The future mobility ecosystem will be completely disrupted by technological innovation.
Why South Africa can't afford to take a back seat
These days, innovation and technology are at the forefront of almost every conversation, and industry is no exception. With South Africa emerging from the 2018 technical recession, a weaker than predicted economic outlook and facing a revenue gap of R243 billion, the question is whether Mobility 2030 can help ease this financial burden?
We live in a world where technology is constantly evolving, and where companies strive to be the next “best innovator”. The way in which we travel is no exception to this, and it is now widely accepted that by 2030, mobility will be dramatically different to what it is today. With the introduction of Electric Vehicles (EVs) and Autonomous Vehicles (AVs), the future of mobility means our day-to-day journeys will become cleaner, safer, cheaper and more productive.
Sectors are being disrupted, with new markets emerging, while others are converging or declining. This means swiftly adapting business and operating models, and securing the right partnerships and acquisition targets. Hence, Mobility 2030, simply defined, is about understanding how people and goods will move in the future, and is an initiative which focuses on achieving collaboration and enhanced growth across all users of, and contributors to, the mobility sector.
From a policy perspective, we should create the conditions in which the next Elon Musk chooses to stay in South Africa, rather than move abroad to fulfil his or her scientific and innovation endeavours. We need innovators to seek solutions to EV issues – such as the reduction of build costs, extending the drive range and decreasing charging time. In addition, EVs requires a modification to the country’s infrastructure, and we need innovative forward-thinkers to help build what is necessary for effective use of EVs and AVs.
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SA is one of the world’s leading mineral-rich countries, possessing minerals and metals which will play a pivotal role in future of mobility. If there is a declining demand for catalytic converters in the future, where do we see our platinum industry fitting into the value chain? A potential opportunity lies in hydrogen fuel cell technology for electric vehicles.
With the global shift to a mobility ecosystem – which will ultimately change how people and goods move in the future – it is a critical time for SA to consider what role it will play in shaping the future of mobility, both domestically and globally. How does this impact the manufacturing sector? The short answer: In more ways than one.
With the proposed legislation changes and partnerships with private sector to create a favourable environment for mobility, it is evident that government is embracing e-mobility. Besides for boosting the economy and creating jobs, e-mobility will help government tackle a few issues.
There is growing consensus that there will be a decline of the number of vehicles on the road. This has mostly negative implications for providers of financial services with their current products, viz. asset finance. However, there are also opportunities to create appropriate products and services, especially with the availability of big data and the technologies to analyse them.