UP.Partners Releases 2024 Edition of The Moving World Report: Macro and Micro Trends in Mobility

The report details emerging sustainability opportunities and challenges facing the global mobility industry on land, in the air, on the sea, and in space.

UP.Partners, a mobility-focused investment firm, has released the 2024 edition of The Moving World Report: Macro and Micro Trends in Mobility. This data-driven report, consisting of over 140 slides, draws on evidence from more than 400 research studies. It explores a multitude of important innovations and market dynamics impacting the movement of people and goods on the ground, in the air, on the sea, and in space.

Key takeaways from the report include:

Defense: U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) Helps Drive Global Tech Investments as Defense Innovation and Spending Surge Amidst the Rapid Rise of China

  • The U.S. DoD is the largest customer of mobility-related technologies.
  • DoD Small Business Innovation Research program grew by 400% in seven years.
  • Defense-focused venture capital is increasing at a rate of 30% per year in response to global conflicts.
  • 2023 data indicates that 34% of U.S. tech employees are more likely than last year to apply their skills to military-related technologies.
  • China’s military is nearing parity with the U.S., spending approximately a quarter of the annual U.S. defense budget.
  • China leads in 37 of 44 critical technologies, with the U.S. leading in only 7.
  • China possesses 232 times the shipbuilding capacity of its competitors.

Space: SpaceX and Starlink Spearhead a 1000% Surge in Satellite Constellations, Outshining Global Launch Providers as Space Investments Skyrocket

  • Satellite constellations, led by Starlink, have increased by 1000% in four years.
  • SpaceX far surpasses all other launch providers, carrying about 400% more payload.
  • Venture capital investment in space startups has risen nearly 3500% in the last decade.
  • Most space SPACs have performed poorly.
  • If successful, SpaceX’s Starship will drastically reduce the cost of lunar payload delivery compared to the Apollo program.
  • China is rapidly accelerating its space program and already landing reusable rockets.

Drones: Drone Deliveries Surpass 1 Million as Costs Approach One Third of Conventional Methods, with Walmart Leading the Way

  • The cost of drone delivery is nearing one third of that of automobile delivery, at approximately $4 per delivery.
  • Drone delivery flights have increased by 135% per year since 2018, exceeding 1 million deliveries in 2023.
  • Walmart is a major driver of drone development globally, outside of the war in Ukraine.
  • 1.8 million U.S. households in the Dallas-Fort Worth area are eligible for drone delivery through Walmart and its partners.

Aviation: Amidst a Deepening Pilot Shortage, the Industry Requires Rapid Advancements in Technology and Innovation to Reach its Sustainability Targets

  • The pilot shortage is worsening, adding pressure to an already fragile airline system.
  • A deficit of 65,000 pilots is expected by 2030.
  • EVTOLs have an 18,000-unit backlog, valued at $111 billion.
  • China introduced the world’s first commercial electric air taxi flight in 2023.
  • The design of the Boeing 737 is closer in time to the Wright Flyer than to the present day.
  • Blended Wing Body commercial airframe design could reduce fuel consumption by 50%.
  • Electrifying all flights under two hours could reduce aviation CO2 emissions by 28%.
  • Sustainable Alternative Jet Fuel is still 43% more expensive than conventional fuel.
  • Flying cars, such as Pivotal’s Helix and the Jetson One, have entered service.

Artificial Intelligence in Mobility: Tesla’s Full Self-Driving Milestones and AI-Driven Advances Set the Stage for a Safer, More Efficient Future in Transportation

  • Tesla leads in Full Self-Driving data, with over 170 million miles accumulated.
  • Two-thirds of startups in the 2023 Y Combinator winter class focused on AI.
  • Microsoft and others are utilizing AI for battery innovation.
  • Humanoids are now nearly 60% less expensive than warehouse hourly labor.
  • Waymo’s autonomous driving is six times safer than human drivers in reducing injury-causing crashes.
  • Neural networks are being trained to enhance machine capabilities, as seen in Tesla’s FSD v12.12.
  • Humanoid co-pilots for aviation may soon be a reality.

Auto: China Leads in EV Production, BYD Tops the Global Market, Tesla Dominates the U.S., and Rapid EV Growth Demands 28 Million Charging Ports by 2030

  • EV sales reached a record 15 million in 2023.
  • China is the largest electric vehicle producer, producing 6 times more than the USA.
  • BYD, backed by Berkshire Hathaway, is the largest EV producer globally.
  • However, Berkshire Hathaway reduced its BYD position 11 times in 2023, anticipating competition with Tesla.
  • Tesla leads the U.S. EV market with 655,000 sales in 2023 — more than all other non-Chinese OEMs combined.
  • The U.S. needs 28 million EV charging ports by 2030, a 34% annual growth rate from the 2022 installed base.
  • Tesla sets the standard for North American EV chargers.

Freight: Recent Trucking Recession Causes 50,000 Closures, and Global Factors like Canal Risks and Marine Fuel Changes Impact Freight

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