WoCoMoCo is World Collaborative Mobility Congress. Its 4th edition is held in Warsaw. This article is in English and will be updated regularly during these two days with thoughts and a summary of what happens.

Please feel free to offer comments & contents & lins to your presentation or additional materials related to the conference. It will add them to the main article.

Below is WoCoMoCo 2016 official program.

MaaS meets co-mobility

Roman Srp – IT&S

Roman presents the czech vision of MaaS. In Czech 35% of people use PT everyday, this is more than in Western Europe. Then we have to protect this modal split or increase it a little in favor of PT.

There are regulations and services in place to promote PT. For instance we find free Open Data available for every transport mode and used in journey planners. And PT is seen as the core of MaaS in Czech.

Kaj Pyyhtiä – MaaS Global

We know that cars are one of the most underused assets (unused 95% of time). And it is expensive. Private cars cost 250€/month for small usage. What can we do?

For MaaS you need infrastructure and transpot providers, and you need a customer experience. Co-mobility should be seen as « MaaS backbone ». But if people like sharing how to get them use massively co-mobility?

MaaS architecture. Source: MaaS global
MaaS architecture. Source: MaaS global

There are many signs owning a car is decreasing in numbers and importance in lifestyle, that people who share use multiple services, that the technology is here and that people want this disruption. But nobody can achieve that alone, not even Uber or Google. hen we need a collaborative effort!

If today we spend 50€month/user for PT, this could rise to 200€/month for a range of mobility services replacing the car. How to do it?

Their solution called Whim aims to be « the Netflix of transportation » (be careful to the « we are the X of Y effect » 🙂 )

MaaS is supposed to bring less hassle, happier living, more free time and greener cities, moving from ownership to experience. But it means MaaS must be better than owning a car, and this is a key point. Thus it’s not just a journey planner, because they need door to door service. TheyPeople want a monthly subscription to avoid caring about payments.

At MaaS global they promote a business-driven approach which means they would not answer tenders. They think multiple operators could be in one city.

Q1: how to handle all the different fares? Whim will convert all the rates in « mobility points » (virtual currency) to make it simply understood. In the future we sell to the users the future of mobility and we handle providers separately.

Q2: what aabout incidents? We need to be able to reroute dynamically users. The point about custoer service (the car doesn’t work or there is an accident) is less clear.

Filip Kjellgren – Vinnova

Vinnova is Sweden’s innovation agency. It took only 13 from 1900 to 1913 to go from streets packef with horses to streets packed with cars. What about the autonomous vehicle which is on the top of the Hype Cycle?

3 trends:

  • Transparently immersive experiences
  • The perceptual smart machine age and Artificial Intelligence
  • The platform revolution: fo you know Uber?!

This is not only about mobility, but also for example : music (Spotify) and travel (AirBnB).

Sweden has Scania and Volvo, and also telecom industry with Ericson. They are also active in the vieo game industry (MineCraft). Could they work together? There have been several pilots in Sweden to combine every transport mode with real families. Then they tried to go to a MaaS procurement but it failed and there were some lessons about immaturity of PTAs regarding utilizing the power of combined mobility services. Also the governement needs laws that create an environment for innovation.

The Swedish government tackles these issues in different ways: elimintatinf institutioal barriers like the way we subsidize transport, tax-legislation, image of public transport (they consider themselves to be the leaders for this development, but they should focus on bus & trains only! And let others manage the full-mobility package), open real time data, P2P / sharing economy issues, long-term regulatory framework.

Then they decided to launch more pilots to get more empirical data of MaaS and work on ways to make the service evolution truly sustainable. There is a lack of empricial data on impacts of MaaS and that is an issue to answer decision makers’ questions. We only have assumptions currently.

About subsidizing, what about the expectations from PTAs? And about open real time data, how could we get data from private actors?

We don’t know for sure what would be the impacts of changing subsidizing, that’s why we experiment in some areas to get some data and see what happens. We just know we need to make it evolve.

Private actors will feed data but it will be difficult for them. But we can start with cities and public actors to show it is valuable, then invite private actors to contribute too, beyond taxis. But this is hard at the beginning.

For Caroline access to the roads has some value, and we could ask for data in exchange? For Filip if private actors consume data they should share their own data.

 

Collaborative mobility in North America – Michael Roschlau (Former CEO Canadian Urban Transit Association)

Michael gives a keynote building on his great experience as former head of the Canadian Urban Transit Association. I focus here on his key takeaways.

1/ We need a government re-imagined. This means picking a lane and having a plan, building resources, making choices and experimenting, and even innovating through pricing.

2/ New mobility is the new transit, which means we should have a network perspective on it by supporting the transit backcone and making a business case for transit.

3/ The user is king, as always, which means not only focusing on users but also designing universal access and increasing personal mobility for everyone.

4/ Driving the cities we want means planning proactively with a clear vision, then reclaiming space for active / sustainable modes.

5/Data is the core of new mobility. Then we need more data partnerships and governance.

6/ Plan for the « known unknowned » by creating redundancy, planning to keep the region moving in case of (climate, terrorist) crisis.

 

Mobility on Demand Sandbox is a 8 M$ program to understand better the potential of MaaS. At the same time the US DoT is leading a Smart City Challenge, which is very ambitious, with many cities participating.

Here is the video of Columbus that won the competition.

Co-Mobility in growing economies

China’s urban transport challenge – Alexander Jung

China adopted car sharing while adapting it to its market.

Ride-hailing with Didi Kuaidi is dominant player. They won their battle with Uber, but also with the government that didn’t know how to deal with such huge demand for a mobility service. As usual taxi drivers complained, mainly because a black market for taxi license existed and ride-hailing companies just threatened this (hidden) business model. By 1st of November a law will fully legalise ride-sharing, though we could question if this law promotes the most sustainable mobility options. There is, generally speaking, a big question for cities in developing world: how to develop with a sustainable mobility-first policy?

Laura Brimont – IDDRI

Laura introduces the results of a study IDDRI lead last year with a bunch of partners (including OuiShare, Transdev and MAIF). A policy brief (in French) is available here. I’ve been happy to contribute to this study as an expert for OuiShare, and to review it.

The study focused on low-density areas, rural and surburban areas to understand the potential of shared-mobility for both short trips (like commuting) and longer trips. It questionned the business models of current operators (both P2P carsharing or ridesharing and traditional carsharing). THese busienss models are not well-suited for low-density areas, but these stakeholders don’t know how to work efficiently with public authorities, especially PTAs.

Here is a summary of mobility classification I prepared and has been included in this report in a different way.

Collaborative mobility in details - WoCoMoCo 2016
Collaborative mobility in details – WoCoMoCo 2016

 

The study offered a few policy recommendations: better communication, clarify taxation, provide street infrastructure, experiment new business models, changing governance and providing some form of public funding when needed (the same way we finance public transport).

Franka Bosman – South Pole Group

Franka reminded us of the fact we MUST absolutely reduce our CO2 emissions in mobility / transport. And this will be hard, as I demonstrated this morning. Franka focused more specifically on the fact we can’t just relie on technology.

Depending on energy miw electric vehicles can pollute as much as petrol cars. That is why they offer « green electricity », which means they guarantee the electricity you use to power your EV matches some renewable energy production (you can’t really « trace » electrons but you can trace energy production). More and more carsharing operators make use of this kind of « green energy ».

EV emissions.jpeg

In addition any transport provider could compensate its CO2 emissions, which is a wayto « neutralise » carbonn emissions by financing CO2 emissions reduction projects somewhere else. As an example La Poste has been compensating CO2 emissions for all its postal services (mail, parcel) for more than  5 years and they now buy guaranteed « green energy ».

The future car in tomorrow’s share economy

Emily Fleck – CarSharing Association

Emily Fleck dcided to focus on challenges posed by geography in the US, especially in the Sun Belt, with lots of people on roads.

Although more than 80% of people live in « cities » in the US, many of them just are a patchwork of low density housing areas. Many infrastructures  make it very difficult for new mobility services (example: 13% of streets in Lafayette, Louisiana, are « cul de sacs »). Infrastructure is here for long. In Houston, Texas, you can find parking space for 3$ a day! This is both a symptom and an « infection », this is a real issue, a vicious circle. And urban sprawl in general is a prominent issue in most US cities outside of Los Angeles.

As I explained this morning in my panel session we definitely to work on infrastructure long term, which is tightly related to society values and people lifestyle. This will be a key determinant to future mobility.

Emily’s demonstration was based on the case study of Houston. Her conclusion: there is hope for Houston (people living in city center drive less and less), there might be hope for any city in the world!

 Ananda Groag – ShareNL

Great presentation by Ananda: a future mobility day in a sharing future. A summary: it’s all about fluidity, like water. Whatever you choose to move, whatever you share, it’s fluid.
How to achieve this future? Big challenges for the auto industry. Since their new competitors are technological platforms, they might have to become platforms themselves. Which transformation is the hardest?
Borders between concepts get blurred: between car and office, between a consumer ad a producer, etc.
Ananda introduces ShareNL vision’s of the sharing ecosystem, based on circles: at the core is P2P, whereas traditional economy is on the outside layer. It’s interesting to understand that a P2P carsharing service like Drivy is at the core, but that you have C2B2C companies where individuals give their car to a company that rents it to individuals, etc. We could even add another core P2P layer in my view, with decentralised platforms that try and emerge. These platforms could make use of BlockChain technology.
Transportation sharing economy.jpeg
Sharing economy comes with lots of controversy: commons vs capitalism? social vs efficiency? liberty vs regulation?
A question has been asked about how big is really carsharing. Platforms are quite secretive, but is this the correct question? We should focus on the opportunities offered by P2P business models to solve real world problems.

Karin Tausz – SBB Corporate Development

SBB, Swiss railway, is working seriously on autonomous vehicles and their impacts. For Karin it’s clear railway and other legacy stakeholders have only a few years to anticipate and adapt their business models. Examples: how much parking space in new stations? What is there are less people in trains, thus in train stations (in terms of revenue)? What about housing (SBB owns a lot of land/housing)? How to handle many autonomous vehicles that would come to the station right at the same time, all 3mn before the train leave?

What about the promise of efficiency? There are still human beings involved on bike, by foot, and so on. Challenges for regulators and public authorities are huge. You should not wait because your competitors act and don’t ask.

According to Karine we could decrease number of cars by 20-30% with autonomous vehicles. Less parking space too, minus 30%.

New co-mobility services: how to expand the customer base?

Alistair Kirkbride – CarPlus

A charity representing stakeholders in carsharing in the UK. Alistair’s focus is as much on those who don’t use carsharing as those who use it. THey have been running a 7-year study of carsharing users in the UK.

To expand the customer base you need to accelerate uptake for early adopters, but you also need to address the « realisers », those who come after early adopters (see « crossing the chiasm). This requires evolution in service.

Then you have the « benefitters » whose current marketing doesn’t adress. Those who live in suburbsand could benefit socially or economically. Beyond marketing it might be a matter of model!

In his great presentation Alistair stressed that the whole concept of « sharing » versus « ownership should be challenged, since for middle class people ownership is still a value and sharing might be viewed as a « tyranny ». Also there has very large-scale informal comobility for long, that remains unknown. It’s actually far bigger than formal shared-mobility.

Alaistair provided a summary of his presentation here: I just recommend it!

Johannes Gruenenberg – INVERS

There a system provider for carsharing and their focus is on customer experience. Customers don’t, can’t and shouldn’t understand all the subtilities of different carsharing concepts and all the regulations. The system must ensure a great customer experience.

Johannes points out that newcomers on a marke thave an advantage to « disrupt » because they will challenge regulations, rules and habits, which legacy companies can’t reasonably do. On the other hand they could get into trouble.

Their point at INVERS is that they provide a full solution very quickly, with integration to make it possible for a newcomer to launch its carsharing service while being sure that technical and legal aspects of operations are covered.

Marcel Amstutz – Mobility carsharing

Mobility is well-known fot its pioneering carsharing service in Switzerland. THey worked a lot with public transport companies and develop their own software and platform. They have been offering this platform to external customers for a while.

As a system procider Mobility Systems + works on offering the tools, especially APIs, to help operators upgrade their offers in a market with lots of rapid evolutions. SUbscriptions and pricing are more and more sophisticated and personalised. Multimodal integration is required. New mobility services come in.

By the way Mobility Academy in Bern provides an amazing e-cargo bikesharing service in Bern. Yes! It’s cargo-bikes. These are electric (much easier when it’s loaded) and you can just rent them by the minute inmany shops in the city. And this is really cool.

Ce diaporama nécessite JavaScript.

Parallel session: Co-Mobility startups

CarJump

CarJump is a platform for carsharng services. It provides a unique access to multiple carsharing providers. And also potential other mobility services like Uber or bike-sharing. It is thus useful in an urban context where you have many mobility options available. It could also be most useful to travel accross cities and countries, thus providing some kind of interoperability (which is currently lacking). Everywhere the market is very fragmented with dozens of carsharing operators in Germany for instance. The service already launched in 5-6 countries including Germany, Austria and Italia.

The good news for me is that it is due to launch in France soon with some exciting services on-board. Being a platform for multiple new mobility services brigs some advantages, since they can focus on services for customers, like a nice apps, an iWatch app and so on. For smaller operators and to launch faster new services, this service is of great interest. To convince bigger operators is a bit more tricky, but being now a market leader is an argument.

How to achieve low-carbon mobility? – Ghislain Delabie

Here is my presentation

eMio

eMio is about sharing electri 2-wheelers. It’s quite trendy since similar services launched in different cities and countries in Europe. THe main objective is to go farther and faster than bikes and cars in congestion.

There had been similar attempts in the past but it mainly failed because of logixtics or inappropriate sotware. Tis might change now and field experiences at eMio and elsewhere should provide an answer soon.

It’s also about lifestyle and being cheaper than carsharing. They claim to offer their service for two thirds of the price.

Lifestyle is important in changing mobility. This will be the topic of my next presentation 🙂

Floatility

They want to « get people out of their cars ». They want to make use of connected and lightweight electric « network vehicles » (the eFloater) for short distance urban trips. See below.

eFloater - Floatitliy - WoCoMoCo 2016
eFloater – Floatitliy

Being much like a scooter it’s easy to take on public transport and should be fairly easy to manoeuver. There is also some IoT stuff inside to manage it wirelesly. However this is still at prototype-stage.

They provide a full-service to build and manage a network with those vehicles. Which might differenciate them to those numerous designers of « new urban mobility vehicles ». When you stick to a product, it’s difficult to make a difference. Offering a sharin-service could it be enough? What do you think?

Collaborative mobility in Asia – Lewis Chen

Asian population is younger than in Europe (except Japan) but is not fully urban yet. It’s growing fast ! In terms of GDP per capita China and the other are still far from the West! Then economic growth leads to more people moving to cities, then more cars, more congestion, more new roads (still not realised that building roads doesn’t solve congestion?). Actually this is a vicious circle and they know they need more sustainable transportation, and they should do it as fast as possible! They have the choice between car ownership and multimodal public transport, but how to make the right choice?

Multimodal transportation is the furture of Asian mobility. Hong-Kong has a deep experience - WoCoMoCo 2016
Multimodal transportation is the furture of Asian mobility. Hong-Kong has a deep experience

Hong-Kong is a very good example of public transport implementation, with vehicle ownership halved between 1985 ans now and taxis representing 10% of passenger cars.

Lewis calls the society where cycling paths rail network and shared mobility are prevalent a « car-lite societey ». An this society is liveable! I really like the term « car-lite society » and should reuse it.

A "car-lite society" is a more liveable society - WoCoMoCo 2016
A « car-lite society » is a more liveable society

About ride hailing apps, Lewis notes that more people book taxis through these apps than private cars. Which shows the taxi corporation might benefit from these technologies too.

Carsharing itself is growing fast, though it seems numbers remain fairly small compared to the population and the total population. Clearly there is potential if public authorities are to favor access to mobility versus car ownership.

Carsharing in Asia has a great potential - WoCoMoCo 2016
Carsharing in Asia has a great potential

Welcoming speeches

Warsaw is a city were public transport were revamped recently to tackle challenges of many big cities : commuting for workers and leisure activities, making sure people living in the suburbs enjoy the city as much as possible, while reducing pollution and congestion in the city.

I must say Warsaw is a beautiful city with lots of parks and green spaces. With a nice weather like these days many people enjoy these spaces all day long, walking, biking and jogging. Congestion seems to be an issue at peak hours, fortunately when you use nextbike bike-rental scheme you can go faster, enjoy sightseeing and riding to the top of the hill (exercising in the morning is good).

New mobility and/or collaborative mobility is expanding, especially carsharing. More on that latter. Actually the city, though an old city, has been completely rebuilt and modernised the last 20 years, which has some (positive) consequences on the potential for new mobility in my view.

Welcoming speech by M. McKellar (FIA) focused mainly on challenges for the automotive ecosystem, for instance infrastructure and ITS. Big issue for the automotive ecosystem is to find a way to cooperate among each others and keep up the pace when faced to newcomers with new business models. I don’t have a lot to add, hopefully we will get his presentation.

This year there is a focus on co-mobility in North America and Asia, hence two invited keynote speakers: Lewis, founder of Carsharing Association of Singapore, and Michael Roschlau, retired president & CEO of Canadian Urban Transit Association. Overall it’s true that the conference mainly gather attendees and speakers from Europe, with a broader perspective on topics in other regions of the world.

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