Why the need for taxis when people have restricted movements? The COVID-19 pandemic has made the transportation segment come to a screeching halt. The evergreen taxi industry is facing losses for the first time since its inception in the digital medium.
The situation demands answers for various questions,
With governments relaxing lockdown restrictions, will the taxi and transportation industry resurrect? Will people prefer private rides or public transport? Can taxis provide safe rides at economical rates? Is this a sign for the transportation sector to modify its business model? Will the revolution involve the role of smart mobility? Are e-vehicles the future of this industry?
The answer to these questions lies in the hands of automobile companies and taxi apps. The stress on safety standards and the need for returning to normalcy is more than ever. In this blog, let’s look at the impact of COVID-19 in the transportation industry. Besides, we shall inspect the prospects of smart mobility sustaining post-COVID-19.
Ride-hailing industry takes a hit but manages to survive
Uber’s net loss in the first quarter of the year was $2.9 billion. On the other hand, Uber’s rival Lyft experienced a similar scenario with a net loss of $398.1 million. These are tough times for the taxi and transportation market. The demand for taxis has almost dried up among the working population. However, taxis do come in handy for frontline workers who need to travel to multiple places. Most of the on-demand taxi apps are focusing on the mobility of hospital staff and specialized physicians. This way, by being beneficial to the healthcare industry, the taxi sector is managing its losses.
Even amid lockdowns, emergency services are mandatory. By providing comfortable taxi rides, taxi apps can survive and can help the community survive this battle against the Coronavirus.
People prefer smart and micro mobility solutions
E-bikes and e-scooters were a trend among people for the last couple of years. According to Trends Market Research, the smart mobility market expects a double-digit CAGR of 19.9% between 2017 and 2023. Needless to say, COVID-19 can pave the future for this type of transportation. Companies are collaborating with micro-mobility firms to provide e-vehicles to employees. Besides, a food delivery company, delivering food orders via smart mobility solutions can improve productivity and profitability. Moreover, reduction in time and conservation of fuel adds icing to the cake. Smart mobility can be the next best alternative post-COVID-19.
People’s expectations need a solution
Transportation will inevitably be different post the pandemic. One can expect a paradigm shift of people’s mindset from the economy to safety. Let’s take a quick tour of how people will expect transportation to be following the lockdown scenario.
- People will prefer private rides over congested public transport. Although the elite can afford a car of their own, a majority of the population will depend on taxis.
- People will look for safety standards in a taxi before availing of services. Masks and gloves will become mandatory for drivers and passengers.
- Carpooling with a stranger will take a downtrend post the pandemic. However, on a positive note, people will not hesitate to share their rides with friends and family.
- There’s a need for safety in public transport. Be it restricting passenger count or maintaining social distancing, public utilities like buses, trains, etc., need to update their business model to suit passengers’ expectations. Leveraging the Software as a Service (SaaS) model can enable passengers to book their spots over the virtual medium.
- Even freight services will need to ensure the safety of both perishable and non-perishable goods. Safety measures, like avoiding exposure to the external environment, disinfecting the truck, etc., can play a critical role.
Have an eye on these mobility trends
Entrepreneurs can never take the taxi industry out of the picture when considering making investments in the on-demand app sector. For years altogether, this industry has remained the epicenter among business owners. Here are specific mobility trends for entrepreneurs who wish to launch a ride-hailing app for COVID-19 situation.
- Software as a Service (SaaS) model: It seems pretty evident that public transit agencies need to step up their safety standards. A software to reserve seats well in advance can have a significant impact on people. Entrepreneurs can rent their taxi dispatch software to these agencies and enjoy consistent income even amid the pandemic. The remarkable aggregator model may not yield expected quality results during COVID-19.
- Artificial Intelligence (AI): Taxi apps can take optimizing routes to the next level with the aid of Artificial Intelligence (AI) tools in the system. Besides, AI analytics can lead to enhanced user experience, security & safety management, etc. Moreover, with preventive maintenance techniques, taxi drivers can save a considerable chunk of money.
- Stressing on safety standards: Adhering to safety measures can help a taxi app gain trustworthiness among users. Incorporating a face mask & glove verification software isn’t a mammoth task, considering the improvements in modern technology. Besides, enabling passengers and drivers to conform to a safety checklist can prevent community spread. Let users and drivers have the report feature, wherein both the parties can report in case if anyone fails to comply with safety guidelines. These simple yet effective guidelines can make an Uber clone app stand apart from the rest.
The final verdict – Mobility will evolve but sustain
The transportation industry has evolved with the trends of automobile companies and people. With people preferring safer, economical rides and automobile firms shifting from fuel to electric-powered vehicles, smart mobility is set to become the future of taxis. With that being said, the transportation industry will undergo an evolution in favor of people’s needs. One COVID-19 cannot disrupt a century-long market. Renaissance is very much on the cards.
The transportation industry can get back to winning ways once the COVID-19 storm has passed by. Smartphones and the internet can always provide answers, with due credits to the advancements in technology. Changes related to safety standards are very much possible, with most of the taxi apps already implementing them into the taxi ecosystem. Investing in a smart mobility taxi app isn’t a bad idea, especially when people are leaning towards self-drive vehicles. Reconstruction takes time, but the taxi industry has one thing to say – this too shall pass!