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A Millennial view on mobility

Mar 30, 2017 Future Talkers
Insights, Millennials, NextGen

Despite the growth of population and economy, the transportation of people has reached its peak. There is a general phenomenon of reduced mobility.

In the first place, there is the ageing of the population. A larger group of elderly have reduced mobility needs. But also, youngsters tend less often to opt for a car. Today’s youth is less car-oriented than the previous generations. Not only do they drive the car less often, they also travel shorter distances in it. And more than before do they use different means of transportation.
The Dutch Central Bureau for Statistics has shown that the 18-to-25-year-old Dutch are showing a decreasing interest in purchasing their own car. Febiac, the Belgian sector organization, has also established this decrease in Belgium. An increasing number of youngsters graduate without having a driving license. A younger generation, often highly educated, remains in the cities during and after their studies. City travelling is easier on the bicycle or in public transport than in a car. Ecology and durability also play their part. And there also are the smartphone and the Internet; the existence of these technologies make it less necessary to assist to everything in person.

Alternatives as a reaction

An increasing number or alternatives react to these facts, which means the need for a personal car is becoming even less important; examples offer an alternative to people who do not own a car, like the arrival of Uber but also trends such as urban cycling and sharing.


Uber links users and drivers through its application. First you download the app and register; next you can easily book a taxi. All you need to do is enter your final destination, Uber sends a price indication and with one single button touch you order your own taxi. The Internet enterprise Uber was started up in San Francisco in 2009.

Urban cycling

An increasing number of people are travelling around in the city on their bicycle, which is mainly used as means of transportation and less as leisure time occupation. The two-wheeler has of course been used for years to cycle around town, but these last few years a true trend is emerging.

Sharing means of transportation

Sharing is a trend which is present at many levels. We share our opinion with each other, online we share what is happening in our life, we share food that we have to spare and increasingly often do we share means of transportation. In Belgium bicycle and car sharing has been gaining in popularity in the past few years. This new type of mobility fills the gap between the classic public transport and the individual transport. The offer of these shared services has also become rather wide throughout the years. The sharing economy is offering an alternative for those who prefer not to purchase a car themselves.


I’ve seen the future and it’s connected

Willy Miermans, lecturer of transport studies at UHasselt, thinks that the car will always be more dominant in Belgium than in the Netherlands, for example, because in the latter country there are more cities as such which makes driving the car less comfortable than in Belgium. Therefore, car makes keep putting in the effort to adapt and to respond to these generations’ needs.
GfK also indicates that the connected car is the car of the future. This car provides real-time services, based on your preferences and your location and ranging from knowledge to entertainment. Not only will you stay connected with the home front and the outside world, cars will also be connected to each other, which is called car-to-car communication. It will be possible to exchange information between vehicles. For example: you can inform other cars about a red light but messages can also be sent through in case of traffic jams. Parking will be much simpler in the future, as this will no longer be done by the driver but by the car itself. Generation Y also indicates that a car should reflect their personality. Furthermore, this generation also thinks it important to own the latest technological gadgets.

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