SHIFT Mobility 2021 Publishes New Study “The Great Shift – Urban Mobility of Tomorrow”

Dusseldorf, April 23, 2021

SHIFT Mobility - powered by IFA - in cooperation with media intelligence firm pressrelations published the findings of a new study on mega trends within the mobility industry called “The Great Shift: Future of Mobility and New Urbanism”.

Mobility & Sustainability, Micromobility, Autonomous Driving and New Urbanism are among the ten trending topics that the study identified as the mega trends of our time. Every single one of these trends will have a significant impact in both, urban and rural environments, and deeply influence the future of mobility. These results are based on an analysis using FirstSignals, a pressrelations tool used by experts worldwide to detect future trending topics.

“Today, many facets of our daily lives are constrained by what are mainly technological limits of mobility. To solve the question of what mobility can do and be for us, we need to understand the complex fabric of its interdependent factors. Only then will we be able to fully comprehend mobility, develop it further and maybe even revolutionize the industry,” says Dr. Hans H. Hamer, CEO SHIFT Mobility. “From actual discussions within our mobility industry, our new study identified exactly those factors as trending topics and delivers therefore an up-to-date picture of key trends.”

Mobility and Sustainability

Sustainability and climate neutrality, in combination with digitalization, are the most important issues within mobility. With sustainable, climate-neutral mobility as the major goal, today's e-mobility concepts don’t provide adequate solutions. Instead, alternatives to lithium are needed as much as an open-mindedness to new technologies such as innovative engine types. The study also concludes that solid-state batteries and supplements, such as e-fuels, are needed to ensure that lithium does not become the “New Oil” and that electromobility will become viable in terms of sustainability. If the hydrogen power paste developed by the Fraunhofer Institute proves to be practical for a wider adoption, we may be at the start of a fuel revolution.


The data analysis shows that conventional parcel logistics already operate at full capacity and have reached their limit. However, the number of packages delivered to end customers continues to grow with the last mile being the major bottleneck. New mobility concepts - such as autonomous delivery drones and micro-depots - are urgently needed to prevent very bad shipping situations, or ”Shipageddon,” as the New York Times dubbed it.

Autonomous Driving

Throughout all of 2020, autonomous driving as a topic was largely left ignored. In 2021, however, the topic dominates the mobility media coverage driven by a rapidly advancing technical developments in the field.

Google’s autonomous driving project Waymo is considered a leader in the field of robotaxis since the organization’s vehicles have completed 35 million miles without any accidents. And in terms of data analysis and system testing, Waymo may set an industry-wide standard. Virtually all manufacturers outside Germany have already chosen Google's software as their standard. The study concludes that a new monopoly is forming posing a major threat to German car makers.

New Urbanism

Smart cities are controversially discussed in terms of data protection and surveillance. At the same time, however, many major cities such as Vienna, Paris, Barcelona and Berlin launched highly innovative, sustainable, integrated urban projects combined with intelligent traffic concepts.

All these projects aim to create climate neutral and healthy cities worth living in and make use of a concept called ‘New Urbanism’. New Urbanism calls for sustainability, neighborliness, mixing, densification, short distances and reduced traffic. The study concludes that due to digitalization and telemigration, the urban–rural divide is slowly dissolving and cites village-style micro-homes in cities and the gentrification of idyllic vacation areas in the countryside as proof. Companies like Airbnb and the aviation industry in particular benefit from this global trend.

“Virtually all aspects of our mobile lives will be massively transformed in just a few years by new concepts and rapid technological developments,” says Oliver Heyden, Chief Strategy Officer at pressrelations and co-author of the study. “In this context, it is more important than ever for companies in the mobility industry to develop a resilient strategic agenda right now and to position themselves effectively in the fields of the future. The most successful agenda will be one that successfully integrates digitalization and sustainability.”


In the course of the evaluation, different weightings were observed for topics covered in various linguistic regions. While sustainable mobility dominates the German headlines, autonomous driving is more prevalent in the UK and USA by a wide margin. E-mobility follows in second place in these linguistic regions. In addition, it is noticeable that in the English-speaking region there is significantly more extensive coverage of technology-related fields of mobility.

About FirstSignals®

FirstSignals® detects future trends before they become trends. To do this, experienced analysts scour various content and editorial articles from top global media sources for new “buzzwords” on a daily basis. In addition, they evaluate a qualitative panel of top online media which are considered media beacons with excellent editorial teams. All media titles represent their editorial focus in the fields of business, society, politics and technology.

About IFA Berlin

IFA, the world's most significant show for consumer and home electronics, is the most efficient communication meeting point for representatives of industry, trade and media from all over the world. IFA 2021 will take place in Berlin on September 3–7.

About pressrelations

Founded in 2001, pressrelations GmbH with the head office in Düsseldorf and additional offices at ten other locations in Austin (Texas), Dublin, Stans and Zurich among others, is a full-service provider of cross-media monitoring and analysis services. The company bundles its in-house, AI-assisted technology with the expertise of its news managers, analysts, and consultants. Along with the real-time client portal NewsRadar®, pressrelations offers tailor-made reporting formats, scalable Newsroom solutions and the analysis method for early detection of trends FirstSignals® which has received a DPOK (The German Prize for Online Communication) award. On this basis, pressrelations delivers practical insights and recommendations for planning, controlling and evaluation to over 700 clients for their communication work.

Contact for further information:

Niko Liveric

Head of Marketing