Mobility is a necessity – Everyone will always travel

Apr 11, 2017 | The Mission

Lex Hoefsloot — Co-Founder

Do you remember the game-changer of mobility in the 20th century? Yes, it was Henry Ford with his car: the model T.

From this point in time urban planning was centred around the car. The streets and cities faced major transformations. Many new features came along, like parking lots, motorways, gas stations, and traffic lights. Each of these developments helped us to move around easier and more comfortable. It became easier to visit our friends and family in other towns. The time to travel reduced from days to hours, the car unlocked many opportunities. Nowadays, the car is our most expensive possession, after our house. It is a vehicle that we trust our safety to. We use the car to go on holidays and to go to-and-from work.

Mobility changed the distance travelled, not the time travelled.

Mobility is a condition for prosperity and well-being, and research points out that mobility is not only a means but also a goal in itself. Historically, people typically travelled for 1 hour and 6 minutes every day (Cloïn, 2013). First by foot, then by horseback and currently also by car and public transport. Apparently, the daily time spent on travelling does not change, but these faster means of transportation did increase our reach. Impossible destinations became possible: visiting friends far away, a day’s hike in the hills, or a shopping trip. Almost everyone in the western world can enjoy this freedom in mobility, however true development in types of mobility is stalling. For 50 years, cars have been looking roughly the same, they still travel at similar speeds and they are not really getting any cheaper. But, the seemingly rigid automotive market seems to be on the verge of major change. We are facing huge challenges in a world of unlimited opportunity. A paradox that brings huge opportunity.

Commuting distance troughout the year.

Everyone will always travel.

Let’s be honest: we, you and I, will always travel. To modern life, to us, mobility is a necessity. Maybe you have to travel far to go to work, to go to your graduation company, or to see your family and friends. Maybe you do not have to travel that much. Either way, you always have to choose the type of transportation. Will you go by car, by bike or by public transportation? Of course, this choice depends on the destination, the distance you have to cover, and the time available to travel. At Lightyear we are faced with these choices too, for example, if we have to travel to a potential partner or supplier. With them, we discuss our vision for mobility and the opportunities that arise from driving powered by the sun. It’s fun to share this ‘new’ view on mobility, to see people get enthusiastic about something they have never heard of. It’s fun to change the world of mobility.

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