantage in both private enterprises and public sector regional development offices.”


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About Sam Mire

Sam is a Market Research Analyst at Disruptor Daily. He's a trained journalist with experience in the field of disruptive technology. He’s versed in the impact that blockchain technology is having on industries of today, from healthcare to cannabis. He’s written extensively on the individuals and companies shaping the future of tech, working directly with many of them to advance their vision. Sam is known for writing work that brings value to industry professionals and the generally curious – as well as an occasional smile to the face.