As the status of fleet managers is shifting to mobility managers, the definition of a corporate fleet itself is evolving faster than we’ve ever seen before. So long individual company cars and hello to a flourishing corporate Mobility-as-a-Service (MaaS).
During the 15th edition of Intelligent Mobility, Frost & Sullivan’s annual conference on mobility trends, the answer has been clear: not only our mobility habits are changing, but it’s also deeply impacting the way we travel when working. IoT and data science have forever transformed mobility management by giving new powerful tools to fleet managers.Continue Reading..
As groceries home deliveries become more and more popular and accessible, with numerous offers available out there, it is now time to take the next step. By teaming up with the United-States’ largest supermarket chain, Kroger, the startup Nuro hopes to forever change the experience of groceries delivery.
Founded quite recently (the startup is only two years old) by a couple ex-employees of Google’s self-driving car program, Nuro announced the partnership this june. This is a major milestone for the company which specialized in autonomous vehicles for last-mile deliveries. It is rather a different take on autonomous technology: we’re talking about transporting goods and not people, on very short distances. The keyword is local.
The car rental market is changing, hire companies now offer a variety of solutions as standard to address their corporate clients’ needs. Indeed, operators have undergone a significant change in their business models to remain competitive and enhance profitability, by including, among other services, car sharing in their offer.
Why car rental turned to offering mobility solutions like car sharing?
Rental companies have decided to look for new income sources for several reasons.
First, the increase in oil prices: the barrel reached (Wednesday, April 25), its highest level since 2014, at $74. This inflation is directly influencing the car rental industry: as the price of oil rises the cost of car rental products are also becoming more and more expensive in order to compensate. All of this will directly affect the purchasing power of consumers.
The tightening stringent vehicle emission regulations also push car rental to review their strategies. A recent example : Paris mayor, Anne Hidalgo, has plan to ban all diesel vehicles from the city by 2024 when hosting the summer Olympics games, and all gasoline-powered cars by 2030. Being an active part of the green movement seems like a smart decision for car rental companies.
There is another reason. Not so long ago there was a world where owning a vehicle was a guarantee of freedom, well this world is over. Indeed, Millennials are shaking up the transport sector!
More and more people decide to avoid owned-car expenses. For many of them, the improvement of public transportation and car sharing are the solution. But that doesn’t represent competition for car rental, rather the opposite.
“Notre génération est dans l’instantanéité, l’événement doit être aujourd’hui instagrammable. Elle préfère la qualité à la quantité, l’expérience à la propriété. On est dans l’#Empowerment de soi-même” @RuthyAtlan@auditoire#sytrennes
« Our generation is instantaneous, today the event must be “instagramable”. We prefer quality to quantity, experience to ownership. We are in the self – Empowerment »
During an event in Rennes on the theme “Aesthetics of the meeting” Madam Atlan summarizes perfectly the current generation, but we will retain this passage “We prefer (…) experience to ownership”.
For generation Y, the desire to access goods and services is ahead of ownership. They prefer more flexible models like car rental or car sharing. Moreover, air pollution due to city traffic is a health threat that particularly affects millennials.
This ecological consideration as well as all the reasons explained upstream brought a new economic dynamism in the market and it is only the beginning.
Indeed, according to Navigant Research, the revenue from global car sharing services is expected to reach $6.5 billion USD by 2024. In 2015, this sector was worth $1.1 billion USD. The trend is growing very fast.
For example, in 2005, Enterprise Car Share offered hourly car rental for the first time. Today, they offer car sharing in 35 States of the United States of America, Canada and the UK.
In 2008, Hertz Corp. launched a car sharing service called Hertz 24/7, a program that allows you to rent cars by the hour.
In 2011, DriveNow, a joint venture between BMW and the rental company Sixt, has become the third largest car sharing system in the world
In 2013, Avis acquired Zipcar, the second largest car sharing solution. The same year Zipcar reported revenues of $296 million.
The rental companies have really rethink their business plan by adding car sharing to their offer. It is necessary to meet the new market expectations by offering a packaged offer including the vehicles plus the car sharing service. Finally, this kind of service generates profits, reduces carbon footprint and the TCO is lowered by 30%.
From the vengeful car, to talkative taxis and road companions with vocal control, autonomous vehicles haunt our collective imaginary since ages. Between a powerful technological dream and an almost ethical concern, all these representations largely influenced the transition we are experiencing today between fantasy and reality, as the race to the autonomy has never been so intense.
Intelligent vehicle as a sidekick
Who doesn’t remember David Hasselhoff, wind in his hair and leather jacket on his shoulders, ever so classy at the steering wheel of KITT? Equipped with an artificial intelligence, it acted like an ideal sidekick in all of Michael Knight’s adventures, both able to get by autonomously and communicate like a real human being. The 80’s tv show then impersonated a phenomenon that already existed in mainstream pop culture: the idea of a vehicle being an extension and attribute of the hero.
But here the presence of a driver such as Knight in a vehicle that could entirely move by itself perfectly demonstrates the reluctance we have to « erase » the human factor in the decision process although the vehicle has proven many times that it is intelligent enough to be self sufficient. It is very similar to what we can see today with semi-autonomous Tesla in which the driver has to keep the hands on the steering wheel in order to react as quickly as possible in case of danger.
In the majority of scenarios, it is always that friction between the vehicle’s artificial intelligence and human reactions that is central. And despite technological advances science-fiction does not seem to have quite yet resolve this human-machine cohabitation.
Autonomous vehicle VS protagonist
In 2048, it is Schwarzy that gets up close more or less successfully with Johnny Cabs in Total Recall (1990). Autonomous taxis, they nevertheless have a somewhat driver through the figure of a bottomless robot in charge of taking passengers’ instructions and making conversation. All of that with a questionable… success.
In this case, human behavior and emotions confront the mathematical rationality of the machine who’s just responding to exact instructions. Any deviation from this path is the cause of many consequences, not all of them positive. How to be sure then that we’re still in control of our travels, and not the other way around?
Autonomous Uber: the future Johnny Cabs?
This mobility scheme, with a company creating a monopoly on the autonomous taxi market, is very similar to the one Uber started with its driverless vehicle network. The first tests were conducted on the streets of Pittsburgh in the United States, and despite some disappointments it should extend to other cities. The long-term ambition? Officially launch autonomous taxis on the country’s roads by the middle of 2019. It remains to be seen whether drivers in augmented reality will be involved.
Mobility as a mathematical rationality
In Minority Report (2002), Steven Spielberg depicted the Washington of 2054, where the circulation of smart vehicles is set as clockwork, in a dance oscillating between a mind-blowing horizontality and a breathtaking verticality. In this adaptation of a Philip K.Dick’s short story, the hero John Anderton (played by Tom Cruise) travels in a slick vehicle designed by Lexus for the movie. These cars, that can be driven manually or autonomously, are equipped with an artificial intelligence responding to vocal control.
In order to offer an optimal circulation and an urban environment without trafic jams, all these intelligent vehicles are part of a network, a complex informatics system that globally manage the urban mobility. One interesting fact is that if needed a vehicle can be controlled from afar, by « short-circuiting » its navigation datas. For example, in the movie the police forces take over the vehicle by changing its destination.
This vision of urban mobility as a unity is strongly resonating with smart mobility problematics. Another way to think travels, mathematically and optimally, by using quantic computers able to make complex calculations more effectively. Ideal to treat the massive volume of data that connected and autonomous vehicles will produce much sooner as we think.
Bangkok and quantum computers: a winning bet?
The city of Bangkok has already taken an important step towards rationalizing its urban mobility by investing in a D-Wave quantum computer. The mission will be to optimize the routes of no less than 130,000 cars and trucks through the Thai capital through calculations based on road traffic. An experience worthy of a real smart city that should emulate in other cities.
Will autonomy be the next big step?
Today it is a myriad of actors who embark on this quest for the Grail that is the total control of autonomous technology. Automakers (such as Audi, Toyota or General Motors), GAFA with projects such as the one lead by Waymo (Google) or mobility services companies (Uber) seem to compete intelligently and multiply partnerships with start-ups in order to stay on the cutting edge of the technology and to keep ahead of competitors: it is a matter of time.
One of the biggest projects remains road safety legislation, while several fatal accidents involving autonomous vehicles have shaken public opinion in recent months. It is now a question of reassuring and demonstrating in a concrete way that autonomous vehicles on our roads will in the long term enable a reduction of road deaths as well as an overall improvement of the transport conditions of the greatest number. Bets are open, but it is sometimes very difficult to get rid of bad reputations.
Levels of autonomy
Level 1: In level 1, autonomy corresponds to the various driving aids that are common today in new vehicle models. They include ABS, ESP, blind spot detectors and adaptive speed controllers. The help is very limited and the driver is responsible for his vehicle. Level 2: This level corresponds to a control function combining the steering and the control of the accelerator as well as the brake of the vehicle. In addition, the vehicle automatically manages the distances and its trajectory, it can change lanes or stop and restart in case of traffic jams. As for the driver, his feet are no longer on the pedals but his hands remain on the steering wheel. Level 3: The driver have to stay behind the wheel but is allowed, in some countries, to release the steering wheel. Driving may be delegated to the vehicle in certain situations, but the driver must be able to regain control in a few seconds in case of danger. Level 4: Allowed first on highways, here the driver is not required to oversee the driving. He is in the vehicle, not necessarily behind the wheel, and can for example watch a movie, the electronics taking care of everything. Level 5: The highest level, the vehicle can drive and park itself or even pick up customers if they are robots-taxis: Full automation.
Historic birthplace of the american automobile industry, the city of Detroit with its tormented and fascinating past has inspired David Cage and his team for the fourth game of the french studio Quantic Dream, Detroit: Become Human. A forward looking vision of the “Motor City”, heading to 2038, when the problematic of artificial intelligence is omnipresent and where urban mobility plays an active role.
The opening credits of the game unfold on a scene during which the player discovers the city of Detroit through a car window. There we can see elements that strangely seem both distant and familiar: autonomous taxis roaming the streets and looking for passengers, suspended trains transporting users to their destinations, drones discreetly but surely flying over the buildings. The city appears to be a mastered, although complex, entanglement of different means of transportation, real embodiment of a multimodal mobility already emerging nowadays.
Today, the way we apprehend our work-related journeys changes tremendously. In fact, traffic jam, CO2 emissions, noise pollution are being expensive, dangerous and harmful to productivity. Mobility as a service solves these issues.
This is why Mobility Tech Green offers a car sharing solution focused on the essential, meeting both economic climate and societal challenges! This service is at the heart of sustainable mobility issues. E-Colibri Essentials is a simple and quick solution to deploy (48 hours). It makes it possible to pool vehicles and to have a full access to all the data concerning the reservations, the vehicles condition and the typology of the park.
This technological innovation has many benefits. Firstly, it helps companies to reduce costs, particularly related to space consumption, investment and vehicle maintenance thanks to corporate carsharing.
In addition, the solution brings many ecological benefits resulting on a considerable reduction in CO2 emissions and noise pollution. By diminishing the number of vehicles on the roads, it improves traffic, causing less accidents and therefore improving both security and productivity for the employees. For companies, a car sharing service is also an efficient way to disencumber parking spaces.
“E-Colibri Essentials is perfectly in line with Mobility Tech Green’s ambition to democratize carsharing. We are convinced that this offer will enable companies and communities to understand the stakes of this practice and to plan to integrate a long-term solution into their fleet “ recalls Pascal Roux, CEO of the company.
Thus, E-Colibri Essential enables companies to easily adopt a greener mobility, multimodal, more connected and shared.
In the second edition of its report on car sharing entitled The Carsharing Telematics Market, the Swedish market research firm Berg Insight offers a state of art of the car sharing marketing and foresees an exponential growth.
Specialized in the M2M communication and IoT, the firm puts a particular emphasis on the technological acceleration that will allows an even bigger development of mobility models such as free floating. Telematics devices will be even more sophisticated in order to offer efficient connected mobility services, therefore seducing a larger audience.
The number of car sharing services users in the world should go from 23.8 millions in 2017 to more than 60.8 millions in 2022 (+20.6% growth/year)! As for corporate car sharing, the number of shared vehicles will grow from 35.000 at year-end 2017 to 136.000 in 2022.
Car sharing: A decentralized car rental service, based on short-term rental and which is complementary to other means of transport, such as walking, biking or using public transports.
Free floating car sharing: a real adhesion’s factor
Model example of a Mobility as a Service (MaaS), free floating represents without contest the best growth opportunity for car sharing. This model alone cumulated 40.000 vehicles all over the world in 2017, with 5.6 millions members: this last number should jump to 14.3 millions by 2022, which is more than half of the global car sharing services users.
« In Europe, free floating services accounted for more than 65 percent of the carsharing membership at year-end 2017. » Martin Svegander IoT analyst at Berg Insight
From an international point of view, Europe is still way ahead in term of car sharing adoption, followed by north America and Pacific Asia. Germany, Italy, United States, South Korea, China and Japan have just started exploring car sharing opportunities, both for public services and corporate mobility!
Not so long ago, sharing a vehicle with colleagues was not something natural for employees, used to have their own vehicle to get by. But for new times, new mobilities. With the multiplication of mobile applications and a rising concern for the environment, the vision of corporate mobility is slowly shifting. And shared mobilities, such as carsharing, are full of opportunities and benefits for companies.
1. Give the choice to your employees
The first noticeable advantage of corporate carsharing is the flexibility it offers to your employees. Not only they can book whenever and wherever they want (thanks mobile applications!) but they also have access to a largest range of vehicles. From a two-seats car to a utility vehicle, the offer is adapted to their needs. For fleet managers, it is a golden opportunity to reshape their fleet and thus guarantee an optimal use-rate of the vehicles. Indeed, non-shared vehicles tend to be parked 90% of the time. A waste of ressources, isn’t it?
2. Save money on your fleet management
And so we introduce the second reason why corporate carsharing should be an obvious choice for companies: savings. It reduces the Total Cost of Mobility (TCO) up to 30% and the use of extra-fleet vehicles, such as taxis. All vehicles are deployed with maximum rotation, freeing in the same time parking spots. By optimizing the use of vehicles, the fleet could be reduced by 25%!
Another source of cost-reduction is the fleet management itself. Corporate carsharing solutions provide management tools that help save time as well as resources. Besides, it gives precious insights on the vehicles use thanks to statistical analysis and easy reporting.
3. Less trafic equals less stress!
Each shared vehicle can replace up to 15 vehicles on the roads. Carsharing could be a major solution to decongestion cities. In some urban areas, commutes are often nightmarish: traffic jams, high-level of stress, tiredness, lack of parking spaces when arrived to the destination… Factors that are directly impacting employee’s motivation and productivity.
A corporate carsharing service can also be extended to extra-hours and weekends, for an extra fee, generating a new source of income. It also greatly contributes to the well-being of the employees and, by extension, the attractivity of the company.
4. Sharing is caring
Caring for your employees and caring for the environment. By implementing a corporate carsharing service, companies can make a real difference. Not only they increase their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) by promoting shared travel, but most of all they reduce their global carbon footprint. Less air and noise pollution is not something insignificant. Older vehicles are replaced with newer ones, low-emission models or, more and more often, electric cars.
5. Be a part of tomorrow’s mobility!
Corporate carsharing is a perfect way to introduce new forms of mobilities and embed green thinking amongst the workforce. Employees will be more likely to choose alternative mobilities (public transport, bike, carsharing…) over their individual vehicle, even outside of work.
In that way, companies leaders have a major role to play. They could help shaping tomorrow’s mobility, more sustainable and diverse.
In its second annual report, the NGO CDP (Carbon Disclosure Project) presented the results of the survey they conducted with 1073 companies. Their ambition? Demonstrate the will of the professional sphere to be committed to a more sustainable economic model, limiting greenhouse gas emissions. Let’s take a look at the noticeable evolutions since 2016 and the change drivers.
This international panel of companies produce almost 12% of the global greenhouse gas emissions. As part of this report, they have been asked about their responses to face climate change in their everyday activities and the solutions put in place to limit their carbon footprint. 89% of the surveyed companies in 2017 have for main goal the reduction of their gas emissions against 73% in 2011. Besides, the companies aim for a big reduction of these emissions: 74% of them wants a 80% overall reduction.
More and more enterprises want to be sure of their growth while making their part for a better future: for that they rely on a scientific model to efficiently cut their gas emissions. 14% of the participating companies (151 in total) have commit or have goals in line with the Science Based Targets initiative. In 2016, they were only 9%. And it’s no less than 317 enterprises that are planning to set up tools and actions to get there within 2 years. This initiative is in line with a 2 degrees Celsius compatible pathway by 2030 by helping companies to avoid investments in polluting infrastructures and pointing them towards more respectful alternatives.
Another interesting data to observe is the companies’ capacity to see further and anticipate the evolution of their resources and needs. In this year report, 68% of the companies have goals to at least 2020, and 20% even see as far as 2030 to establish sustainable actions.
Thus, there is a growing awareness among companies who are not limiting themselves to what they know and master but want to go further to make their contribution. Companies are innovating to create low-carbon tools and services. Production (36%) and consumption (23%) of renewable energies are taking a big place in companies’ goals.
Corporate mobility is of course a major focus to reach these objectives. We can notify the distinct progression of corporate carsharing, which seduce more and more companies as an alternative mobility for their employees.
Sustainable development is not only a concept, it is now deeply rooted in a transition creating a long-term added value. 97% of the companies surveyed by CDP thus integrate climate change in their development strategy and multiply partnerships with local authorities to develop alternatives. A performant economic model, yes, but at the service of Men and the Earth.
After submerging the chinese market, free floating bike services are arriving in Europe and represent a direct concurrence to self-service bicycles operated via a network of stations, which are currently thriving in most of european big cities. How to explain the success of this kind of shared mobility? In a more general manner, is free floating really a more practical and cost-effective model?
No need to find a station anymore to go on a ride: all you have to do is grab your smartphone, install a mobile application and find the available bikes thanks to geo-tracking. Once you fond the perfect bike for you, just scan the QR Code to unlock the safety lock and you’re ready to go! Another significant advantage is the possibility for the user to pay for the travel only instead of having the obligation to subscribe to the service for a given period. All these functionnalities allow a more seamless user experience by reducing contraints.
The first economic players to launch their services in Paris are Gobee.bike, a company from Hong Kong which was founded by a french, oBike but also the chinese mondial leader Ofo which already operates more than 10 millions bicycles across the world.
This model already existed for other types of vehicles, such as cars with successful free floating carsharing services. But in France the pioneer is without doubt Cityscoot, a scooter renting service without any stations. After a little more than one year of existence Cityscoot already has 55,000 members and registers no less than 1 million travels in Paris.
On the way to new free floating urban regulations?
But this system without stations bring real questionings about urban planning, municipalities fearing that the vehicles will be dropped anywhere, cluttering walkways. Vandalism is also a big concern, with examples in China of big mountains of abandoned bikes. But most of operators mention the geo-tracking system, with a GPS chipset on every bike or vehicle, as a way to prevent this problem.
Another aspect of free floating that could be problematic is, simply put, the economical model. A vehicles’ sharing service with stations is way easier to manage and costs less in logistics. Indeed, the bikes, cars or scooters don’t have to be brought back if they are dropped in an inadequate location. In the case of the bikes, they have to be rented at least 5 or 6 times a day in order to be cost-effective.
This ruthless competition between different private players and public operators, such as Le Velib’ in Paris, already begins to bring new questions on the table for municipalities concerning the occupation of public spaces.
Will new urban planning regulations be necessary? The next few years are gonna be defining for the evolution of this shared mobility model which is already promised to quite a success on the european market.