A study - the Continental Mobility Study - sponsored by Continental says that private transportation has gained considerable importance during the COVID-19 pandemic and will emerge from the crisis 'much stronger'.

The study found that in order to minimize contact with others, many people are choosing to travel by bicycle or by car, while the use of public transportation has declined significantly.

Although many people have been significantly less mobile during the crisis than before, a major portion of them report that they in fact use their cars more.

Continental said the trend is particularly pronounced in China, where almost half of the respondents say they travel more by car now. In Germany, a quarter of those surveyed said the same. Even in France, where freedom of movement and thus mobility has been restricted particularly severely, 16 percent of the population have been using cars more frequently than before the pandemic began.

Bicycles have also gained in importance within a similar timeframe, Continental says.

It is a different story for public transportation, meanwhile, with half of the people surveyed in Germany saying they use public transit less often than before, and more than half in China and Japan. Since the outbreak of the pandemic, 57 percent of Japanese people have been using public transport less.

A big question is whether this trend will continue after the crisis. Some of the survey's results seem to indicate this: between six percent of respondents in Germany and 15 percent in the US reported that they have bought a car or are considering buying one in the medium to long term.

In China, where the proportion of car owners is still significantly lower, as many as 58 percent of respondents reported the same.