By Scott Shepard, Chief Commercial Officer of Free2Move
Data. This has been the sticking point for some time in the mobility sector. How to monetize it. How to share it. How to protect it. How to store it. The list goes on and on…
But taken from a broader perspective, data appears to be the one element that can make or break the entire promise of a Connected, Shared, Autonomous, and Electrified (CASE) mobility future. Therefore, it is critical to understand that for shared mobility to succeed in the long term, private operators, public agencies, consumers, and all other stakeholders in between need a consistent set of policies and principles to adhere to.
While we have seen a “tug of war” unfold and intensify recently, it doesn’t have to be this way. As North American cities are weary (and skeptical) of the intentions of TNCs and now micromobility providers, there has been a technical, legal, and now legislative push to “take back control of the streets” — through data and regulation.
However, can result in a dynamic that raises legitimate privacy concerns and can potentially stifle technology innovation. There is a better way to bring both sides together in a way that delivers “quick wins” and demonstrates that a clear set of rules to play by that benefits everyone.
For example, in Germany a detailed “Ordinance on the Participation of Small Electric Vehicles in Road Traffic” details the regulations and purpose for shared micromobility at a national level. This can be used as a guiding principle for regional and local municipalities to enact their own consistent regulations which enable providers to best position their offer from a commercial, technical, and legal perspective. The clarity of this document best positions the shared mobility ecosystem to bear fruit and establish a sustainable framework for layering in future mobility startups and players.
rom the operator perspective a great example to follow is Swedish-based VOI Scooters. They take an approach that clearly recognizes the role of partnerships, as a basic cost of doing business. According to Chief Marketing Officer Carro Hjelm, “We believe in collaboration. We want to stay true to our Scandinavian values,” she says. “And we want to be an integral part of the public transport systems in the cities where we operate.”
Finally, according to Francois-joseph Van Audenhove, Partner with Arthur D. Little, cities have the opportunity to find and implement a middle ground with regards to the adoption of e-scooters and micromobility. Essentially, the right balance needs to be found between “framing” and “enabling” new offers and providers — including regulation, fees, pricing, insurance, geofencing, and monitoring.
In summary, we now have best practices in place across multiple locations to reassess how shared and micromobility can best be adopted and framed within existing urban infrastructure and public transport. While data is the catalyst for the large scale battles currently being fought, it doesn’t have to be this way. There are tools in place that can ensure a win-win for all stakeholders, and demonstrate the sustainability for shared mobility in the long term.