Environmental sustainability and technology: car and urban mobility markets’ new trends

Environmental sustainability and technology: car and urban mobility markets’ new trends

An increase in the production and sale of cars pulls up alongside a deeper environmental sensitiveness. Besides, the interest in new technological solutions and safety is growing.

According to IHS Global Insight Institute, the worldwide production of cars has increased by 1,4% un 2015, surely a positive fact which is, on the other hand, more moderate than + 3,1% in 2014 and + 6% in 2012.

In 2015, 88,6 millions units have been produced and, according to the current forecasts, in 2020 there will be an amount of 100 millions.
At the top we find Nafta area, with over 17,4 millions units and an increase by 3% than in 2014, and Europe, with 20,9 millions units and an increase by 4% than in 2014.

The very good Nafta result is particularly due to the boom of Mexico, that has confirmed its prevailing role with 3, 39 millions of produced cars. In 2014 it has established itself as first producer in Latin America and seventh producer in the world, outdoing Brazil, Spain, Canada and Russia.

With 87, 81 millions of sold units and an increase by 1,8%, the demand of cars has increased too. In spite of being the most moderate growth since 2010, IHS forecasts the achievement of + 2,3% by the end of 2016 and 100 millions of cars will be sold in 2020.

The cars production and purchase are growing but, on the other hand, a deeper and deeper attention to the environment is spreading. Among the new trends leading the car market and urban mobility, at the top there are the ones related to sustainability, a subject which new generations are mainly sensitive to.

According to the ACEA data related to the months between January and June 2015, as much as 327.619 ecologic cars have been registered, i.e. electric, hybrid and methane or GPL fuelled, with a hike in sales by 26,5%.

Particularly, electric cars have registered an increase by 76,9% passing from 41.111 units in the first semester of 2014, to 72.741 at the beginning of 2015.

A study of IHS Automotive identifies Norway as the country in the world in which the largest amount of electric cars have been produced: it has 62.000 of them, that are the 2,5% of the 2 millions and half of circulating
cars. But the biggest growth percentage in sales belongs to China, that has registered a + 745% , followed by United Kingdom with + 392%.

As for the sustainable mobility and after the economic crisis, phenomena such as “car sharing”, which consists of renting a booked car, or car (and travel expenses) share among people covering the same route at the same time, are becoming more and more successful. The most well known example of rent car sharing is Enjoy service of Eni, operating in Milan, Rome, Florence and Turin, while BlaBlaCar is the first European operator in shared car sharing, market leader in France, Spain, Italy, United Kingdom, Poland, Portugal and Benelux.

The most recent trends in the world of cars are also related to technology, mainly the safety field. Among the new
arrivals presented at CES 2016 in Las Vegas, BMW presented AirTouch, a functionality allowing to control the GPS navigation device and to the other electronic systems thanks to the movement of the hand. Harman, instead, created a video camera to place in the car’s cabin, monitoring the driver’s conditions, by the pupils’ dilation and eyes movement analysis.

Many car companies head towards am integration with smart phones and social networks, such as General Motors that has presented the Vehicular Social Media System, which allows to take pictures and create film clips to be shared on social networks while one is driving.

Therefore it is clear that a manager belonging to the industrial field must be always updated about new arrivals and new trends, not only in the field closely related to automotive, but also in the fields linked to it, particularly environmental sustainability and technologies.

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