8 Transportation Methods We Can Expect in the Near Future
Can you imagine that people used to move around with horse and carriage nowadays? That was only a few decades ago, but a huge difference compared with the current transport systems. Then, it shouldn’t be really hard to imagine that travelling via a pod-like vehicle in a vacuum through immense pipelines in the near future is not science fiction. Or that our packages will be dropped off by autonomous drones. In the first part I shared my vision on the changes technology will inflict in transport and how that may impact society incredibly. Let’s see how that translates in actual devices, vehicles and concepts.
More and more companies, like Tesla and Toyota, are investing in new ways of urban mobility that attunes to the shift towards usership. Unfortunately existing companies often carry forward the problems of the past. Mobility-as-a-Service (MaaS) shouldn’t be approached as complementary product, but as a replacement of existing business models. Same things applies to for example public transportation. We need to do more than investing vast amounts of money in train infrastructures. Environmental and societal urgency should force us to focus on a digital infrastructure with proper security.
As we are shifting towards a circular economy that is empowering a society based on usership (instead of ownership), we can expect new business models, new procurement strategies and new forms of relationships. We need business to be done differently. At Conclusion that’s actually our motto. We have fostered an IT driven ecosystem that is not afraid to disrupt. Technology is the enabler, but the way we question every business process is the formula to our clients’ success. Simply, because businesses that dare to disrupt, experiment and create an agile work environment have the ability to fit in the future economy.
This groundwork for success is also applicable to the transport industry. This is the reason other means of transportation will arise that are perfectly suitable for the usership principle. Let’s see what some dare-devils came up with. Here’s a shortlist.
Examples of future people and cargo transportation
Hyperloop is a mode ofpassenger and cargo transportation that would drive a vehicle through a reduced-pressure tube. This pod-like vehicle could potentially exceed airliner speeds. A lot of innovation has happened since Elon Musk dropped his idea onto the world. Hyperloop One developed the first vehicle protoype and the first European hyperloop test facility has recently been opened in The Netherlands (Delft).
Ridesharing, or carpooling as we used to call it, is not a new concept. But it remains to be one with huge potential. If you are able to take away the hassle and make it truly easy, fun and applicable to customised circumstances, like Toogethr did, it’s up for a glorious future. Today it’s mainly focussed on ridesharing with owned cars, but in coming years I foresee a side stream of ridesharing-as-a-service from companies maintaining a fleet of cars for carpool purposes.
Also drones are not new to many of us, but the actual commercial business implementation is still in test phase. Most parties are focussing on flying drones, but how about driving drones?
MIT engineers are stating that rather than putting wings on cars, we should be helping drones to drive to make them more suitable for society.
- Bike sharing
Traditional bikes, smart bikes, e-bikes; bikes will continue to be an important part of the future transport gamut. Technologies as geo-fencing enable security and on-demand solutions to improve the bike sharing experience. And, although e-bikes are growing popularity, these are still expensive to buy. Another adoption reason to move over from ownership to usership. Madrid became the first European city to launch a fully electric bike share system. And more is happening in this area, check this trend list for other initiatives.
- Personal mobility device
Compact, agile ‘people-movers’ that can carry one person. Electric devices like Honda’s Uni-cub, that hold a self-balancing technology, open up new possibilities for people to zip short distances inside cities. Unlike with bikes or other two-wheel vehicles, you don’t need your hands to steer, so you can do something else while travelling.
- Small cargo robots
No more carrying around your own groceries and no more congestion and parking frustration while shopping. Small robots on wheels that can follow us around, like Gita. This mobile servant from Piaggio (Italy) is currently in its test phase. With machine learning we could eventually programme such cargo robots to do pick-up and delivery tasks autonomously.
- Self-driving vehicles
Autonomous vehicles, there already here. Tested and ready for use. Unfortunately the current infrastructure lacks the ability to facilitate this massively. In order to accommodate huge datasets, secure privacy and deal with legal liability topics a lot needs to change before these vehicles will become a usual public asset in our street scene.
- Flying cars
Practically all movies about the future used to contain flying cars. The science fiction of the 90s was mostly about the year 2020; will flying cars be common in our street scene by then? Probably not, but Volvo’s parent company, that bought startup Terrafugia, is coming up with arguably the first convincing prototype of a hybrid vehicle that could drive from an airport to someone’s destination. I wouldn’t be surprised to see flying Volvo’s in the next decade or so.
Solving Your Biggest Client Issue May Be at Your Fingertips
Written by: Shileen Weber
When the American Funds’ Capital Group asked 400 advisors last year to name the biggest issues they face in their businesses, it wasn’t the DOL, market uncertainty or the economy that sat in the center of the idea cloud of answers.
It was client issues.
At a time when regulatory concerns and market turbulence would seem to be at all-time highs, the advisors who answered the survey were most concerned about servicing their clients as well as ways to find new ones and grow their businesses.
It’s one of the ironies of the business, that the things most people find so hard to manage – creating financial plans, managing assets and staying ahead of events – are what advisors find to be the easiest parts of the business. Marketing - the business of selling themselves – can be the area advisors find the hardest elements to master.
In this age of instant communication, it can be even more intimidating to market your practice, especially to younger clients for whom many traditional methods like newsletters, postcards and phone calls don’t work anymore. For them, email is the preferred way to get information, and, if it’s important, they are more likely to respond to texts, not phone calls.
But, it doesn’t have to be that hard. The digital age gives you access to ideas and content of all kinds you can use to touch your clients in a way that positions you as a valuable resource. The key is to keep it simple, stick to some basics and create consistent outreach that clients and potential clients are interested in and will appreciate you sharing with them.
Here is a common-sense approach you can take that will not require you to hire an expensive agency or take valuable time away from managing your clients’ assets and running your business.
Content is King
Create a content calendar for the year: Think about reasons to touch a client 13 times during the year – that can be once a month and on their birthday. (The common rule of sales is that it takes at least 7-13 touches to make a connection.) The number is limited and keeps you from inundating the clients who likely already feel inundated with content. You can take the seasonal approach – tax planning in the fall, January for account review content, college financing in the spring – and supplement it with topical events during the year. Creating a calendar will help you stick to a plan. Here’s one resource for a content calendar.
Review what content is already available to you: Basically, this means finding the resources you already have and determining what pieces will be most valuable to your clients. Start first by checking out content your broker-dealer already generates that you can personalize. Many firms have economists who write regularly about the market. That’s content you can pass along to keep clients up-to-date they would not have access to anywhere else. In addition to your broker-dealer, mutual funds, your clearing firm, and money managers are all excellent sources of informative and even analytical content.
Personalize the content you use: Add your name, the client’s name or some way to avoid making it feel like canned content that you are using just to check the outreach box. See what capabilities your email program may have to help you.
The birthday strategy: One advisor used clients’ birthdays in a new way. Instead of the card or lunch date, the advisor asked the client’s spouse for a list of friends he could invite to a birthday lunch and made it a memorable event that was also a soft approach to getting referrals.
Become a curator of good content: What your review will show you is that you don’t have to generate the content yourself. You can point clients to pieces you find insightful. You are likely already doing this every day just to keep yourself informed. The next step is to compile it and send out the very best pieces to your clients, again, with a note with your own thoughts about why you found it valuable.
Find out what is working and do more of it: Use your client interactions, in-person and online, to find out what types of content clients liked and any they didn’t. You can use tracking on your emails to see how many were opened as a measurement tool, but the personal interactions tend to provide more insight than raw data.
Be disciplined about your execution: Get help from an office assistant or schedule the time each month to do the content development and outreach. As any good strategy, if you make it a habit, it won’t seem so hard.
Most importantly, be yourself and be personal: You may want to regularly get personal by talking about your family and hobbies. The ultimate is if you can provide content that is personal to your clients, not just about their investments – they get that from their statements, apps and online portals. Think alma maters, hobbies, children and parents.
Of course, as a disclaimer, you have to make sure all content and communications are complying with regulations and the rules of your own broker-dealer.
The process of creating a plan will get you thinking about your clients in a new way. That exercise alone can re-energize your business and get you seeing marketing opportunities in places you may never have seen them before.
Shileen Weber is Senior Vice President of Marketing and Communications at GWG Holdings. She was previously Director of Online Strategy and Client Experience at RBC Wealth Management, where they placed first in two JD Power and Associates U.S. Full Service Investor Satisfaction Study (2011 and 2013).
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