Uber's ride-hailing is a prominent example of a new mobility service (Photo: Uber)

Automakers still have time to adapt their business models to changing consumer preferences, according to a report by the US Center for Automotive Research (CAR).

The study, titled “The impact of new mobility services on the automotive industry,”  identifies seven types of new-mobility services: ride-hailing, ride-sharing, car-sharing, bike-sharing, micro-transit, mobility-as-a-service and shared autonomous vehicles.

Micro-transit refers to transportation services that use small buses that can bridge the gap between single-user transportation and fixed-route public transit.

The various services wil help alleviate urban parking problems, reduce congestion and provide energy savings and cost reductions for users, CAR says.

The new modes of transportation will be adopted at different speeds in different parts of the world. As consumers in Europe and Asia are more accustomed to using public transportation, new mobility services have bigger market-share potential there than in the US, CAR says.

But, across the globe, implementation is likely to be gradual and that provides opportunities for car companies to change their business models.

“Thanks to the gradual change in travel preferences, traditional transportation players ”“ automakers in particular ”“ will have time to adapt and maintain their market positions,” the CAR report says.

The researchers urge the auto industry “to take advantage of the great potential for innovation brought by new mobility services.”

They see opportunities in particular in services, vehicle concepts, new functionalities, ownership models and business partnerships.

CAR, which is based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, says new mobility services are more reliable, predictable and efficient than established means of transportation. They also are more  convenient, accessible, and seamlessly connected and can offer easier payment options.

New mobility services also contribute to reducing parking demand, pollution, and congestion, as well as provide energy savings and transportation costs savings for users, CAR says.