Top 10 shared mobility solutions
Sharing is caring and that's definitely true in the field of mobility, where we're seeing more new initiatives than ever before. To have a good idea of which shared mobility solutions are out there and which ones work, I had a look at Paris, as an example city for the European shared mobility scene. Most of the solutions that are available in Paris can also be found in other European cities.
1. Peer-to-peer ridehailing – Drivy
Drivy – recently acquired by Getaround – is a peer-to-peer carsharing platform. By giving drivers the opportunity to use its platform they can optimise the utilisation rate of their vehicles, similar to what Getaround does in the US. Both companies together now have around 5 million users across the globe.
2. Electric carsharing - Moov’In
Take sustainability a step further than shared mobility and you arrive at electric shared mobility. More and more carsharing initiatives are increasingly electrifying their fleets, but Moov’in of Renault already offers 100% electric, free-floating carsharing. In addition, the vehicles can be parked at no additional cost. Win-win.
3. Last and first mile - Wattmobile
The real strength of shared mobility is hidden in its interoperability with other mobility modes, such as carsharing and ridehailing services which partnered up with public transit agencies, to use shared services as a first and last mile solution of your public transit trip. The Wattmobile station of Paris Gare de l’Est is only one of its kind, but with an interesting characteristic: the fleet consists of smaller electric vehicles only, such as the Renault Twizy, which are easy to park and environmentally friendly.
4. Airbnb for cars – Blablacar
Besides peer-to-peer carsharing, there is peer-to-peer ridesharing as well. While the first you have to drive the car yourself, which gives you both freedom and responsibility, in the latter you just sign up for a ride which will be driven by the owner of the car, yet which offers some free seats. Via the website of Blablacar you can sign up and pick a seat in a car heading to your destination. Sit back and relax. BlaBlacar has the ambition to expand to 400 cities in Europe.
5. Private driver - Bolt
Between taxis and riders are VTC services, which means you have the luxury of a private driver, yet you can make the reservation in advance through an app. Among them the most outstanding is Bolt (the former Taxify), at least partly because of its remarkable founder Markus Villig (25-years old) who launched several mobility solutions across the globe, including Taxify in Eastern Europe, Tuk Tuk and Bodas Bodas in Africa, and now Bolt in Europe. His innovative and holistic mobility vision makes Bolt (Taxify) worth to keep in the picture at all times.
6. From ridehailing to MaaS
Yet, ridehailing, taxi and ridesharing companies would not play the cards of the next century if they were'nt part of the broader MaaS revolution. Most of the ridehailing companies are acquiring other companies and/or expanding their own services towards the MaaS market, such as Uber’s acquisition of bike sharing company Jump, or Lyft offering scooters.
7. Scooters - WeTrott
Which brings us to the other growing and attractive shared mobility solution: shared scooters. Scooter sharing companies are dominated by big scooter companies such as Lime, Bird and Jump, yet in European cities more and more local scooter startups are filling the pavements as well. One of the remarkable French scooter startups is WeTrott which developed a self-service electric charging station that can house 15 scooters, solving both the parking and charging issues. Paris recently launched a more solid legal and safety framework for scooter companies, which can only improve the reliability and safety of the service. And other cities will follow suit since they are all struggling with the same scooter issues.
8. Bike sharing - Velo’v
Another successful active shared mobility mode in many European cities are the bike schemes. Once again to demonstrate Paris’ trend-setting role, have a look at the numbers of tis Velo’v bike rental scheme which was launched in 2005. At the moment of its introduction in Lyon for instance, only 1.5% of trips were made by bike. After the introduction, urban bike traffic jumped around 500%, of which one quarter is directly linked to bike sharing.
9. Autonomous shuttles - Keolis and Navya
Whereas scooters and bikes are the latest additions to the shared mobility market, another one is more innovative and promising towards the future: autonomous shuttles. More and more cities are experimenting with the launch of autonomous shuttles as a sustainable and convenient first and last mile solution. Navya and Keolis are two French companies which are assisting cities and private sites globally to improve their transportation with autonomous (and electric) solutions. Keolis even claims that it has launched the first autonomous shuttle in the world with its pilot project in Lyon. As a commuter you can jump up, share the ride and jump off again at your destination.
10. The future – Uber Copter
In addition to the ground shared transportation, I close the list with an upcoming shared mobility solution. Increasingly mobility companies are looking to take the cars out of the streets, not by replacing them with other ground transportation, but with flying cars. Uber is piloting Uber Copter in NYC and Uber Air in Melbourne, while Boeing has a partnership with startup Kitty Hawk to launch a semi-autonomous flying taxi, which services should start in 2023.