– By Max Wang, Senior Product Manager – Mobility at Intelematics –
The way we travel in 2022 will be very different. As Australia finds its feet after another tumultuous year, traffic on the road will increase, the types of transport we use will change and rush hour will shift to suit our new work patterns. The most visible changes will be the number of cars on the road, the lack of people on public transport and the rise of new shared and electrified forms of transport. Here are our top five predictions for the way we travel in 2022.
Unpredictable peaks and flows – the mid-week rush
2021 saw huge peaks and troughs in traffic levels as lockdowns and travel restrictions rolled in and out of States across Australia. The hybrid model of at-home and in-office working became the norm, and in turn, our roads became less predictable. This trend will continue in 2022.
This will create new traffic patterns which align with the days, most likely mid-week, people want to be in the workplace. Rush hours will shift but not disappear with some experts predicting they could get worse. And COVID hesitancy will keep public transport use down as people rely on cars as a ‘safe space’. Reduced city centre parking rates will also play a part in transport choice.
Personalisation of transport – the rise of all-in-one travel apps
Next year we will see a surge in new digital platforms that support end-to-end trip planning. This type of personalised travel will increase in popularity – giving users access to a single app to book, plan and pay for multiple modes of transport. This is already a reality in countries like Finland where the digital platform Whim enables you to book and pay for a trip mixing public transport, ferry service, car rental, taxi, shared bike and even e-scooter. In Australia, the Arevo app integrates journey planning with features including bike route mapping, petrol pricing and parking options. This new breed of travel technology will give users more control over how and when they travel.
Electrification of transport – pedals over petrol
2022 will see the mass adoption of both electric bikes and e-scooters as people choose more convenient, active and sustainable ways to travel. The desire to switch from cars, and for faster and easier ways to get around, is driving this trend. Bike retailer 99 Bikes has seen a 92 per cent increase in e-bike sales in the past two years. And cities like Brisbane have introduced e-mobility strategies which have led to more than 4 million rides by 1.4 million riders. While Atlassian founders, Mike Cannon-Brooks and Scott Farquhar, recently invested $80M to fund electric bike start-up Zoomo. E-rideables have also surged in Perth so much so the WA Government has implemented new scooter speed limits.
More connected cars – a smarter, safer experience
The supply of new cars will start to normalise in 2022. With this, will come the arrival of vehicles with greater levels of connectivity built in. This includes vehicle tracking and safety systems like eCall, but also the ability to send digital data to warn of car health problems or prevent breakdowns. Australia has been slow to embrace this technology compared to Europe but this is starting to change. The increasing availability of 5G in Australia in 2022 will see connected car functionality further utilised. We will see more manufacturers turning on this functionality, as well as more technology companies supporting car companies in providing localised solutions such as increased safety features and interaction with the local environment such and parking and points of interest. We will also see insurance companies using these systems to rollout pay-per-km type products.
Shared Mobility – greener alternatives
Many people are revaluating how they use cars and whether they need to own one. In 2022, we expect to see growth in shared and subscription vehicles. With shared mobility, two or more people use the same vehicle, accessing on a short-term basis. New companies offering shared mobility options are growing with firms like Go Get and FlexiCar leading the way in Australia. This is in line with global trends, which recently saw Zoomcar raise US $92M to fuel the growth of their car sharing platform globally. For others, a subscription service provides access to a vehicle that suits their shorter-term needs.