Global Agenda Council on the Future of Automotive & Personal Transport 2014-2016


The automotive industry is traditionally been focused on manufacturing industry, with key sources of competitive advantage derived from platform scale, differentiating R&D and brand management. Several key trends, however, are leading to an evolution of the industry from manufacturing to services, such as mobile communications. This will have a huge impact on business models, competition and infrastructure.

As the ecosystem broadens, it will be critical to look at the future of the automotive industry in the context of broader personal transport systems. Service providers - often technology companies - and trends such as car-sharing, have the potential to transform this space and fundamentally change societies‘ perceptions around and capabilities for mobility.
The Global Agenda Council on the Future of Automotive & Personal Transport Council will explore critical issue areas to identify the top 10 emerging solutions or developments for personal transportation. Issue areas and trends for exploration include:

Hyperconnectivity - As consumers increasingly demand the ability to stay connected while driving, providers are adding devices to vehicles to enhance their value as data providers. Transportation processes are becoming increasingly digitized, and by 2020 90% of all new cars sold are anticipated to be “connected”. The involvement of innovative tech companies and mobile services providers in this realm is rapidly expanding the industry and challenging conventional modes of operation.

Sell-driving vehicles - These vehicles are widely considered the way of the future. While the technology is rapidly advancing, new business models and public policy associated with this new technology remains a large unknown. The council will assess the viability and future landscape for self-driving technology, identifying how business models could operate and what kinds of policy and regulation will be necessary.

Advanced manufacturing - Based on the rise of the circular economy and replacement of people with machines, manufacturers are increasingly adding ultra-lightweight vehicles to their portfolio in response to supply-side considerations (high supply chain and raw material costs, advancements in materials science) as well as the demand side (meeting urban needs and calls for lighter. more efficient vehicles).

Diversification of energy sources - CO2 regulations are forcing original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to offer alternative fuel vehicles. which is increasing and fracturing. This comes with associated R&D costs and is heavily influenced by trends such as the rise of shale oil and gas.

To get involved please contact

Research Analyst: Muireann Mageras, Senior Associate, Global Agenda Councils,
Council Manager: 
Andrey Berdichevskiy, Senior Community Manager, Mobility Industries,
Forum Lead:
John Moavenzadeh, Senior Director, Head of Mobility Industries,

What we're working on:

Coughlin, J.F., Reimer, B. & Mehler, B. “Monitoring, managing, and motivating driver safety and wellbeing”. IEEE Pervasive Computing, 10(3), 2011, 14-21

Schafer, A., Heywood, John B., Jacoby, Henry D., Waitz, Ian A. Transportation in a Climate-Constrained World. MIT Press, 2009.

Deakin, Elizabeth, Nuworsoo Cornelius and Golub, Aaron. Analyzing the Equity Impacts of Transit Fare Changes: A Case Study of AC Transit, forthcoming, Transportation Research Record, 2006


Document archive for all the issues you are interested in