Peter Phleps_webb

Dr. Peter Phleps works for BMW Groups Institute for Mobility Research (ifmo) where he focusses on anticipating how the future of mobility might look like. Besides being in the frontline of research he is also a very appreciated speaker and after his Key Note presentation at VECS 2017 we took the opportunity and talked to him about how self-driving vehicles impact our mobility.

During his presentation Dr Phleps gave us an understanding how autonomous vehicles might lead to changes in the mobility behavior, in the amount we travel and the decision of which mode of transport we choose.

– Our results showed that if we have autonomous vehicle driving around we would be able to mobilize mobility per people such as very old people, people with disabilities, younger people who doesn’t have a driving license, meaning that the car would get more attractive. So, in the end, we would have more car kilometers in our system.

Another interesting aspect is the value of time. What happened if we could use our time differently while driving? If we don’t have to concentrate on driving, what would we do instead? The results might be a bit disappointing to the employers.

– Some people believe that we want to work. Our market research shows us that people don’t really want to work but do something different while driving, like reading or sleeping. But the value of time would be increasing and this increases the probability, in our model, that this mode of transport is being used.

Dr Phleps also addresses a very interesting topic; the idea that manufactures will be selling kilometers driven in cars by people instead of selling cars. When the business models start to change into that direction, we would get more mobility by demand.

– We had a look in mobility by demand systems, such as car sharing. We believe, that with autonomous vehicles, those care sharing systems or pooling systems where you combine trips would get a great push.

Taking a glance into the future, Dr. Phleps believes that times truly are changing. New disruptors from the tech industry are looking for partnerships and opportunities while the car manufactures need to adjust to the new environment.

– It’s a very dynamic world which goes into the direction where companies will not only be selling cars but proving mobility as a service. There will be a lot of challenges for us in the industry but there will also be a lot of opportunities. The good thing is that it will not get boring!