Autonomous Driving, Sharing and AI: This is How the Germans Envision the Future of Mobility

Faster subway schedules, optimized traffic flow on roads, and fewer disruptions due to strikes: 57% of Germans are convinced that modes of transportation such as trains, buses or cars will be predominantly autonomous in 20 years.

This opinion is prevalent across all age groups and is also shared by the majority of seniors aged 65 and above. Among those aged 16 to 29, 63% expect predominantly autonomous vehicles in 20 years, while among those aged 30 to 49, it is 61%. In the 50 to 64 age group, it is 51%, and in the age group 65 and above, it is 55%. These are the results of a representative survey commissioned by the digital association Bitkom among 1003 people in Germany aged 16 and above.

“Despite all technical challenges, autonomous driving is the future. Autonomous vehicles not only have high reliability, but they also relieve the environment, provide more driving comfort and enhance safety for passengers”, says Bitkom CEO Dr Bernhard Rohleder. “As a future part of local and long-distance transport, autonomous modes of transportation can also mitigate the increasing shortage of drivers and improve mobility services, especially in rural areas."

New mobility options are changing mobility behaviour

Whether autonomous or not, on-demand or scheduled service, sharing or private ownership – new mobility options such as sharing bikes, on-demand taxis or autonomous shuttle buses are already changing mobility behaviour. A large portion of Germans is convinced that by using these options, they are contributing to the environment: 84% say that those who use such new mobility offerings are contributing to climate protection. Overall, 83% of Germans believe that new mobility options can increase the quality of life, especially in rural areas. New mobility options can also benefit the wallet: Three-quarters (74%) of Germans say that people can travel from A to B for less money. Similarly, 74% say that new mobility options increase the attractiveness of public transportation, because the journey to stations can be more flexibly managed. 68 % believe that new mobility options can reduce urban traffic.

AI solutions impact technology and safety

Nearly half of Germans also have hope in AI: 49% believe that Artificial Intelligence can make the use of new mobility options more attractive. Similarly, 50% believe that digital mobility solutions will become more accessible through AI. "AI solutions can not only improve the technologies of autonomous driving and further enhance their safety, but they can also assist in intelligent route planning and for example support as a voice assistant in booking processes in mobility apps”, says Rohleder.

The basis for the information provided is a survey conducted by Bitkom Research on behalf of the digital association Bitkom. A total of 1003 individuals aged 16 and above in Germany were interviewed via telephone. The survey took place during the period from calendar week 25 to calendar week 29 in 2023. The survey is representative. The question posed was: "To what extent do you agree with the following statements?"

Caption: Nearly half of Germans believe that AI can make new mobility options more attractive. Photo: BMW.

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