Smartphones Will Make New Mobility Possible

Since we all carry a smartphone in our pockets, we have gotten used to the idea of always being connected. However, the thought that this device will be able to find, organize, book and pay for all our journeys and make moving around way easier is not part of our everyday lives yet.

In this article moovel’s CEO, Robert Henrich outlines how smartphones will become our constant mobility companion and how that will influence our lives, business models and the entire segment of mobility providers. His views and ideas are the basis for parts of the company’s strategy and product decisions.

“It is likely that almost all of people’s mobility choices today would have a better, easier, cheaper alternative simply due to the fact that they don’t know their options”, says Robert Henrich.

To him moving around is a complicated affair. As of today we are used to undertaking journeys based on a limited amount of information and overview. People have a basic idea what exists and what works how but there is a big insecurity about a range of options.

However, in a smartphone-connected environment this should not be the standard. Unfortunately, the current system does not offer any ways to do that. “Very soon people will start to think of transportation as a service which naturally is available everywhere and at all times”, is Henrich’s conviction. “People will start to think in terms of journeys and not in terms of means of transport.”

Who promises easy, must deliver easy

“The tricky part about this is to build all the networks necessary and create something simple. If you promise the user something simple yet effective that is what you must deliver”, Henrich points out.

The solution will be a mobility platform which takes the complex systems and translates it to something intuitive, effective and easy for the user. This platform needs to include all individual options for mobility, combine and compare them in real time and solve travelling problems.

Henrich believes that this is quite easily possible already for car sharing and rental, for bike sharing, taxi and limousine services. However, it will take quite some time before a unified user experience of this new smart mobility will be available.

The limitations are not linked to internet coverage: “We will be talking about urban centers first where internet is provided”, Henrich explains. “It gets complicated when it comes to uniting all the mobility providers and their systems – i.e. public transport and ensuring that ticket inspectors are used to the new systems.”

A whole new segment of mobility will rise

The market for mobility is constantly growing in urban environments; however, the number of journeys we undertake remains roughly the same while distances travelled increase. So a new mobility platform likely will not mean more travel.

But the process can be made more effective: we invest time and money and often that can be stressful. This new concept will take on the responsibility to create a better plan for that.

This segment of a holistic view on and use of mobility did not exist before. The rise of this new segment can seriously shake up the current systems: The market for mobility is one of the biggest in the world. If something changes fundamentally in this segment it will most definitely affect economies.

New value chains will evolve, as well as new infrastructures and new jobs. “There will be a creating destruction: the quick rise of new segments”, thinks Henrich.

“The mobility market is one of the fastest changing with dramatic changes on the horizon – circumstances will be created that we can only muse about today.”

A holistic, neutral offer is the key to success

“Mobility platforms are often brought up in the context of the sharing economy”, Henrich states. “And I do believe that people are willing to share mobility – but only as long as they have an economical benefit from it. A platform always needs to consider this and brutally ask itself that question when offering new models.”

That also means that a successful mobility platform needs to offer the entire range of mobility options without meddling with which results are presented to the user in favor of one service or another.

“The platform needs to offer fair and neutral results – it will only ever be good and widely accepted if it does that”, is Henrich’s opinion.

Mobility providers will have no other option than to join one of these platforms which will make pricing structures more transparent and more competitive.

“I believe that at first there will be a few similar platforms which all include all the providers. So the factor which decides which platform survives eventually will be the user experience”, says Henrich.

One question that is still unanswered is what packages and pricing models will arise alongside these platforms. Will there be more real-time pricing (i.e. dependent on the weather or number of requests)? Will there be something like an “urban mobility flatrate”?

However these questions are answered: The future of mobility will be planned, organized, booked and paid for with our smartphones which as our personal mobility companions will make sure that journeys are effective and optimized to our needs and wallets.

Please note that this article expresses the opinions of the author and does not reflect the views of Move Forward.

Infographic: The Way to Autonomous Driving

Autonomous driving is a trend that will be on our streets soon. Still, some technical achievements and milestones are yet to be accomplished and we well be facing some social issues as well. This infographic visualizes all the steps on the road to autonomous vehicles, how they follow each other and how they depend on each other.

Please note that this article expresses the opinions of the author and does not reflect the views of Move Forward.

Autonomous Driving Will Change Everything – and soon

Autonomous driving will cause major changes all around us – the way we move, what life in the city and on the country side will look like, how we shop and even how we interact as humans.

In this article moovel CEO, Robert Henrich and CFO, Marcus Spickermann take the time to explain what autonomous driving means to us as human beings, which impact it will have on our lives, what possible business cases are and what time frame we are looking at. Their views and ideas are the basis for parts of the company strategy and product decisions.

“Autonomous driving is a huge gift to all of us – as it provides us with convenience, new mobility options and above all more time for ourselves”, says Robert Henrich.

For us autonomous driving means that the car drives itself, comes to the person using it and also parks itself after. During the driving time it becomes an extension of the living room, but could also transport goods as well. These cars are intelligent and connected, they navigate complicated city traffic as well as high speed roads without human handling – they are considerate, silent, emission-free and efficient.

“Autonomous driving will expand the personal freedom and further democratize mobility”, is Henrich’s conviction as it also means more freedom for the elderly, the disabled or even for people without a driving license.

Based on this Robert Henrich believes that the impact autonomous driving will have on our lives will be “positively shocking” as it changes many things fundamentally. For example: The streets will not be dominated by cars anymore, as they store themselves away when not needed and spaces in the city can be re-conquered by its inhabitants.

Also, there might not be any traffic lights or signs anymore and parking lots can be turned into safe places of play and human interaction.

Therefore the quality of living will be drastically increased for ‘drivers’ as well as pedestrians with the help of this new technology.

Autonomous driving will be available soon

Already our cars have assistant systems such as the cruise control, lane assist and automated parking. Therefore the first steps on the way to autonomous driving have already been taken.

“The fact that autonomous driving already feels like the next logical step means that people will have an easy time adapting to it”, says Marcus Spickermann. “People will want to use it not because it is new, but because it is easy to use and convenient.”

Robert Henrich thinks that within the next three years “Valet Parking” will be available: “Valet Parking means that the vehicle comes to you from – let’s say a 1 kilometer surrounding all by itself – navigating through city traffic and will also park itsef when you are done. This way you never have to look for a car again or ever look for a parking space again.”

As the average speed in city centers currently is not very high autonomous cars that are able to drive with 30 km/h would already not cause obstructions in manually operated traffic.

The evolution of autonomous driving

Henrich thinks that this function will open the flood gates for autonomous driving – once this is available people will embrace it and further use cases will quickly develop.

“Autonomous driving won’t be available all of a sudden. But the parking will start the revolution – other easy use cases will follow. And this will boost the business and turn autonomous driving into something for the mass market”, Henrich thinks.

Notice how this is a concept where owning a car is not really necessary anymore? Autonomous cars will mostly be shared – which will increase the carsharing market drastically.

While valet parking becomes available to the mass market, driverless high speed driving will develop. While the valet parking will not involve people during the autonomously driven part and will move very slowly, this is the exact opposite. This will be available in about seven to ten year.

Logistics will greatly profit from autonomous driving – it is likely that there will be autonomous trucks and long-distance logistics within the next five years.

Autonomous driving affects many areas of mobility

Public transport could completely change due to autonomous driving – there could be autonomous busses to transport more people efficiently at the same time than cars. These busses might not have a fixed timetable or route, but could figure out the demand in real time.

Personal logistics and shopping could also change – same day or same hour delivery could be possible because autonomous cars just pick up and drop off shopping as needed.

Also cities will have to think about regulating manual and autonomous traffic co-existence. There might be a time when cities will not allow any manual operating of cars anymore as it is way less safe. In that case driving yourself could become a luxury that you have to pay for especially to do.

Some of these developments are fairly certain, some are speculation. However, that autonomous cars will be waiting for our call just around the corner is not something we have to wait for much longer. These are moovel’s ideas about autonomous driving. Do you agree or do you have a different opinion? Let us know – the CEO and CFO will personally read and respond to a selection comments.

Please note that this article expresses the opinions of the author and does not reflect the views of Move Forward.