Asset Optimization is enabling progress in the Intelligent Mobility industry

23 May 2018

In Y-Mobility we believe that autonomous driving is a key enabler to the penetration of EV and Intelligent Mobility into our societies. We understand Intelligent mobility as an ecosystem where the customer can decide the end-to-end journey they want to do with a mode of transport of their choice.  To achieve this goal, both the customer and technology companies would need to go through a journey to understand the different emerging services and business models. This journey has been given. “too many” definitions and names in the past but is now widely known as Mobility as a Service (MaaS). The integration of MAAS is the first step of the journey to make the customer aware of the benefits of the technology.

As Mobility as a Service (MaaS) is effectively a large ecosystem with many variables, I have chosen to focus on Mobility on Demand (MoD). MoD provides a range of services that allow the customer to use a vehicle when they need it, where they need it, for a long or short journey with just a few clicks required. In this mode of transportation services like car sharing (car2go, ZipCar, DriveNow), Bike sharing (i.e Indego, Ofo), ridesharing (blablacar), E-haling (Uber, Lyft) are the typical habitants of the ecosystem but new players and ideas are always arising and entering the market.

For more info on MOD check here and here.

In this blog I will attempt to analyse the challenges that such companies experience and how they could optimize their assets and technology to improve their revenue streams.

One of the biggest challenges for any company when deploying a new business model such as the above, is to make sure they have a clear idea on how to get a return on their initial investment (ROI). MoD present serious challenges as managing and controlling a large fleet of vehicles dis-aggregated across multiple locations efficiently can cause numerous issues and challenges.

Furthermore, it is equally crucial for companies to make sure that the vehicles are utilized to the maximum extent in order to increase returns for the operator.  It is currently estimated that ridesharing and car sharing operations have only got approximately 6 – 7% asset utilization! It is hence inevitable that we see many of these companies attempting to regularly introduce new technologies to the market trying to capture a large piece of the “pie”.

What are these technologies?

The two main technologies that most of the companies are pushing to increase their assets utilization are:

  • Autonomous Driving: Having a vehicle with enough intelligence and AI features to be able to take decisions based on efficiency and utilization would assist these companies to increase their assets utilization. Companies like Ridecell and many others are starting to focus on this area. This solution is quite efficient, but having it actually implemented could prove to be a prolonged process.
  • AI applications to improve asset utilization: There are a few companies out there that are trying to use Deep Learning and other AI techniques to create platforms to control and optimize the assets utilization in real time. However, companies like Ecomobix (which happen to also be a Y-Mobility client) can provide a complete solution, which covers all aspects such as the technology, supply and demand of assets from the fleet operation perspective. Such an approach is highly innovative and advanced comparing to other options out there on the market whilst also allowing the company to increase their asset optimization. In addition, it also provides the company with live and real-time information and offers them direct feedback about their consumer behaviour as well as the “pulse” of the city.

Both approaches are to definitely improve asset optimization in fleet, car sharing, ride-sharing and other such services and it remains to be seen on how far companies in the industries will go. US companies seem to be earlier adopters of the above approaches but EU firms also are following suit now as the comprehend the need of these services in the near future will be inevitable. So if you want to know more about some of these solutions or Ecomobix please contact us to help you to increase your assets optimization.

Article by David Fidalgo

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