The taxi industry is facing the biggest period of change since the first minicabs were licensed more than half a century ago.
Indeed, the entire auto industry is facing a perfect storm, which will see a convergence of many areas that we have considered as discreet activities – taxis, private hire operators and chauffeurs, as well as rental cars, car clubs, bus services and even car ownership. All these are being stirred into a melting pot called “mobility” – and we’re all going to have to get ready for the ensuing brew.
On top of that, the car itself is changing. We’re starting to see real progress in practical zero-emissions vehicles, with better battery range and practical – if expensive – hydrogen cars. Cities need to clean up their air, and the taxi sector is going to be targeted as a first adopter.
And then there’s autonomous driving. If the car can drive itself, do you need a driver? Or does the presence of a human become even more important than ever, providing peace of mind, safety and service – an autonomous car can’t carry your bags to your door.
Who’s going to own “mobility”? At the moment, the private hire operators have the lion’s share. But we’ve all seen the impact of the taxi apps – and more of these are looking at the market. Technology companies, car rental firms and even automakers themselves want a piece of the pie. We could have a fight on our hands.
With all these changes, whatever shape “mobility” takes in the future will require proper regulation. Yet the private hire sector is often caught in the crossfire between new concepts and traditional players – where’s the clear road map for the future?
We’re putting together a one-day conference designed to address all these issues, giving you a chance to hear from a broad spectrum of voices in four themed panel sessions. The sessions will be interactive, giving you a chance to give your opinions on key issues and pose questions to the panellists in a Question Time format, chaired by Professional Driver Editor Mark Bursa.
Can you afford to miss this vital industry conference, now in its third successful year? The industry is at the crossroads – at ProDriver Congress North, we’ll point you in the right direction.