Micromobility, Mobility & Sustainability, Autonomous Driving and New Urbanism are among the 10 trend topics that the study identifies as the mega trends of our time from current discourses. All of them will significantly change life – both in the city and in the countryside – and play a major role in shaping the urban future of mobility. The selection is based on the FirstSignals® trend and topic early identification method from pressrelations.

“This study outlines the current trend topics in mobility based on current discourses and thus provides an up-to-date picture of the key trend topics”, says Hans Hamer, CEO SHIFT Mobility.

The most important outcomes


Conventional parcel logistics is at its end. The number of parcels for the end customer is increasing from year to year. The last mile in particular is becoming a bottleneck. Here, new mobility concepts such as autonomous delivery drones and microdepots are urgently needed to prevent “Shipageddon,” as the New York Times titles it.

Mobility and sustainability

Alongside digitalization, sustainability and climate neutrality are the most important mobility issues. But today’s e-mobility cannot be the solution in the long run. Without lithium alternatives and technology openness in drive types, there can be no sustainable and climate-neutral mobility. At this point, the study 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 electro mobility also becomes viable from a sustainable perspective.

Autonomous driving

After 2020 being a poor year for autonomous driving, the topic takes off massively in 2021 and is at the top of the media agenda in the field of mobility. This is due in particular to the rapidly advancing technical development.

The Google subsidiary Waymo is considered the technology leader in the field of robotaxis: Waymo has already managed 35 million miles autonomously and accident-free. In terms of data analysis and system testing, Waymo could even set the industry-wide standard. Virtually all manufacturers outside Germany have already chosen Google as their software standard. The study concludes that a new monopoly is looming here, posing a major threat to German carmakers.

New Urbanism

Smart cities are becoming increasingly controversial in terms of data protection and surveillance. At the same time, many major cities such as Vienna, Paris, Barcelona and Berlin have launched highly innovative sustainable urban concepts: climate-neutral, with intelligent traffic concepts and integrated. The goal is always the livable, healthy and climate-neutral city.

The FirstSignals® method

The FirstSignals® method – finding future topics before they become trends. To do this, experienced analysts evaluate content and opinionated articles from top global media for new “buzzwords” on a daily basis. In addition, a qualitative panel of top online media is evaluated, which have also established themselves as media beacons with excellent editorial teams. All media titles represent editorial focuses in the areas of business, society/politics or technology.

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Feel free to reach out. Please send an email to: Shift-Mobility@Messe-Berlin.de