COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in more ways than one. With the newly introduced public health measures, social distancing, lockdowns, and quarantines, how people lived their lives were severely affected.
How people traveled and connected with each other has also profoundly changed because people were worried about using public transport. They did not want to share closed, often unsanitary space with others. A disproportionate amount of people, including children and adults, had to start working and studying from home, and how people conducted business has changed as well. With this change came the ongoing Zoom meetings, working with international teams around the clock, and adjusting to an online environment. Many things required a lot of adjustments, and not everything was easy to handle. However, the positive effects of this new online environment brought plenty of opportunities to connect with each other easier and faster.
Transportation mobility movement on the rise:
Even before COVID, a strong movement started to appear in certain countries and cities with the hopes of building a greener, more sustainable, and healthier future. Many technology companies were already heavily investing in innovation related to transportation mobility. Rideshares and micro-mobility vehicles appeared in urban cities, and communities started to embrace the positive benefits such as commuting with lower cost and higher convenience. They were also able to connect to transportation hubs from underdeveloped areas.
What COVID did was that it removed the focus from many other innovations and research and development areas simply because priorities had quickly changed. Apart from vaccine development, innovation in critical equipment such as ventilators and protective gear were some of the main focus topics. Modern mobility and transportation solutions were also gaining more attention.
The effect of changing travel habits:
The reason why many mobility technologies were able to move from innovation/early emerging stage to wider acceptance stage faster because of the changing travel habits (or lack of it) and the fact that people were able to connect online and reach beyond what was possible or expected before. Experts and technology companies, innovators, and investors were able to cross borders without leaving their homes and completed transactions faster and much more efficiently.
By crowdsourcing innovation, people were able to collaborate and move projects faster into the final stage. With the emerging needs for new solutions, wider acceptance of new technologies was more quickly achieved.