Technological advancement and the overcrowding of cities across the world has forced our daily commutes through a major transformation. The past five years have seen much of the global population go from being in the office 5 days a week, to working from home for almost two years, to then, a return to a new form of hybrid working.
In the next five years, we expect to see significant shifts towards more efficient and sustainable modes of commuting. These modes will help us get to work, and use smart technology to optimise parking space and office space. What the past five years of a pandemic-induced shift towards virtual communication has shown us is that traditional commuting patterns can and will be disrupted.
Here’s some data:
The harsh reality is that a factor of the population will always travel into work by car. Statista recently found that 76% of Americans drive to work. Our data found that the average employee spends approximately 10.4% of their day commuting. In California, for example, commuters spend over 80 hours of their year looking for a parking space. This does not have to be the case. In the next five years, optimization will be necessary for any areas where it is not currently present.
With the help of AI-powered algorithms and sensors, commuters will be able to find available parking spots and reserve them in advance. This way, they will reduce the time and stress of searching for a spot. The space freed up could be repurposed for a variety of uses that benefit society. Transforming land into public parks or gardens, for example, could give space back to those who need it most. Land could be utilised to build affordable housing, addressing the many housing crises affecting countries across the world. Optimising the parking and by proxy optimising the commute will benefit the way we live.
Shifts Towards Alternative Transport
It is highly likely that much of the world’s population will adopt alternative modes of transport in five years. For example, biking, walking, or taking public transit, either for exercise or due to climate concerns, or even due to simply being fed up with traffic. However, with the rise of electric and autonomous vehicles, as well as other technological advancements, driving to work may become a more sustainable and efficient option for some commuters. I can picture a world with flying cars that park themselves in pre-booked parking spots. However, we might have to wait slightly longer than five years to get behind the wheel, no matter how much we hope.
Companies will equip offices with sensors and data analytics to optimize space utilization. This way, they will allow for more flexible work arrangements and reduce the need for dedicated desks. 37% of global organisations intend to utilise hot-desking going forward. As a result, the future of the commute will hopefully be more comfortable, convenient, and environmentally friendly. In the next five years, we can expect a continuation of this trend. With more companies embracing flexible work arrangements and allowing employees to work from home, on the go, or from satellite offices closer to their homes. This will not only reduce the amount of time and money spent on commuting, but also allow for a better work-life balance and a more diverse workforce from different parts of each country or even across borders.
Software is changing the way we move. In the evolution of the journey, we’ve had navigation bringing us from A to B with Google and Apple Maps. We’ve had leaving perfected with the disruptors, Uber and Lyft. Now, the commute needs a closer look, because when you arrive anywhere, you more likely than not will have a subpar experience. Software innovation will change that, allowing people to save time, remove guesswork and find space easier. In 5-10 years, people will save time and find it more convenient by automating the whole arrival process with software. I will go out on a limb and say that I am looking forward to my commute in 5 years.