A new mobility ecosystem is upon us. Cities are changing at a pace like never before, largely made possible through technological advancements.
It has disrupted existing industries and paved the way for a shared mobility market – one that redefines the way people move and interact. Being able to effortlessly move across cities enabled billions across the globe to access opportunities, tap into great products and services, while connecting with people that are important to them.
The growth of the mobility industry and the momentum it gained came at a cost – traditional transport was incredibly time-consuming and lacked advanced safety systems.
What’s driving the next frontier in urban mobility?
Urban mobility is looking to tackle just this – the flawed transport system.
The status-quo of urban transportation is rapidly shifting
The mobility landscape is changing. In recent years, enabled by robust technology solutions, we are looking at a rise of alternative mobility which include more efficient means of transport mushrooming across the globe – including ride sharing, autonomous vehicles (AVs), mobility as a service (MaaS) and some of the biggest automakers developing electric vehicles (EVs). This caters to the rising mass of customers that demand clean and sustainable solutions to travel.
The rise of shared mobility – a market valued at $619.5 billion by 2025
Digitalization welcomed a new wave of mobility services that included app-ordering services, peer-to-peer car sharing, ride-sharing, free-floating services and car-pooling. This has prompted many customers to resort to alternatives like electric scooters and bikes, and other ride-sharing services instead of relying on traditional public transport or taxis.
“Challenging the economic efficiency of car ownership is exactly what is at the heart of all mobility services offers. And consumers are convinced with this message,” a research report by IPSOS highlighted.
Thus, more than 50% of current car owners predict that instead of owning a car, people will use shared mobility services in future, as it will be the cheaper option,” the report said.
A game changer: Alternative mobility gives rise to advanced technologies
With alternative mobility slowly but surely replacing the ownership culture, ridesharing has shifted its dynamics. From a time when customers touted ride-sharing to be a novel experience, it has now becoming a base expectation – all of it largely enabled through technology.
Enter alternative mobility services. Startups like Lime and Bird, valued at over $1.1 billion and $2 billion respectively in just under 14 months after founding, have captured a sizeable market.
Investors are betting big on several players in the bike sharing sector, a space that’s now witnessing billions in funding flowing in.
The increased funding has enabled the platforms to expand and resolve cracks in their growth model. Many of the startups have spearheaded alternative forms of transport for users, helping reduce the negative impact non-electric vehicles have on the environment – be it carbon emissions, greenhouse gases and higher fuel usage. Over the long term, this business model is sustainable, clean and will support future technologies that enable electric vehicles.
Better yet, a large number of internet-based technologies have permeated the market – ensuring that safety and security are not compromised. Intelligent transportation systems (ITS) are seeing a boom, with advanced features expected to further augment the market in the future.
“Free parking for car-sharing vehicles, tax privileges for electric cars, high-occupancy vehicle lanes, allowance to use public transport lanes for electric cars: these are just a few of many vivid examples of cities supporting the development of mobility into its current form. Surely, more and more different pilots of state-business partnerships will appear,” it added.
Behind the curtain, multiple technologies power the mobility sector
There are a variety of technologies including real-time GPS, identity and access management, IoT, insurtech and mobile computing that the mobility sector uses to keep their services running smoothly. Shared vehicles like bikes, scooters or cars tap into IoT to gather real-time information through the internet.
When it comes to shared mobility, GPS is used to track the vehicle, allow locking and unlocking through the app and even enables options like collecting data about the vehicle status to predict maintenance cycles.
How does this help companies? It allows them to ensure evenly distributed vehicles, saving millions in maintenance costs and helping them track vehicles in order to prevent theft.
It enables customized policies that are dynamically priced and easily accessible via mobile. The customization oftentimes relies on data collected through IoT.
So if a user rents a scooter, the insurtech company could provide him with an individual offer based on this driving style from previous routes.
Eventually, all these technologies form a connected ecosystem that support the rise of shared mobility services.
The future of mobility is centered around the user
Shared mobility may be an easy nut to crack, but like most services, relies heavily on its users. The entire ecosystem is kept buoyant by its users – a central figure of all intersecting technologies. This extends the age old access management issue – is the user allowed to access the vehicle? And even more important: Is the user really who he or she claims to be?
Creating a Digital Identity for users enables a frictionless sharing mobility
Without connecting the data to a real human being, the system is incomplete. For example, tracking a bike might be important for anti-theft purposes, but if something were to happen, the insurance claim should be addressed to an actual person. It is not enough to connect the data with an online pseudonym.
While access management does not solely revolve around access to accounts, it even includes sensitive details like the location of the user and the places they visited. Here’s where trusted digital identity becomes increasingly important.
Companies run the risk of theft, vandalism and may face damage claims. This may seem innocuous – but what if the user faced legal action or had a history of cases that indicated offense or assault? Riders may need to know who they’re sharing their ride with and if they are indeed the person they claim to be.
This is incredibly important when it comes to safety, and confirming the user’s identity through digital identity platforms will amplify security.
The sharing economy hinges on trust. And that’s why digital identities matter.
The rise of the sharing economy gives an average person the opportunity to start their own venture – be it running a cab business or renting out their properties. Customers today have a lot more options at hand through companies participating in the shared economy – a space that largely hinges on trust.