By Simon Carr, chief commercial officer, Alphabet (GB)
The technologies, ideas and investment behind business mobility will converge even more noticeably in 2018.
The trend is picking up a strong tailwind from the Government, which singled-out mobility as one of the four ‘grand challenges’ for the UK in its new industrial strategy, launched on November 27.
What the strategy says is exactly aligned with Alphabet’s own view of our customers’ long-term needs when it talks of mobility being ‘available when we want it, where we want it and how we want it’.
We often talk about the key themes for mobility over the next decade being driven by the four ‘ACES’ – Autonomous vehicles, Connectivity, Electrification and Services.
While Autonomous vehicles may be a little while off yet, connectivity, electric and hybrid mobility plus on-the-move services are definitely part of our 2018 landscape.
As the Government says: 'We are on the cusp of a profound change in how we move people, goods and services around our towns, cities and countryside.
This is driven by extraordinary innovation in engineering, technology and business models’.
For Alphabet’s part, next year we’re looking to further develop our AlphaCity and connected car SMR offerings by broadening the involvement of other manufacturers.
We’ve seen a year-on-year increase in AlphaCity – with a million ‘shared miles’ driven on UK roads in 2017 plus a near 20% uplift in journey bookings - as the technology becomes more understood.