2018 was a bumper year for mobility technology and for transportation. We (finally) saw the integration of AI and Google Assistant within mass manufactured cars, augmented reality help motorcyclists with heads-up displays, as well as the headline-grabbing rise of dock-less electric scooter and bike companies. With the increasing rise of MaaS (Mobility as a Service) platforms and diverse business models, the evolution of mobility is accelerating at quite a pace, but what have we learned from this transitionary process? What are the most important takeaways and what is to come in the future?
Here, we list the three must-watch TED talks for any mobility professional, aficionado, or hobbyist. They range from the impact of the mobility sharing economy, how electrification will change our perception of transportation, as well as how such services can be effectively implemented.
3 Experts Weigh in on Transportation Innovation: Robin Chase, Tony Seba, and Sandra Phillips
1. Car-sharing: Robin Chase, Founder of ZipCar
Robin Chase is one of the OG’s of Shared Mobility. Using her MIT business degree, she focused her attention on a real problem, car sharing, and founded ZipCar, which is now the largest global car-sharing business. In the process, she helped kickstart the “collaborative economy” - a decade before it was ‘cool’ - by enabling access to a valuable asset (a car) without ownership. Her 2007 TED talk is a real eye-opener to understand how the industry has evolved and where it is headed. After all, predictions are much easier in hindsight.
2. Clean Disruption of Transport: Tony Seba, Author, Entrepreneur, and Educator
Tony Seba’s talk at The World Energy Transition Conference in 2018 on Clean Disruption of Transport: Implications for Cities and Infra Structure and Society is a great example of trends within the mobility industry and how batteries will change the way we all live. He points out that cars are the second largest expenditure in an individual's life (a house being the largest), and, we only use a car for 4% of our time. However, we are seeing that car assets are no longer necessary to support our lifestyles, and guess what’s driving this? Tech.
3. Shared Mobility: Sandra Phillips, Founder of MOVMI
Sandra Phillips is a ‘shared mobility architect,' implementing shared mobility services in cities around the world. In her TED talk, she shares her vision for a game-changing transportation solution: car-sharing. By sharing vehicles, Phillips says, we'll be able to both increase the inclusivity of transportation and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Learn more about this innovative way of getting people where they need to go and how, if we get this right, the customer experience won’t be all that much different from owning a car.
Smart, Shared, and Seamless Mobility is the Future
Owning a car is so 2018. Smart, shared, and seamless mobility will transform the customer experience for the better.
When Henry Ford saw the first Model T roll off the production lines in Detroit, it is safe to say he could not have anticipated how the future of mobility would change so dramatically over the next 100+ years. From the legions of dock-less scooters scattered around cities like San Fransisco or Tel Aviv, to the tech platforms such as CityMapper or Moovit changing the public transportation customer experience in cities, to personal car ownership becoming less and less necessary to get from A-to-B. By 2030 the concept of private car ownership will be as outdated as shoulder-pads or feature phones.
The three TED talks highlighted above are a glimpse of where mobility is moving: a more simplified experience for the consumer without the headaches of owning a car.
As part of this transition, the mobility landscape is becoming more competitive with traditional company boundaries becoming blurred as the big and small players begin to span across the value chain in efforts to service increasingly complex consumer demands.
Like it or not, mobility and the future of transportation will never be the same again!
Here are 5 Mobility startups that are changing the industry and beginning to blur the traditional value chain:
- Freewire Technologies : An alumnus of the BP and RocketSpace Mobility Tech Innovation Collaborative, Freewire is a pioneer in delivering flexible and future-proof power solutions for the grid edge. They are currently developing the commercialization of their ultrafast EV charging / mobile on-site power technologies, and, after closing a successful Series A round in December 2018 with BP Ventures, Volvo Cars Tech Fund, and Stanley Ventures, they will continue to disrupt the industry.
- Immense Simulations : Immense creates virtual cities and provides simulation-as-a-service for mobility providers and large scale infrastructure. This gives the industry a sandpit to play in before the implementation of projects.
- Aurora : Aurora is a self-driving car start-up co-founded by the former head of Alphabet’s Waymo (Google’s parent company’s Autonomous Driving Unit). They recently raised a $530m Series B financing round with some big-name investors including Sequoia Capital, Greylock, Index Ventures, Shell Ventures, and Amazon. Not bad for a company who was started in January 2017!
- Lime : Based out of RocketSpace’s London Tech Campus, Lime is an on-demand electric scooter and e-bicycle startup with over 34 million trips and 10 million sign-ups across 5 continents. After raising a $310 million Series D financing round in February 2019 led by respected names such as Andreessen Horowitz, Bain Capital Ventures, Fidelity Investments, GV, and IVP, Lime will continue to develop their proposition and focus on two critical areas: rider safety and city collaboration.
- Fleetonomy : Another alumnus of the BP and RocketSpace Mobility Tech Innovation Collaborative, Fleetonomy enables multiple services within one fleet. Their fleet management platform blends machine learning, advanced algorithms, and AI to analyze key data and provide implementable insights that assist fleet operators with making strategic decisions to maximize inventory management, maintenance, and customer preferences. They are currently live in the US, UK, and Germany and planning to expand to additional markets in 2019.
RocketSpace has expertise within the Mobility sector with wide-ranging corporate, startup, and investment partners. Learn more by contacting our team at firstname.lastname@example.org.