How technology is shaping the future of mobility

Technology is helping transform the future of urban transportation by influencing what mobility will look like, and how it will impact the modern city-scape. A recent article by Forbes Technology Council explained that there is a shared consensus around the four key features of future mobility: shared, hybrid, autonomous and electric. The next question becomes, what will mobility services will be available in the coming years? We have done some research to help breakdown the different perspectives on shared mobility as a mode of transportation in the future. 

Why electric?

By 2040, electric cars will outsell gasoline-powered cars

By 2040, electric cars will outsell gasoline-powered cars

Recently consumers have shifted their interest towards electric vehicles as a more sustainable and environmentally conscious option for long-distance travel. Predictions expect electric vehicles to surpass traditional combustion cars within the next 20 years, with 57% of passenger vehicles and more than 30% of global passenger vehicle fleet sales being electric by 2040. With this growth also comes a need for additional charging infrastructure to allow the vehicles to travel further over long distances. Currently there are about 13,000 electric vehicle fast charging stations across the US, compared to roughly 332,000 gas stations. Companies such as Volkswagon, GM and Tesla, have announced they are working on creating charging that will help drive sales in the future. Successful expansion into the market will require cities to develop smart plans that accommodate the needs of electric mobility. 

Why shared?

Shared mobility has grown extensively since Uber (2009) and Lyft (2012) first entered the market. More and more operators continue to emerge worldwide, offering at least one ridesharing service to people in over 700 cities. These services are expected to expand even further in the future as a result of increased urbanization, as well as growing concerns around sustainability, economic stability and emissions. A report by the Internet of Things’ analyst firm, Berg Insights, found the number of car-sharing service users will grow from 50.4 million people in 2018 to 227.1 million people in 2023. Offering mobility as a service is helping reduce the number of single-use vehicles on the road, lending itself to a more functional form of travel.

Why autonomous?

A major challenge facing urban drivers is the issue of congestion and traffic jams. In some metropolitan cities, such as London, the problem lead to the enforcement of congestion charges in their most heavily populated neighbourhoods. In effect since 2003, these charges have helped reduce traffic by 30%, will simultaneously generating funds for the city. But is that enough? Autonomous vehicles are believed to be the next step in reducing congestion. A study conducted by researchers at the University of Cambridge found that when a fleet of autonomous vehicles are effectively communicating, keeping traffic moving smoothly, congestion rates could be reduced by 35%.

Why hybrid?

Micro-mobility is the use of small mobility devices, designed to carry one or two people, or ‘last-mile’ deliveries. This goes hand-in-hand with the rising interest in e-scooters and e-bikes that have seen exceptional sales growth in recent years. The combination of electric with single-use, lightweight vehicles is expected to surpass traditional modes of transportation. In their annual technology, media and telecommunications predictions, Deloitte predicted more than 130 million e-bikes will be sold between 2020 and 2023. Compared to the 1.8 million sold in Europe and 185,000 in the US during 2013, this significant increase suggests that e-bikes and other technology like it are the future of mobility.

How are city’s supporting?

Cities across the world have begun adapting strategies to assist with the future of urban mobility. Being the leader in reducing traffic, Singapore introduced Area licencing Scheme in 1975, enforcing a daily toll charge of $3 or $60 monthly for cars entering a central zone area during peak hours. The city experienced success resulting in fewer cars entering the zone during peak hours, a 35 percent increase in carpools and a minimum of $500 million saved by the city that could be used towards infrastructure improvements. The system has since been updated to an Electrical Road Pricing system in order to match the changing demands of the city’s core.

San Francisco has yet to enforce congestion pricing for its traffic heavy neighbourhoods, however, research is being conducted to determine the best solutions for the city. The Emerging Mobility Evaluation Report by the San Francisco Transportation Authority found 90 percent of all motor vehicle collisions are caused by human error, with approximately 80 percent involving some level of inattention. This has lead to a shift towards alternative modes of mobility and potential pilot projects within the city core. San Francisco has become known for its low income bike share programs. Launching in 2013 the Bay Area Bike Share Pilot requires at least 20% of stations be located in low-income communities, with an estimated 320 stations and 4,500 in 2017. Data collected by the Bike-sharing Blog estimates there are twice as many bike-sharing programs in the world as there were in 2014, with nearly 20 times more bikes available for public use.

The doors have opened for industry leaders to start making innovations within auto-mobility, influencing the modern city-scape. In addition to placing restrictions on heavily congested areas, the city of Helsinki has focused its efforts on improving the existing infrastructure and transportation options to encourage people to utilize other modes of mobility. A leader in mobility-as-a-service (MaaS) platforms, the city plans to replace 2.3 billion urban private car journeys annually by 2023. One of the ways it’s begun to accomplish this is through the app Whim. An app developed specifically for Helsinki, Whim provides access to all of the city’s mobility options through a monthly subscription. The future of mobility is at people’s fingertips.

What’s next?

Cities around the world are beginning to explore the possibilities of e-scooters as a means to travel short distances too far to comfortably walk, as well as a potential solution towards reducing the reliance on cars. The city of Tallahassee launched a pilot program in partnership with five major e-scooter companies: Bird, Lime, VeoRide, Spin and Gotch. The purpose is to determine solutions for the major problems being faced, but to also help develop good ridership habits. The companies deployed 200 e-scooters, each capable of travelling 15 mph, under new legislation that allows them to be treated the same as bicycles. With the success of programs such as this, and companies making pledging to maintain social responsibility for user safety, e-scooters as a primary mode of mobility are on the rise. 

Nuro, a self-driving start-up, is one of the few companies to currently have a fleet of fully driverless vehicles operating on public roads. In February 2019, the company secured roughly $1 billion in additional funding from SoftBank allowing them to partner with the grocery-store chain Kroeger’s for a pilot project. The pilot service has been delivering groceries in Houston, Texas since March 2019, with expansions to include other goods like Domino's Pizza and Walmart products. As of right now the fleet stands at about 75 vehicles, with plans to go public in 2020. By introducing fully automated vehicles into the market, the number of people on the road will be reduced, optimizing efficiency and offering greater protection from potential collisions or incidents. 

Nuro self-driving vehicle

Nuro self-driving vehicle

In addition to reducing traffic in major cities, mobility companies are also focusing their resources on addressing concerns of energy consumption and emissions. The smart scooter mobility company, Gogoro, aims to leverage the power of technology in order to change the way technology is consumed and transform how cities operate to improve sustainability. Their first fleet of smart scooters launched in 2015, delivering a high performance electric riding experience to uses in Taiwan. The company also established a network known as the Gogoro Energy Network in Taipei offers more than 1,581 battery swap stations and supports over 199,478 battery exchanges every day. In Europe, a fleet of 3,500 emissionless smart scooters were released across three major countries in 2018, helping reduce CO2 emissions by 123,655 tons and displacing more than 58,731,863 liters of gasoline. By leveraging technological progress and innovations in modern infrastructure, Gogoro is becoming a leader in transportation solutions. 

Electric scooter Gogoro with swappable batteries

Electric scooter Gogoro with swappable batteries

Companies, like Tortoise, are looking to expand the capabilities of scooters even further by introducing fleets that can move autonomously across a city and reposition themselves, without a rider. The goal is to tackle the biggest challenge currently facing operators: relocating scooters. Tortoise plans to use autonomous technology combined with teleoperation to reposition and rebalance dockless, shared e-scooters in cities. The initial deployment will include between 50 to 100 scooters per operator in each market with the intention to equip every fleet with the ability to autonomously reposition themselves. Autonomous micro-mobility like e-scooters and e-bikes are believed to be the start for creating smarter, more technologically advanced cities.

How can we help?

As both industry leaders and cities around the world are finding new ways to support the rising trend of micro-mobility, we at ATOM Mobility want to help entrepreneurs looking to enter the market. We believe that shared mobility is the future of transportation, offering assistance with integrating industry-leading vehicles ready for shared mobility, including kick scooters, scooters, bikes, mopeds, cars and more. Our customers have an excellent grasp on the current needs of local markets, and we allow them to focus on marketing and operations, while taking care of the technology. 


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Everything you need to know about micromobility fleet insurance
Everything you need to know about micromobility fleet insurance

Discover why fleet insurance is important for shared micromobility operators. Learn how the right coverage provides peace of mind against unexpected challenges.

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For shared mobility operators, fleet insurance should be one of the top priorities. No matter the size or composition of your fleet, having the right insurance can offer peace of mind by protecting your business from unforeseen situations

However, the insurance question can sometimes seem daunting – especially if you're new to the industry. In this article, we will explore the key things you need to know about insuring your shared micromobility fleet.

Why you need insurance

Operating a shared mobility fleet isn’t always smooth sailing. Accidents can happen – whether it's a minor fender-bender or something more severe. Insurance serves as your safety net, offering financial coverage for repairs, replacements, and even potential legal obligations after an incident.

Here are the main reasons why insurance should be one of the top priorities for shared mobility fleet operators: 

Legal compliance: In many places, insurance for shared mobility fleets is a legal requirement. You probably want to comply with these regulations to avoid any potential fines, penalties – or even the suspension of your operations.

Financial security: Insurance also helps keep your business going financially, no matter what happens. Without insurance, accidents, vehicle damage, or theft can seriously impact your finances. Comprehensive insurance coverage can ensure that you're not left scrambling to cover any unexpected expenses.

Understanding shared micromobility insurance

When it comes to insuring micromobility fleets, part of the challenge stems from the fact that the market is relatively new. Some insurance underwriters avoid dealing directly with micromobility because it's seen as an unfamiliar market. 

This is where brokers like Cachet and others specializing in micromobility insurance come in. They partner with various insurance underwriters to provide coverage for operators in this field.

When it comes to shared micromobility, insurance coverage generally has a twofold role: safeguarding assets and handling third-party engagement in the event of accidents.

person riding bicycle during daytime

Liability coverage: Securing third-party public liability insurance for shared mobility fleets is not just a matter of choice – in some places, it's mandated by law. This insurance serves to protect pedestrians and riders in the unfortunate event of accidents, providing financial coverage for injuries and damages that may arise. In other words, it's a safety net that offers peace of mind to operators.

When it comes to mandatory third-party liability insurance, the negotiations with the insurance company usually begin by figuring out what the local authorities require to give them a permit. After that, the insurance policy is adjusted to meet the specific demands outlined by these authorities.

Physical damage coverage: This covers the repair or replacement costs of vehicles if they are damaged due to accidents, collisions, vandalism, or theft. Depending on the policy, physical damage coverage may also extend to equipment like GPS devices, charging stations, and other hardware.

What decides your insurance premium payments?

The amount you'll pay in premiums depends on various factors that are specific to your business This includes your fleet's makeup, where and how you operate, and the level of coverage you're aiming for.

Fleet usage: The more a shared micromobility fleet is used, the more chances there are for things to go wrong. When a fleet is in high demand and used often, there's a greater likelihood that something might happen that requires insurance coverage.

Rider behavior: Insurance companies also consider the fleet's ability to predict and manage undesirable rider behavior. Reckless riding, improper parking, or violating traffic rules can significantly increase the risk of accidents and incidents. Operators that have better measures in place to anticipate and mitigate such behaviors can demonstrate a lower risk profile to insurance providers.

black metal train rail during daytime

Value of the fleet: How much your vehicles are worth individually and as a fleet will affect how much you pay for insurance. If your vehicles are expensive, your insurance premiums will be higher because it would cost more to replace them if they get damaged or lost.

Size of the fleet: Operators can often negotiate more favorable insurance rates for proportionally larger fleets. As the number of vehicles increases, the overall expected risk is distributed and “diluted” as a result – which translates to lower premiums per vehicle. 

However, some brokers like Cachet have embraced a broader approach, ensuring that smaller and medium-sized fleets can also benefit from insurance coverage.

Technology implementation: Shared mobility services that employ technologies like GPS tracking, telematics, and IoT devices can provide insurers with valuable data. This data can then help assess driver behavior and usage patterns, enabling insurers to offer more accurate and tailored premium rates. This also takes into account how simple it is for scooters to be stolen and how well the recovery processes function – which can also play a role in insurance expenses.

Where you operate: The location in which your fleet operates is another important factor. From the insurer’s perspective, different areas pose varied levels of risk. For example, urban mobility – which is associated with a higher risk of accidents – may incur higher premiums compared to vehicles used in rural areas.

Level of coverage: The level of coverage you choose directly affects how much you pay in premiums. Opting for higher coverage limits means you get more comprehensive protection, but obviously, it also means your insurance costs go up.

a scooter parked on the side of a bridge

Choosing the ideal insurance for your fleet

Every shared mobility fleet and business is different, so your insurance needs will depend on things like the type and size of your fleet, where you operate, how much risk you're comfortable with, and of course – how much you are willing to pay. 

For example, do you require coverage for specific risks, like vandalism, or perhaps your fleet is composed of premium vehicles that are more expensive? To make it more relatable, let's dive into a practical case of a shared micromobility operator's experience with insurance.

How Hoog found the right insurance with Cachet

The concept behind Hoog Mobility is to revolutionize transportation in smaller Estonian towns. They recognized the need for efficient and eco-friendly local travel and brought a shared mobility solution often seen in big cities but missing in smaller communities: electric scooters.

Cash-strapped mobility startups often worry about potential damage or vandalism happening to their shared vehicles. This concern is shared by traditional insurance companies too. As a result, these insurers might hesitate to provide coverage for shared scooters, and if they do – it's usually at a higher cost.

Faced with this challenge, Hoog initially operated without insurance due to the steep expenses. But that changed when Cachet provided them with a customized insurance solution that perfectly suited the company's needs. Hoog also realized that the initial worry about vandalism wasn't as much of an issue as they thought. But still – having insurance for their fleet turned out to be a sound financial decision that gave them peace of mind.

Concluding remarks

Don't underestimate insurance – it's just as crucial as having a top-notch fleet and solid software. Insurance is best approached proactively – discovering you've cut corners after an unforeseen event will cost you significantly more.

Getting insurance for shared micromobility might be a bit trickier since it's still a new concept, but we've seen that even smaller fleets can make it work – it's just a matter of finding a suitable partner who understands your needs.

At the end of the day, insurance isn't merely about meeting legal requirements – it showcases your dedication to safety, responsible operations, and the well-being of everyone involved in your mobility business.

Why and how should authorities promote shared mobility
Why and how should authorities promote shared mobility

Unlocking the power of shared mobility – how authorities can drive change and improve transportation.

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Shared mobility is gaining momentum – offering prospects for reducing traffic, cleaning up city air, and providing users with more flexible transportation options. However, despite its potential, shared mobility often seems to take a backseat to traditional public transportation and private vehicles in the eyes of local authorities and infrastructure planners.

Experts see shared mobility as a game-changing revolution in transportation. It surpasses the earlier revolution of the 20th century when personal cars became widely affordable and accessible. Now, with the rise of shared mobility and environmental concerns, the old notion of "one car per person" is becoming outdated.

In light of this, authorities worldwide should proactively prepare for a future where shared mobility plays an increasingly significant role. In this blog post, we'll explore different ways authorities and legislators can encourage shared mobility – and why it's totally worth it.

The positive impact of shared mobility

Shared mobility has the potential to fix some of the problems we face with transportation today, benefiting users, cities, and the environment. Here are the key benefits of shared mobility:

  • Reduced congestion: Shared mobility can alleviate traffic congestion, leading to smoother traffic flow and shorter commute times.
  • Environmental sustainability: Shared mobility can reduce the number of vehicles on the road, resulting in lower greenhouse gas emissions and a smaller carbon footprint. This helps combat air pollution and mitigate the environmental impact of transportation.
  • Improved transport accessibility and flexibility: Shared mobility services make transportation more accessible, especially for those without private vehicles or limited mobility options. They also offer convenient alternatives to traditional transportation methods.

Considering the urgent need to combat climate change, shared mobility holds a significant promise as a greener transportation option. The European Union's Green Deal aims to achieve a 90% reduction in transportation-related greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. Shared mobility – coupled with increased adoption of electric vehicles and a broader shift in transportation behaviors – will likely play an important role in achieving this goal.

However, for shared mobility to truly flourish and revolutionize transportation, it needs a supportive environment backed by legislative frameworks and infrastructure planning. So, let's take a closer look at how authorities can foster wider adoption of shared mobility.

1. Favorable regulations with an eye on the future

In the past, shared mobility solutions and business models have faced challenges in gaining acceptance from regulators. A prime example is the initial response of local authorities to Uber’s novel services at the time – ordering them to cease their operations immediately.

Shared mobility services can disrupt traditional transportation models – which may not be welcomed by everyone. However, the undeniable popularity of these services, exemplified by the rapid success of Uber, demonstrates the high customer demand.

Instead of battling against it, authorities might want to shift their focus to creating a supportive legislative framework, recognizing the significant benefits shared mobility can bring. It means regulations that prioritize safety, fair competition, consumer protection, and quality standards – creating an environment where shared mobility can thrive and provide reliable services to customers.

Shared mobility is constantly evolving, which means that regulations need to be flexible and adaptable to keep up with emerging technologies and new challenges. For example, as autonomous vehicles become a possibility, authorities will need to establish guidelines for their safe integration into existing transportation networks.

2. A collaborative approach

Collaboration between local authorities and businesses can be a decisive factor in creating a favorable environment for shared mobility. By working together, they can tackle common challenges, share data, and develop integrated transportation solutions.

Public-private partnerships can also involve incentives like tax breaks or subsidies to encourage the adoption of shared mobility. For example, offering tax breaks to companies that implement ride-sharing programs for their employees can encourage the use of shared transportation options instead of individual cars. Similarly, providing subsidies for shared mobility providers can help offset the initial costs of implementing and expanding their services.

Sharing data between shared mobility platforms and transport authorities is another way to benefit from this cooperation. The platforms have valuable information on accidents, trip patterns, and driver availability. Sharing this data with local authorities can help improve the transportation network, enhance travel apps, and identify underserved areas.

3. Building infrastructure to support the future of transportation

To meet evolving transportation needs, authorities should invest in infrastructure that supports innovative modes of transportation like electric vehicles and shared mobility services. By considering the needs of shared mobility users, infrastructure planners can make it a much more attractive transportation option.

Here are the key infrastructure needs for shared mobility:

Integration with existing infrastructure: To offer users smooth and effective transportation choices, shared mobility must seamlessly integrate with current transport systems like public transit. It should enable users to plan multi-modal journeys and switch between different modes of transport without hassle. For example, users should be able to seamlessly transition from a shared bike or scooter to a bus or train.

Charging stations: Keeping shared electric vehicles performing at their best relies on maintaining their charge. This requires establishing a network of strategically positioned charging stations throughout urban areas. If we're aiming for more people to use electric vehicles, we need to make charging them easy and accessible.

Dedicated parking: Shared mobility services need designated parking areas for their vehicles, such as bike racks and car-sharing parking spots. Well-organized parking infrastructure can reduce street clutter and make it easier for others to grab a shared mobility vehicle.

Information infrastructure support: Running shared mobility services smoothly, including handling bookings, payments, and logistics, depends greatly on a reliable information infrastructure foundation. With the advent of advanced networks like 6G, users will increasingly rely on this infrastructure to stay connected and make the most of these services.

The shared mobility landscape in France

Paris's recent ban on free-floating e-scooters has put France in the spotlight. To take a closer look at the shared mobility environment in France, we turned to Manon Lavergne, CEO of Viluso, a shared micromobility operator. We asked for her insights on the state of micromobility in the country.

Since the Mobility Orientation Law in 2019, the French government has been working to make shared transport easier to access everywhere. At COP 26 in 2021, France undertook to cut its CO2 emissions by 55%.

According to Manon, personal vehicle ownership in urban settings is losing favor among many French citizens, and Paris stands out as a shared micromobility epicenter. The city pioneered self-service shared mobility networks like Vélib' (2007), Autolib' (2011), and Cityscoot's shared electric scooters (2016).

However, in April 2023, Paris residents voted to ban free-floating e-scooters in the city. The reasons behind this decision included riders competing for space with pedestrians on sidewalks and complaints about e-scooters cluttering the pavements when parked. 

Captur's case study on e-scooter parking habits in Paris revealed that the majority of users encountered no problems when parking scooters in designated bays. However, outside of the designated areas, users had to compete with other vehicles, resulting in poorer parking choices.

This example again emphasizes the need for proper infrastructure to support shared mobility. Lots of cities around the world were mainly designed with private cars in mind – which can create challenges for accommodating shared mobility solutions.

Anne Hidalgo, Paris' Mayor, campaigned with a strong green agenda and has introduced various changes to tackle pollution and traffic jams. Her vision includes a "15-minute city" where people can access work, shopping, healthcare, education, and leisure within a 15-minute walk or bike ride from their homes.

Yet, the chaotic state of free-floating e-scooters in Paris resulted in their ban. This scenario raises a question for other global cities: How can shared mobility be encouraged without disrupting other transportation choices and pedestrian movement?

According to Manon, the upcoming 2024 Olympic Games in Paris, which will draw many visitors, will provide valuable insight into the city's transportation system – including the viability of shared mobility.

Shared mobility is here to stay – so start planning today

By adopting a supportive approach, authorities worldwide can play a crucial role in enabling the full potential of shared mobility. While it may require a shift in mindset, the potential gains of reduced congestion, environmental sustainability, and improved transportation options make it a worthwhile consideration. 

We know that shared mobility is here to stay and will only expand in the coming years. By taking a more proactive stance, authorities will be in a better position to integrate and maximize the full benefits of shared mobility.

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