The Future of the Parking & Mobility Industry: A Global Outlook

The Future of the Parking & Mobility Industry: A Global Outlook

By Adamo Donatucci

In the parking and mobility industry, technology is pivotal in shaping its future. Across the globe, certain nations are at the forefront, strategically embracing advancements such as autonomous vehicles, micromobility solutions, intermodal applications, and shared zero-emission initiatives. 

Below is a comprehensive exploration of various country policies, exploring the complex process of technological adaptation and their concerted efforts toward achieving ambitious zero-emission goals. 

1. Autonomous Vehicles — A prominent force at the forefront of the automotive industry.

Undoubtedly, autonomous vehicles (AVs) have become a focal point in the mobility industry in recent years. According to a recent study by the global management consulting firm McKinsey & Company, passenger car advanced driver-assistance systems and autonomous-driving (AD) systems could generate $300 to $400 billion in revenue by 2035. Level 4 high-driving automation is anticipated to contribute $170 to $230 billion, accounting for approximately 57% of the dominant vehicle type in sales. Overall, the expectation is that 12% of new passenger cars sold by 2035 will incorporate Level 3 and 4 autonomous technologies, with 37% featuring advanced AD technologies.

For years, global car manufacturers, particularly in the United States and Europe, have promised a future of self-driving vehicles. However, recent trends suggest China is poised to lead the global shared AVs market. Research indicates that the top 5 regions in China collectively command 51.3% of the total autonomous mobility market. At the same time, the United States holds 47.5%, and Europe (including the United Kingdom, France, Spain, and Germany) accounts for 62.3%.

Government support is a crucial factor in fostering AV adaptation. Since 2020, over $48 billion has been invested in AVs, with the US leading in investments in 2020 ($7.3 billion) and 2021 ($11.3 billion). China surpassed the US by investing $4.7 billion in 2022 and $3.6 billion in 2023, making it the top investor in AVs. Other countries worldwide collectively invested only $5.1 billion during these years. In Europe, collaborative efforts between France, Germany, and other EU countries aim to standardize regulations for autonomous vehicles.

In Canada, the Industrial Research Assistance Program (IRAP) has invested $700 million over five years to support connected and AVs’ research and development (R&D). The National Research Council (NRC), the Government of Canada’s largest research organization, also launched a new Manufacturing and Automotive Innovation Hub in London, ON, to support the development of AVs.  

With the rise of AVs and government support in R&D, parking facilities are undergoing significant changes. Parking facility managers are advised to proactively adapt to these shifts by redesigning their spaces to enhance dynamic space utilization. The parking process is becoming more precise and efficient, keeping pace with evolving trends. In addition, integrating advanced parking technologies involving tools such as parking guidance technology sensors and cameras is imperative. These technologies play a crucial role in optimizing system navigation and ensuring the seamless accommodation of Avs. Embracing such innovations is essential to position parking facilities at the forefront of efficiency and convenience.

2. Micromobility – Reshaping how society gets from point A to point B and everywhere.

The concept of micromobility, referring to small, lightweight, electric-powered vehicles such as e-scooters, e-bikes and more, driven personally for short-distance trips, is widely known, enhancing the transportation sustainability and assisting in fulfilling the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). A recent Transforma Insights report projects 328 million devices to support the demand for urban mobility in 2032.

According to McKinsey & Company, the global micromobility market could reach $300 to $500 billion by 2030, with China, the US, and Europe being the most significant markets. CAGR is expected to be 17.5% from 2024 to 2030. Micromobility can replace up to 60% of car trips under five miles in the US, 50% in China, and 40% in Europe, significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions, traffic congestion, and road accidents.

What about Canada? Canadians and the Canadian government actively support the promotion of micromobility throughout the country. In 2022, Canada achieved a record of 17 million trips using shared micromobility, including e-scooters and bikes, marking a 30% increase from the 13 million trips recorded in 2021. During the same year, various regions initiated shared e-scooter and bike programs. Ontario saw approximately 100,000 rides throughout the pilot period, Quebec recorded over 50,000 trips, and Alberta reported more than 25,000 trips.

Despite being a growing market, micromobility service providers face challenges due to economic downturns. A company operating a global network of e-bikes and e-scooters experienced a 79% drop in operations, leading to a 30% reduction in the workforce in the US and all European markets. Various countries, particularly in the Asia Pacific region, such as India, China, and Japan, are establishing standards and rules for vehicle charging infrastructure. The future of the market remains to be seen.  

Micromobility is currently reshaping how people approach and utilize spaces, particularly in parking. The increasing number of micromobility travellers underscores the need for dedicated parking spaces to accommodate these compact vehicles. Designated micromobility parking stalls with racks or charging stations become essential to encourage safe and organized
parking. Furthermore, integrating technology solutions such as mobile apps and
innovative parking systems is crucial. These tools can assist travellers in locating available parking spaces for their micro-mobility devices, enhancing the overall efficiency and convenience of the parking experience.                   

3. Intermodal Applications – Integrating with travel routes and parking options for advanced planning using an all-in-one platform.

Countries should develop intermodal applications to align with the rise of Mobility-as-a-Service (MaaS). These platforms integrate all possible mobility options into one platform, allowing travellers to plan their journeys easily. While countries are still adapting, several intermodal applications have been developed and operationalized.     

In China, a priority has been placed on integrating public transportation since the 2000s, leading to the development of three applications—Tianfu Tong, Shengjing Tong, and Handan Transport—in 2017 to simplify route-finding. One year later, the UK government announced the upgrade of Digital Service Platforms (DSPs) to offer journey matching and shared services, incorporating micro-transit and bike sharing. The first comprehensive MaaS transit mobile app in the US was launched in 2021, enabling users to pay fares, rent micromobility vehicles, and find carpool options.

As intermodal applications gain popularity, parking facility managers must adapt their policies to align with changing customer behaviours. This includes incorporating dynamic pricing models and flexible parking durations and preparing for an interconnected transportation ecosystem. Operators can leverage this trend to optimize parking planning by offering comprehensive information about various transportation modes, including parking options. Travellers can efficiently plan their journeys by providing detailed information, such as parking availability at different transit points. This reduces uncertainty and enhances the overall travel experience. It fosters better connectivity between various points in the city, ultimately minimizing the time spent searching for parking spaces. 

4. Shared or Pooled Zero-Emission Vehicles – A worldwide initiative aimed at reducing carbon emissions by using energy-powered vehicles.

The global effort towards a zero-emission society is evident, particularly in the mobility industry. Canada declared it will not sell gas-powered vehicles by 2030 to achieve a 2035 zero-emission goal. The US government aims for 100% zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs) by 2035, with light-duty vehicles reaching 100% by 2027. The UK has set a net-zero goal by 2050, reducing carbon emissions by 68% by 2030, meaning all new vehicle sales from 2035 will be zero-emission. European countries like Germany and France aim for zero-emission goals by 2045 and 2050, respectively. Italy aligns with the 2050 target. In contrast, China targets net-zero emissions by 2060, with more than 80% of its energy coming from non-fossil fuels. A regulation mandates that all vehicles must be zero-emission by that time, with targets set at 20% by 2026 and 60% by 2030.

Key market leaders in China and the US offer various incentives for individuals and businesses to expedite the transition to electric vehicles (EVs). At the end of 2023, China unveiled a $72 billion tax break for four years for EVs and other green cars to stimulate auto sales growth. In the US, government incentives support the EV industry, including free charging and discounted parking. Businesses owning or leasing EVs receive a 50% discount on charging fees and free parking. Within our nation, the Canadian government has initiated various programs aimed at enhancing the sales of zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs), such as the Zero-Emission Vehicles Program (ZEV) and the Incentives for Medium- and Heavy-Duty Zero-Emission Vehicles Program (iMHZEV). Additionally, rebate programs for ZEV purchases and EV charging equipment have been implemented in regions such as British Columbia (BC), New Brunswick (Nouveau), Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and Quebec.

Parking facilities should proactively and strategically integrate many EV charging stations for the surging demands. It is essential to cater to the escalating EV customer base, emphasizing seizing the advantages offered by existing rebate programs. By installing these charging stations promptly, facilities can align with the surging demand for eco-friendly transportation and position themselves to capitalize on the available incentives. The sooner these installations are completed, the earlier the facility can reap the rewards and incentives associated with supporting the growing segment of EV customers.

The future of the parking and mobility industry is rapidly transforming with advancements in autonomous vehicles, micromobility, intermodal applications, and the push towards shared or pooled zero-emission vehicles. The global commitment to a zero-emission future is evident in various countries’ ambitious targets. As the industry navigates these transformative changes, the collaboration between governments, businesses, and innovators will play a pivotal role in shaping a more connected, sustainable, and efficient future for mobility.


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About the author:
Adamo Donatucci, Business Development & Strategy Officer, Precise ParkLink


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