The future of human mobility is bright and getting brighter. More than mere witnesses, we are all participants in this transformative journey... a journey that is leading to greater accessible, affordable, and reliable mobility for more people than ever before.
People have always needed to move. That means going to work to make a living, visiting family and friends, staying fit, and sometimes, just getting outside to enjoy some fresh air and sunshine.
Indeed, mobility has been an essential thread throughout human history, from the creation of the wheel to the domestication of horses, from the harnessing of sail power on the seas to the invention of steam locomotion on the rails.
In the 20th century, mobility exploded in ways people in earlier times—aside from, say, Leonardo da Vinci—could scarcely have dreamed. The Wright Brothers’ 1903 triumph at Kitty Hawk led to the birth of scheduled air travel only about a decade later. Merely 66 years separated the first powered flight from the first moon landing in 1969.
The wonders of mobility further accelerated in the last 50 years. No longer reserved for a “jet set” elite, air travel has become broadly affordable. Automobiles have become safer, more reliable, more energy-efficient, and less costly to own and operate. Current ride-hailing and car sharing trends are creating even more transportation opportunities.
In our time, it isn’t only the ability to move hundreds or thousands of miles that’s improved dramatically. Many people with physical challenges can now move across the room and across town almost as easily as everyone else, thanks to advanced prosthetics, powered scooters, technology-assisted driving, and more.
Around the world, mobility professionals are hard at work charting the future of movement. Some are creating new technologies and applications. Others are dreaming up next-generation personal mobility solutions. Some are mapping bike paths, building roads, and expanding mass transit. Still others are engineering new cars, trains, and airliners.
These professionals are making great strides. They’re enhancing ride-hailing services, developing assisted and automated driving technology, building zero-emission vehicles with greater power, range and efficiency, and much more.
Toyota, for its part, is committed to leading the way and helping realize the brightest mobility future, one that touches the lives of not only Toyota and Lexus drivers but all people. That’s because we believe movement is a human right, and a key reason our company became the first Worldwide Mobility Partner of the Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Our partnership with the Paralympics, in particular, allows us to showcase our super-abled athletes, and in turn, inspire everyone to “start your impossible.”
But you don’t need to be in the Paralympics or the auto industry to help make mobility more accessible. In fact, we can all contribute with the simple, everyday choices we make, whether we’re biking to work, telecommuting, using mass transit, giving a lift to a neighbor, or simply looking out for others along the way.
And we believe things are only just starting to get interesting. Over the next decade, mobility will continue to expand—and at an exponentially greater pace.
Think, for a moment, about how computing power has become dramatically less expensive and more accessible. Innovations in hardware, software and apps have enabled people to do much more for much less. Today’s phones give us all instant access to exponentially more information than yesterday’s research librarians.
A similar revolution is coming in mobility. While we don’t know exactly where it will lead, we can see a new era dawning, one that will make mobility far more accessible, affordable, and reliable. This will improve the lives of not millions but billions of people.
Why? Because, ultimately, mobility is freedom—the opportunity to connect with others and make the most of a day or a life. Like previous generations, we all still need to move. We need to get out. We need to go places. Together, we’re driving the future of mobility. Not for a select few, but for everyone.