Hugo Pinto

Digital, Data, Strategy, Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain

Is Mobility the iPhone of Infrastructure?

My mind has been bubbling for a while about the depth of the disruption autonomous (even just the digitisation of) vehicles will bring about – and the automotive industry is only the tip of the iceberg.
I tend to talk a lot about how breaking silos first within your business, and then within your industry will bring about massive shifts in the economics of your P&L, but we’re entering a stage of connectedness that will enable the next step: breaking the industry silos.
Notice how not only the OEM’s are making cars the next UX platform – just like Apple did for smartphones – but all the related industries are either evolving or being challenged: Renewables and especially electrification of energy; Digitisation and transparency in supply chains and logistics; decentralisation of computing and modularisation of communications networks.
Along with these trends regulation (at least in the EU) has reset the baseline in customer acquisition and the ability of businesses to own and serve customers with GDPR now live.


Finally, let’s mix it all with a pinch of user expectations going real-time, location aware, hyper-personalised and with the right payment method, and how it’s forcing businesses to equip themselves and their workforces to serve these needs, and we have the perfect recipe for the emergence of new modularised business models.
Check out this video about how leveraging Amazon, Google, Tesla and Apple services can solve a massive pain-point that is both frustrating consumers, as well as costing hundreds of millions to any company that delivers goods at home:


Let’s now go from birds-eye view, to International Space Station vantage point and see how all of the points above come together to change mobility:
  • Energy costs tend to zero– It’s about the services personalised by using the energy consumption data, not the energy cost
  • Mobility costs tend to zero– Uberpreneurialism heping generate revenue from other services
  • Communications costs tend to zero– Telcos becoming dumb-pipes
  • Computing power tends to zero– The biggest cost with CPU/GPU will be energy consumption, as it already is in crypto
Current fixed infratructure value chains are vulnerable to redesign by mobility, which presents the opportunity to redesign with more flexibility, better and cheaper technology, and in a way that the cost is ofset by services’ revenue streams.
It also presents an opportunity for incumbents to be the drivers of the change – what if energy companies partnered with mobility emerging businesses to balance the network, rather than the current efforts to build fixed infrastructure? (Nuclear energy investments).
What about what is currently also fixed infrastructure: Retail spaces, Logistics centres, Schools, clinics, government bodies. All of these need a new mindset though – just like Ben Hammersley states below:
It’s gonna happen much faster than we think – just not immediately convert traditional businesses


Is mobility the iphone of infrastructure, and are we witnessing the baby steps of an entirely different world?

A few other questions pop to mind but I’ll leave it for you experts to contribute with your thoughts and opinions:
Is this going to allow a multi-layer decoupling of what a vehicle is, and what people do while on the move and how they do it?
Is it going to standardise the aggregation of services that move people and goods – like we see with uber, uber eats, Volvo / Amazon prime?
Will it bring a new bricks and mortar model/platform to life and will you have your haircut while commuting?
Can it become the exponential multiplier for emerging economies to blossom?
Will there be a new type of business that leverages personal data from different services to orchestrate end to end services, like we saw in the video above?
If so, what are you as a company and as a business?
Food for thought…

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