15 March 2017
Mobility isn’t what it used to be. We are advancing various dimensions of the industry - technology, service and social norms around mobility. One of the most important changes that’s coming to the mobility industry, as in all others, is the importance of globalization and seamless usage to deliver a better, more efficient and convenient service.
There are already many Operators with various different models and in various different locations but the main problem is still for the End User to be able to book the nearest and most convenient vehicle. Operators still struggle to have enough vehicles, so that End Users find the service convenient enough to rely on it as their main source of transport. For those that are shared mobility clients, have to register to more than one Operator. But what happens when I travel? It gets worse. Registering in a new service, especially abroad is always cumbersome, time consuming and generally not successful or fast enough to be useful for that trip. Shared Mobility still isn’t a globally available service that we can rely on.
Mobility is becoming global. Users all over the globe are using, more and more services to access vehicles at their convenience and replacing ownership by service. But as it happened in the past with mobile phones, credit cards and even airlines, it is very difficult to search, book and pay for a shared vehicle, especially if you leave your home town. But nowadays everyone travels and expects their phone and their cards to work wherever they go, or book a flight in their favourite airline, independently of being in code share.
What if Users could use whatever car is most convenient, whether they are in their home city, visiting a city nearby or traveling abroad, using the same App from their preferred provider?
There are a hundred of thousands of sharable vehicles around the globe, belonging to carsharing operators, rent-a-car, companies or public organizations, that could be available to all End Users at a distance of a click. A global network of shared vehicles not only benefits the End User but also Operators as they will have a bigger client portfolio with less risk in growing. It will also help to provide Users with a shared mobility service that is reliable, more comfortable and efficient, turning it into a real alternative to other transportation providers. Having a strong network contributes to the growth of the entire market.
The importance of the network will grow further, as in all other industries. It will not only be a more efficient tool to deliver service to the End User but will help fleet owners to increase their client portfolio with lot less acquisition costs while enabling new players, that only own huge portfolio of clients, to enter the market as virtual operators.
What about market cannibalization and having the vehicles being used by Users from other operators? The market is still too small, so a competitive collaboration is much more healthy and beneficial to all the involved. As market grows (e.g. Berlin), End Users will always use the vehicle that is closest or more convenient to them. Operators lose clients everyday, every time a User as to use a car from another Operator. A Global network will strengthen the relationship User/Operator as the User will choose the provider that offers them the best service for they daily usage, while still remaining a Client, when using another operator’s vehicle.
The future of shared mobility is yet to be defined but it will most surely be Global.
Rui Avelãs is the Senior Vice President of Sale and Marketing at Mobiag. Mobiag develops intelligent solutions for car sharing and car rental operators, centrepiece of which is the global network of mobility businesses. You can learn more about Mobiag on www.mobiag.com
Author: Rui Avelãs
7 October 2016
Automakers are hoping to generate billions of dollars in revenue from shared services in the coming years. Consultant McKinsey estimates the sector, including electrification, will grow automaker revenue pools 30% (or upwards of $1.5 trillion) by 2030.
PSA, GM, Daimler and VW all used this year’s Paris auto show to underscore their determination to evolve from being mere carmakers to mobility service providers.
Ford made a similar point by not showing up.
PSA CEO Carlos Tavares gave a rather blunt assessment of the French automaker’s prowess within the new mobility space, calling it a “dinosaur” among more enlightened and advanced players in the emerging sector.
“Sure, we are a dinosaur, no doubt about it,” Tavares told reporters at the company’s press conference. “But one of our strengths is we know that we are a dinosaur and we have the willingness to not be the first to disappear.”
Tavares says there is enthusiasm among new mobility players to work with PSA as the automaker fights for its place in the mobility-on-demand market. He used this year’s Mondial to reveal that PSA has built an ecosystem of 15 partners and developers in shared mobility, targeting sustainable, smart and safe solutions. Its efforts include forming a mobility-services unit and the launch of Free2Move, a brand encompassing PSA’s activities in car sharing, connected services, fleet management and a leasing option aimed at making its Peugeot, Citroen and DS vehicles affordable to a broader base of consumers.
“It creates a very healthy relationship where we don’t interfere with the way the startups are run,” said Tavares. “We let the creators run the company as they wish, but we give them the possibility to use everything we have on our shelves to support that pace of growth. We feel quite confident.”
Opel’s chief marketer, Tina Müller, told the assembled Paris press core that the automaker will populate its European mobility-services units with the upcoming Ampera-e electric vehicle to complement retail deliveries, a distribution model it will share with its Chevrolet Bolt sister car in the U.S.
“That’s our plan, similar to the U.S.” said Müller, adding that Opel’s CarUnity peer-to-peer sharing service would be one landing spot for the Ampera-e.
GM’s European unit also will add the Ampera-e to Maven, the automaker’s on-demand car-sharing service which is already enjoying rapid growth in the U.S. and bound for Europe next year.
“It is the perfect car for car sharing,” Müller says.
The Ampera-e, which boasts a range of 186 miles (500 km) in the New European Driving Cycle, launches in Europe in the spring. It shares a platform with the Chevy Bolt, which comes to U.S. dealers and GM fleet services in the autumn.
VW Group was also talking up its new initiatives in the field of mobility on demand. The German giant has established an independent business unit for the new mobility services business field which shortly be announced as the Group’s 13th brand. The official launch and the reveal of the new name are scheduled for this November.
In addition to ride hailing services in collaboration with the partner Gett, the team is already working on the Group’s own shuttle service offerings and sharing concepts for urban mobility.
“Looking a little further ahead, we could also operate our own self-driving shuttle fleets once urban autonomous driving technology is ready”, said Group CEO Matthias Müller. He added: “In future, many people will no longer own a car. But they can all be a Volkswagen customer in one way or another – because we will serve a much broader concept of mobility than is the case today.”
Volkswagen’s hopes are high. By 2025, the company expects the yet-to-be named mobility brand to rank among the leading providers of urban mobility services world-wide and be the market leader in Europe. No pressure then.
The partnership with Gett is already starting to gather momentum. In Moscow, where the market for ride hailing via app is booming, Volkswagen Group brands are now offering attractive vehicle packages to Gett drivers. The company also has a strategic partnership with the city of Hamburg to develop and test new concepts for urban mobility. In China, Audi’s new partnerships with the internet providers Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent are expected to drive advances in networking the brand’s cars and in intelligent urban mobility solutions.
For Daimler, the future is clearly electric. The automaker says it wants a quarter of Mercedes sales to be zero-emission cars. To this end, its Mercedes-Benz and Smart brands will launch more than 10 electric cars by 2025, and zero-emission vehicles will make up between 15 percent and 25 percent of overall Mercedes sales by then, Chief Executive Dieter Zetsche said.
Speaking to journalists at the show, Zetsche said the automaker was preparing a major push in pure electric vehicles thanks to advances in battery technology and greater consumer acceptance of zero-emissions vehicles.
A new generation of electric vehicles will be sold under the “EQ” brand, and based on a new technical architecture developed specifically for battery-electric models, the company said.
Daimler announced it has set up a digital technologies division called CASE (as in Connected cars, Autonomous driving, car Sharing and Electric vehicles). “Connectivity, autonomous driving, sharing and electric drive systems – each of these four trends has the potential to turn our industry on its head. Yet the real revolution lies in intelligently linking the four trends,” Zetsche said at a Mercedes-Benz press conference in Paris.
The company also announced it would launch a peer-to-peer car sharing service, which would allow customers to unlock and start the car using just their mobile phone.
Ford clearly thinks it has a better things to do with its money than paying out for a flashy booth at the Paris Auto Show.
Instead, rumour has it that the company will be hosting its own media event at its European headquarters in Cologne in late November. A Ford insider says it plans to use the occasion to “show new vehicles and talk about our move from being an auto company to being an auto and mobility company”.
Roll on November then.
Author: Ian Dickie