Blog: Dave Leggett'Last mile mobility'

Dave Leggett | 20 June 2014

Thoughts are turning to future mobility today. There's an event on this subject in London next week that I will be attending on Wednesday. I spoke to Frost & Sullivan's Sarwant Singh earlier this week about car sharing and today I find myself thinking about multi-modal journeys and how apps will help us in the future. Below is a video from Toyota that neatly sums up how it will work (loving the case study with that couple hooking up).

One thing though. We already do this stuff without the need for an app, but it might not be super efficient. And it can be subject to whims. For example, I might take a train to London and then get in a taxi for the 'last mile'. Or get on the Tube. Or take a bus. Or hire a bicycle by the hour. Or decide to take a bit longer and walk because the sun is out. If the final leg is a fairly long one, I might hire a car by the hour, sure.

I guess the big improvement now is that I can pre-book the whole journey including that last mile (maybe with Uber!). So, no more waiting at a bus-stop with the uncertainty of where the bus you need actually is. That bicycle is reserved. The taxi is on its way. You know where your bus is. Progress, I guess; of course it is. More efficiency with the journey, better for the environment. But a life without those little uncertainties: standing in rain looking for the yellow 'for hire' light on a taxi (where's the best place to get 'em?); wondering if aliens have abducted the bus you want (they move in packs, of course, and your pack of three went through half an hour ago); or the taxi meter is clearly out of control and I am paying for his holiday in I have enough cash for this?

Would we miss these things that occasionally drive us mad, but are part of the nuance of city living, when they are all gone and everything can be planned out to the final detail on a smartphone? 

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