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The future of cities and mobility solutions

Do you need to know about the current state of play regarding Mobility on Demand and transport solutions worldwide? Do you have a vested interest in the technological developments of self-driving cars or the competitor landscape and supply chain of autonomous vehicles? 

SFA (Oxford) has been helping mobility companies with their strategies to compete in this dynamic and rapidly evolving market sector, providing global or local industry context, benchmarking competitors, creating industry scenarios and identifying new opportunities. Our recently completed The Drivers for Mobility Change report offers breadth, knowledge and competency in this sector few others can match helping to underpin your decision making.

The drivers for mobility change

The last few years have seen unprecedented change in the automotive industry. Instead of simply debating whether cars are gasoline or diesel, small or large, now we are discussing where battery electric vehicles fit into the mix, and whether to own a car at all or rely on new mobility solutions such as ride-hailing and car-sharing. As momentum gathers to combat congestion in cities and improve air quality, we need to know what role the personal automobile will play in tomorrow’s transport mix and what the potential impact may be on demand for PGMs and battery materials (lithium and cobalt).

SFA (Oxford) has compiled a comprehensive and detailed compendium on the global megatrends and technologies influencing the future of cities and mobility services. The study delves into global population growth, urbanisation, air quality and decarbonisation, whilst evaluating the range of connected mobility options that may or may not involve personal transportation. 'The drivers for mobility change' outlines the challenges facing personal mobility and depicts the future scenario for transport solutions. 

The drivers for mobility change

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For bespoke consulting and more information on SFA (Oxford)'s The drivers for mobility change report please contact us.

Key themes answered

Enforcing air quality targets, decarbonisation and easing congestion in urban zones

Enforcing air quality, decarbonisation and easing congestion in urban zones

How are cities and governments dealing with congestion? What are the urbanisation trends around the globe? What are the limits to personal car ownership in different regions and cities?

How can a balance be reached between clean air and people’s need for mobility? How committed are governments to tackling air quality and what can we expect in future? What fraction of pollution comes from cars? Are cars a scapegoat? How do the medium-term targets for CO2 emissions vary by country? What are the emissions timelines by country and are they being enforced?

Mobility on demand: The rise of disruptive technologies and services

SFA (Oxford)_Mobility on Demand_The rise of disruptive technologies and services

How do changes in population (age, density etc.) and income affect the future of mobility? Does increasing urbanisation imply restrictions to car use and necessitate mass transit solutions? Is the drive towards zero emission vehicles a realistic possibility?

Are autonomous driving cars a logical answer to crowded roads? Will the development and growth of car sharing and autonomous vehicles become closely linked in the future? How close are we to high-level autonomous vehicle availability, and what are the barriers to acceptance and adoption? What are the legal hurdles to the use of autonomous vehicles on public roads?

In what ways does current infrastructure need to evolve to accommodate future mobility solutions? What are the costs and environmental benefits associated with alternative mobility offerings?

Car ownership: Risks and opportunities in tomorrow’s smart cities

SFA (Oxford) Car ownership - Risks and opportunities in tomorrow's smart cities

How can governments affect consumer preferences and what are the risks to car ownership in the future? Are there gaps for growth in car ownership and, if so, where and why?

What are the scenarios and probabilities that will drive change? How will people and goods be moved around cities in the future? Where do mass transit systems fit in? What does the increasing political influence of cities mean for tomorrow’s transport solutions?

Why SFA (Oxford)?

Our success is uniquely tied to clean automotive mobility. SFA has a multi-disciplined team that has been analysing and forecasting the infiltration of emission-cutting and fuel-efficiency technologies in automobiles for over 15 years. In that time SFA has become the leading research company and go-to experts in this space, working for car manufacturers, OEM suppliers, investors and raw material suppliers. Our expertise has been used in platinum-group metals, lithium, cobalt and rare earths market analysis, electric vehicle and fuel cell technology reports, and multi-billion dollar investment appraisals.

Let SFA undertake your strategic assessment for you, removing the ‘noise’ and diversely opinionated automobility sector forecasts clouding your company judgements.

Global EV and PHEV penetration sales

The last few years have seen unprecedented changes in the automotive industry and, indeed, that may well be far too narrow a term now. Instead of simply debating whether cars are gasoline or diesel, small or large, now we’re talking about where battery electrics fit into the mix, whether to own a car or whether to rely on a sharing service, or to use a ride-hailing service. In a bid to clean up our increasingly congested cities, we need to know what proportion of personal mobility fits into the transport mix of tomorrow.

This reassessment of our relationship with transport means reassessing our relationship with energy – how we use it, where it comes from – and with our built environment – our roads, infrastructure and the companies and governments that will dictate mobility solutions.

With such a complex and arduous journey to undertake, you will need all the available navigational assistance – the map, the compass, the sat nav – to ensure you’re not left stranded on the side of the road.

Mobility mapped by city

Mobility services have been mapped by city to get a thorough understanding of competing solutions.


SFA (Oxford)'s future mobility infographic

SFA (Oxford)'s future mobility infographic

SFA (Oxford) has mapped many mobility providers on a city-by-city basis around the world including ride-hailing, ride-sharing, car-sharing (pay as you go, subscription, peer-to-peer), commuter shuttles, scooter-sharing, bike sharing and kick scooter-sharing around the world. Download the infographic to discover the major players.

Megatrends: Bigger cities

SFA (Oxford) Megatrends

Demographic changes, increasing urbanisation, climate change and the advance of technology are megatrends that will shape our future. Half of the world’s population lives in cities and this is expected to grow to around two-thirds by 2050. Environmental concerns are driving emissions legislation while the rise of the connected society is creating new ways to convey people from car sharing to the potential of autonomous mobility.

City air quality is deteriorating: Clean transport

Cities often have poor air quality with localised pollution from NOx and particulates becoming an increasing health burden on citizens and cost to governments. In addition, city mayors recognise the need to tackle climate change and CO2 emissions.

Improving air quality and reducing congestion to keep people and businesses moving is now a necessity.

Decarbonisation targets: Sustainable mobility

SFA (Oxford) Decarbonisation Targets Sustainable Mobility

Long-term commitments to cut greenhouse gas emissions to limit global warming to below 2°C adds pressure on auto companies to shift increasingly towards zero-emission vehicles and sustainable transport solutions. Emissions standards are regularly being tightened in many major countries around the world, helping to decarbonise the transport sector and reduce the automotive effect on climate change.

Congestion in cities


The way in which cities develop transport infrastructure to cope with growing populations will be crucial for how cars are used and how many are able to operate within cities in the future. Car ownership in developed economies is already at a high level, while in developing countries rising incomes are bringing car ownership within reach of a growing proportion of the population. Cities have higher population densities and greater affluence, so car ownership tends to grow at a faster rate in urban areas than rural ones.

As cities become increasingly crowded and congested, ensuring that inhabitants can commute efficiently and sustainably will become an enormous challenge. Slow traffic imposes costs on the economy in terms of unproductive time spent in transit (commuting times, delivery times) and pollution, so reducing congestion helps to keep both the traffic and the economy moving.

Mobility on Demand


Various mobility solutions, particularly car sharing and autonomy, are likely to arise in the future in order to resolve pressing global issues, such as congestion. These solutions may lead to a drastic change in consumer habits, with major implications for the automotive industry, including new competition from non-traditional automotive companies.

The future: Autonomous driving

The future - Autonomous driving

The advancement of vehicle autonomy could significantly alter the global automotive market in the future, potentially changing the conventional vehicle ownership model and introducing new, non-traditional automotive players to the industry. Autonomous technology is also likely to strongly influence the EV sector and could become a key selling point for EVs, with autonomy and electrification possibly accelerating development and adoption of each other.

Transport mitigation

SFA (Oxford) has covered national transport mitigation measures from COP21 by country, a full review of Europe's Trans-European Network (TEN-T) initiatives and low-carbon initiatives. China's megaprojects are also covered, as the country adapts to developing a more interconnected society.

The autonomous vehicles value chain mapped

The major players across the value chain for the future connected vehicle have been identified for developing future mobility and smart city solutions.

The autonomous vehicles value chain mapped

Hundreds of autonomous technology and smart city companies have been identified and many of their key partnerships mapped to discover the movers and shakers across the future mobility landscape including autonomous car developers, autonomous shuttle makers, autonomous trucks, mass-transit, and ancillary providers, and autonomous delivery.

The technology providers to autonomous transport have all been covered including ADAS sensor manufacturers and virtual testing providers, chip makers, machine learning leaders, high definition mapping and satellite imagery services.

Inside these future smart cars, behaviour monitoring, physical car and driver safety, accident detection systems to track driver behaviour, and passenger monitoring systems (such as emotional, fatigue, distraction avoidance, and alcohol detection) with these technology providers mapped. 

OEMs are using robust protection frameworks to protect vehicles from cyber attacks. As vehicles become interconnected through wireless technology, cyber threats and risks will grow. SFA (Oxford) has unpicked the key automotive cyber-security firms which will play a more prominent role, working closely with the OEMs and automotive supply chain to develop new system architectures for safe autonomous travel and future ADAS solutions.

Infrastructure stakeholders are part of the connected car future and OEMs will need to align with their requirements. With V2X communication standards being developed, SFA (Oxford) has pulled together the V2X technology partners which are leading the way.

Mobility solutions mapped

Mobility solutions mapped

To understand future mobility in cities comprehensively and the risks to long-term car ownership, SFA (Oxford) has identified many of the upcoming and recently established connected car-sharing and ride-hailing companies located around the world covering B2B, B2C, peer-to-peer, pay as you go, and subscription-based services. In addition, platform aggregators, clean electric mobility providers, moped sharing and alternative shared transport solutions (bike-sharing and kick-scooter sharing) and micromobility options. Future flight and hyperloop mobility plans have also been mapped for completeness.

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