Report explores trends in rapidly evolving mobility industry
Civilization was built on moving goods and people. Now — with electric vehicles, autonomous tech and the green economy — mobility is undergoing a revolution akin to when horses and trains were eclipsed by cars and planes.
What's happening: A report out Tuesday from investment firm UP.Partners is a compendium of research underlining important trends in the rapidly evolving mobility industry.
Why it matters: The global transportation and logistics sector is valued at about $10 trillion dollars annually. Emerging tech like flying cars and public-sector space travel are estimated to each reach $1 trillion by 2040.
- "Ginormous isn't an overstatement," Cyrus Sigari told Axios. The co-founder of UP.Partners splits his time between Santa Monica, California and Bentonville, and he chaired the Arkansas Council on Future Mobility, established by former Gov. Asa Hutchinson.
Flashback: A year ago, Hutchinson and a coalition of businesses including Walmart, J.B. Hunt and FedEx said they intend to collaborate to make the state a leader in "next-generation transportation" by 2030.
- The council filed its final report in December 2022 to serve as a roadmap to help hit that goal.
Catch up quick: In addition to an optimistic view of the industry, UP.Partners' research highlights how shortcomings — lack of resources and infrastructure — could be cliffs for various mobility industries. Takeaways include:
1. Environment — Despite advances in technology, the transportation sector is responsible for 37% of CO2 emissions in the U.S.
- Getting to net-zero by 2050, means reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 22%, but the authors estimate they're growing by 11%.
2. Batteries — Demand to power EVs, bikes, drones and planes is expected to increase tenfold in the next seven years.
- Shortages of raw materials are raising prices, so advancements in recycling tech are critical.
- Researchers say the U.S. needs its own supply chain to avoid dependence on other nations.
3. Investments — 12% of venture capital invested since 2013 has gone toward mobility, the report states. That's an estimated $375 billion.
- "Last mile" delivery and EVs account for 50% of the dollars invested since 2020.
4. Air and space — There's an estimated shortage of 18,000 pilots now, but that gap is expected to jump to 65,000 by 2030, or nearly 80,000 by 2032.
- Tech innovations are reducing the cost of space travel and Sigari predicts an eventual lunar economy built around supporting life on the moon.
What to watch: Sigari sees the report as "open source research."
- He hopes policymakers, entrepreneurs and investors use it as a compass.
More NW Arkansas stories
No stories could be found
Get a free daily digest of the most important news in your backyard with Axios NW Arkansas.