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