Mobility as a Service (MaaS) companies

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I've noticed that I haven't seen any of the Getaround cars in the apartment parking lot in the next block that last few times I've walked by, sometimes late at night when most of them would be there. Although the Getaround bollards identifying the spaces are still there, I don't see the site on their map. I hadn't checked before, so don't know if it appeared there previously.
Some more analysis of what's happening with car-sharing, from GCR:
Daimler and BMW call it quits on car-sharing in North America

Car-sharing, at least as we know it, looks likely to go down in history as a trend that went in and out with the 2010s.

With a terse announcement Wednesday, one of the biggest longtime players—the newly unified Share Now, from Daimler AG and the BMW Group—declared that it’s withdrawing completely from North America and cutting more of its European operations. . . .

Share Now announced in October that it was withdrawing from Portland, Austin, Calgary, and Denver by October 31 and Chicago by December 31, citing a “highly volatile” market and noting to Green Car Reports “a quickly-changing mobility landscape.”

The demand for cars to go had clearly changed. Portland and Austin had been two of Car2Go’s original launch markets, and the company in 2012 called Portland one of its strongest markets globally.

With that October contraction, the company had said it was “refocusing its efforts and resources on the cities that present the clearest path to free-floating carshare success”—in New York City, Washington D.C., Montreal, Vancouver, and Seattle.

Not even the operations in those cities can apparently deal with “two extremely complicated realities” Share Now pointed to in North America—firstly, echoing a statement it made in October about “the volatile state of the global mobility landscape,” and secondly, pointing to “the rising infrastructure complexities facing North American transportation today.”

Too many challenges from ride hailing and going electric

Share Now stopped short of calling out ride-hailing apps like Uber and Lyft as the issue, but it pointed to “a rapidly evolving competitive mobility landscape, the lack of necessary infrastructure to support new technology (including electric vehicle car share) and rising operating costs.”

Car-sharing is going electric (as both Car2Go and Reach Now had independently said in the past), but the new company perhaps isn't seeing enough upside in the hurdles involved in keeping cars charged.

"Moving forward, Share Now will focus on the remaining 18 European cities. We, along with out shareholders, believe these markets show the clearest potential for profitable growth and mobility innovation.”

Reuters pointed to a statement made by BMW chief executive Oliver Zipse last month, that "there are potentially 'disrupting' business models that rely on car usage rather than car ownership. But they are focused on very specific areas with high population densities to ensure high utilisation rates."

Less focus on the environment, community... so what's the advantage over Uber?

In the U.S., the direction of car-sharing has changed over the years. Car2Go had been originally focused around utilitarian, bare-basic Smart Fortwo two-seaters—some of them electric—while BMW’s Reach Now was the more glamorous of the two, starting with BMW and Mini models and aiming toward young professionals. Car2Go later refocused to something less community-oriented, with smaller service areas and more Mercedes-Benz vehicles.

While several major academic studies have found ride-hailing services like Uber and Lyft to add to pollution concerns in major metro areas, the effect of car-sharing users has generally been that they combine it with other modes of transit like biking or public transit, with a significant drop in the number of privately owned vehicles. . . .

This pessimism about car-sharing viability would have been unheard of five years ago. By the middle of the decade nearly every major automaker was developing a large-scale plan for car-sharing, assuming a certain portion of its fleet might be free-floating and loaded with brand-building possibility. But today the bets are being waged toward either ride-hailing or car-subscription models.

Futurists are just as keen now as they were at the start of the decade about personal ownership going out of style in the future, but we seem just as distant as then on how exactly such a free-flowing model might work financially. Whoever figures it out is going to make a killing.
Tractica forecasts Mobility as a Service to grow at 24% CAGR to become $563.3B market by 2025

A new report from Tractica forecasts that the global market for Mobility as a service (MaaS) to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 24.0% to become a $563.3 billion market by 2025, largely driven by ride-hailing applications. Tractica defines mobility as a service (MaaS) as technology-driven programs that enable people to gain access to vehicles on an as-needed basis.

Tractica expects the Asia Pacific region to continue to be the largest market based on its massive and growing urban population and its expansive manufacturing capacity as a global and automotive and technology hub.

North America is forecast to be the second largest market since it is a pioneer and supporter of ride-hailing and vehicle subscription services. The Middle East & Africa will be the fastest growing market (27.3% CAGR) due to a rapidly increasing population and MaaS providers expanding into the region.

The global population is moving into and near cities, with the majority of people now living in urban areas. This is putting a strain on transportation infrastructure and transit systems and has created demand for services that enable people to forego using their own vehicles and instead share transportation services with others. . . .

Direct link to report webpage and ToC (report itself may be behind a paywall - I didn't bother to register to find out):
Mobility as a Service
Ride-Hailing, Carsharing, Vehicle Subscriptions, E-Scooter Sharing, and E-Bike Sharing: Global Market Analysis and Forecasts
E-scooter startup Lime shuts in 12 markets, lays off around 100

Scooter company Lime is laying off about 14% of its workforce (roughly 100 employees) and shuttering operations in 12 markets as it seeks to become profitable this year, the company tells Axios.

Why it matters: After two years of explosive growth, scooter companies have entered a new phase—survival of the fittest in a capital-intensive, money-losing industry.

The big picture: Lime is not the first or only scooter company to make cuts.

  • Bird, Scoot, Lyft, and Skip have all held layoffs or retreated from certain markets over the past year.

    Lime too has made small cuts, as when it suspended operations and laid off workers in St. Louis in late 2018, though it emphasizes to Axios that it will continue to expand to new markets this year.

    The companies have generated headlines for huge losses as they attempt to manage vehicle attrition, labor costs, and regulatory battles.

What they're saying: "We’re very confident that in 2020, Lime will be the first next-generation mobility company to be profitable," Lime president Joe Kraus tells Axios.

  • He said that projection is based in part on improvements to Lime scooters' longevity, which in 2019 went from from six months to about 14 months. . . .

Details: Lime is ending operations in 12 markets where it says business was underperforming.

  • In the US: Atlanta, Phoenix, San Diego, San Antonio.

    In Latin America: Bogota, Buenos Aires, Montevideo, Lima, Puerto Vallarta, Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo.

    In Europe: Linz (Austria).
Revel’s 30 mph shared electric mopeds have (finally) made it to California

. . . The news comes as Revel announces that it is launching a fleet of 1,000 electric mopeds under an OakDOT permit program.

Licensed drivers over the age of 21 who pass a safe driving record check will be able to sign up for the Revel program and rent the electric mopeds. The service will cover the entire city of Oakland.

Rides cost $1 to begin and $0.29 per minute until the ride has finished. The electric mopeds are free-floating, meaning they are parked in proper spaces around the city and must be parked again legally when riders are finished. . . .

Revel has been expanding rapidly after completing a large fundraising round earlier this year. The company began operations in New York City and then quickly expanded into Washington D.C., Miami, and Austin.

The electric mopeds have received praise as an improvement over standing electric scooters due to their faster speeds, legal parking requirements that don’t block sidewalks, inclusion of helmets on every vehicle, and longer lifespan of the vehicles themselves.

Many riders also prefer the seated of nature of the scooters, finding them to be more comfortable and providing a more stable platform.

Revel isn’t the only seated electric scooter operator in California though. It will now have to compete with incumbents like Wheels. Bird also operates the Bird Cruiser seated electric scooter in California, which is available through its subsidiary Scoot.
Hyundai partners with subscription-EV company Canoo to co-develop platform

The California startup Canoo emerged from its stealth mode less than five months ago (just 19 months into its existence) and presented a radically rethought subscription-based vision for getting around—including four distinct vehicles.

That caught the attention of Hyundai Motor Group, and partnership between the two companies sounds equally on the fast track. Hyundai and Canoo Tuesday announced a partnership in which Canoo will provide “engineering services” to help develop an electric vehicle platform based on Canoo’s scalable skateboard architecture. . . .

Canoo is building its entire business on some ideas that most automakers haven’t warmed up to yet—like an all-inclusive subscription-based model, free of car ownership, plus driver aids like Tesla Autopilot and the encouragement of ride-sharing. . . .

Hyundai said that with Canoo it will co-develop “a cost-effective Hyundai platform concept that is autonomous ready and suitable for mass adoption.” In September Canoo said that its drive systems are only up for “Level 2+”—meaning the driver would still be responsible and engagement would be expected at all times but some tasks might be automated.

Canoo plans to launch its service in Los Angeles in 2021, and is already cultivating a waitlist with Tesla-like referral perks. . . .
Pay to charge Lime scooters has sunk so low 'juicers' won’t do it anymore

Independent contractors employed by Lime to charge its scooters allege that the pay rates have sunk so low, it’s not worth doing anymore, according to Vice.

The juicers, as they’re called, are facing a 30% pay cut in Oakland, according to IndyBay and confirmed by commenters in a Reddit group for juicers. Thus, most juicers have stopped charging the scooters since after taxes and their own expenses from going to pick them up (in their own cars and trucks), they say they're no longer making a profit.

“At $3.30 you're basically paying Lime for the privilege of charging their scooters for them,” one juicer commented on Reddit. . . .

We deeply value our Juicer community and the help they provide in ensuring scooters are fully charged and ready to use. Lime regularly makes minor adjustments across a range of business inputs in every market we operate, all with the goal of providing our riders a reliable, affordable and convenient transportation option. Of course, every market is different and we scale Juicer pay to reflect local conditions," the company said in a statement to SFGATE. . . .

In January, Lime laid off about 100 people and exited 12 markets, despite its $2.4 billion valuation last year.
Renault launches new all-electric car-sharing service in Paris

Automaker-operated car-sharing services haven't achieved much success, but that hasn't deterred Renault from launching one in Paris. Renault's Zity car-sharing service, which started in Madrid in 2017, will launch in the French capital in March.

Zity will make 500 Renault Zoe electric cars available to Parisians through a mobile app. Similar to other car-sharing services, drivers will be able to use the app to locate the nearest car, reserve it, and unlock it when they're ready to go.

Renault will not charge a subscription fee, so users will only pay for the use of cars. Rates will be charged per minute, and in fixed-time blocks of four hours, eight hours, and 24 hours. Users will also be able to purchase "economy packs" of prepaid time credit.

Battery packs in all cars will be monitored for charge to ensure users aren't left with depleted packs. If the charge falls below a "minimum level," the car will be taken out of service for recharging, Renault said.

Renault believes there is robust demand for car sharing in Paris. About 20% percent of Parisians use car sharing, the automaker said.

Indeed, Paris was previously home to Autolib, a car-sharing service that used its own dedicated vehicle—the Bolloré Bluecar electric hatchback.

While the fleet of Bluecars was rented as much as 5,000 times per week in 2012, it shut down in 2018. The same fate befell BlueIndy, a related enterprise that brought Bluecars to the streets of Indianapolis.

Car-sharing services backed by automakers haven't fared much better. . . .
This is old news now.

General Motors shutting down Maven car-sharing operations

Bird and Lime have had more layoffs due to COVID-19
BlueIndy electric cars will be repurposed — or crushed
cwerdna said:
BlueIndy electric cars will be repurposed — or crushed

Despite more than 180,000 rides completed, the demand did not meet expectations. The closure leaves the questions of what will happen to the cars, the built-in chargers, as well as program's dedicated parking. According to Fox 59 and WTHR, at least 30-40 vehicles with various levels of body damage ended up in an Indianapolis scrapyard.

The shells were spotted stacked on top of each other in neat rows. The batteries and powertrains of these vehicles, if functional, will be repurposed. Furthermore, the cars that were not damaged will be shipped to Los Angeles and used for BlueLA, the company's other American ridesharing program.
Lyft partners with rental group Sixt to target carless city dwellers

Rent a car through the ride-hailing app, bypass the rental counter to pick it up

More detail on the above via GCC:

Lyft announced that, following on the
success of its rental pilot in California, it is partnering with SIXT rent-a-car to expand car rentals across the US. Starting this August, Lyft riders in Seattle, Las Vegas, and Miami will be able to rent a SIXT car through the Rentals tab in the Lyft app. . . .
Scooter trips from rental services in US averaged one mile per trip in 2019

The average distance per trip for rented scooters in the US in 2019 was one mile, according to data from the National Association of City Transportation Officials. Rented bikes (including e-bikes) were generally used for longer trips.

Trips made by bike share members averaged 1.5 miles while trips made by casual (non-member) bike share users averaged 3.3 miles.

There's a bar chart. Scooter users seem to be using them exactly as intended, for first/last mile trips.
Continental Mobility Study 2020 shows global trend toward own cars; slump in sharing

The coronavirus pandemic is having a lasting impact on people’s mobility habits all over the world, according to the findings of the Continental Mobility Study 2020. Private car use has seen strong growth, while sharing and hailing services, which have been booming in recent years, are suffering a significant slump.

People in France, the US, Japan and Germany remain largely loyal to traditional mobility concepts: shared mobility in the form of vehicle sharing or spontaneous hailing plays almost no role in the four countries. In China, meanwhile, one in ten people continue to use these services. . . .

While personal mobility is increasing, demand for commercial carpool services in France, the USA, Japan andGermany is in something of a crisis. In France and Japan, at 7 and 6% respectively, only a small percentage of the population relies on such services. . . .

New car-sharing concepts such as ride pooling or ride hailing have not played a relevant role so far. The share of respondents using such services is rising slightly in large cities only, especially in the US. But even here, there is no evidence of a mainstream phenomenon.

More than 80% of all respondents own the car they regularly drive, and 14 to 20% use the car of a family member or a friend.

Although sharing concepts have gained in importance in recent years, particularly in urban areas, private transportation is firmly anchored in most people’s everyday lives and will probably remain so for a long time to come, especially in rural areas where households are currently more likely to have their own car.

Respondents who do not have their own car stated that this was primarily for cost reasons, while others said they have no need for one.

Nevertheless, for most people the car is part of day-to-day mobility. 33% of Americans use their vehicle at least once a week, while 57% stated that they use it on a daily or almost daily basis. Only the French are more frequent car users, at 59%.

53% of Germans surveyed stated that they use their car on a daily or almost daily basis; 30% use it at least once a week. The situation is similar in France, the US and China. Only in Japan is car use less frequent, with just 34% of respondents using their car on a daily or almost daily basis. . . .

In addition to the expectations and attitudes regarding electric vehicles, the survey also dealt with changes in mobility against the backdrop of the global COVID-19 pandemic. Measures to stop the spread of the virus temporarily reduced mobility to a great extent in all of the surveyed countries as part of strict lockdowns imposed on their populations. At the same time, the behavior of many people changed, even after the measures were relaxed and mobility could largely return to normal. The findings of the survey reveal specific changes in behavior, attitudes and expectations.

As expected, but I suspect there'll be a hangover lasting several years before MaaS starts showing major increases again.
LADOT launches $17.8M universal basic mobility pilot; e-bikes, shared EVs and on-demand EV shuttle

The LA Department of Transportation (LADOT) launched its Universal Basic Mobility (UBM) Pilot in South Los Angeles—one of the largest programs of its kind in the country, increasing access to transportation options for thousands of Angelenos. The pilot will bring e-bikes, shared EV cars and on-demand EV shuttle service, in addition to a partnership with the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (METRO) to subsidize transit fares for 2000 pilot area residents who have historically lacked options for how to get to where they need to go safely.

University Basic Mobility is a concept that believes that robust transportation options are essential to opportunity. Without mobility people cannot access basic needs such as education, employment, housing, and healthcare. For example, in Los Angeles today, there are twelve times more jobs accessible in one hour by car than by transit.

The Pilot is currently supported by $17.8 million in state and city funding. The California Air Resources Board (CARB) recently announced that LADOT would be awarded $6.7 million in additional funding from California Climate Investments (CCI) for its pilot, complementing $7 million in funding the department received from the Board last year. Earlier this year, the Los Angeles City Council voted to approve $4 million to expand transit subsidies and other program elements. . . .

The Universal Basic Mobility pilot covers a large swath of South Los Angeles, bounded by the 10 Freeway to the north, South Alameda Street to the east, Crenshaw Boulevard to the west, and Florence Avenue to the South. All of the project area qualifies as either an SB 535 Disadvantaged Community or an AB 1550 Low-Income Community; the vast majority of the area qualifies under both. The majority of residents are people of color with two-thirds Hispanic and a quarter African-American.

More than 6% of households reported owning no vehicle and 30% own one vehicle. 6.7% of workers in the area walk or bike to work and 14.3% take transit to work.

The Pilot will:

Deploy 250 e-bikes

Expand Blue LA EV carshare by an additional 100 cars within the pilot zone

Provide free, on-demand EV shuttle services

Provide subsidized Metro and LADOT DASH fares for 2,000 Pilot area residents

Install 16 electric vehicle charging stations at four libraries

Install 75 electric vehicle charging stations at Rec & Parks facilities

Install 2 Direct Current Fast Charger hubs

Provide workforce training on electric charging stations and electric bikes for 30 Angelenos

Provide $1 million in funding to complete the Rail to Rail project

Install safe streets infrastructure

Additional project partners include, CicLAvia, Mobility Development Partners, Blink Mobility, the Los Angeles CleanTech Incubator and EV Go. Additional City departments include LADWP, Bureau of Street Lighting, LA Public Libraries, Recreation and Parks, and StreetsLA.
VNC Automotive: automotive subscription services are here to stay

Vehicle connectivity and telematics software expert VNC Automotive suggests that vehicle subscription features will grow in popularity and become a standard component of the marketplace.

Consumers are no stranger to the subscription model, now firmly a part of daily life for many, with millions of people regularly paying to use services such as Netflix, Amazon Prime and Spotify, as well as subscribing to deliveries of groceries. This familiarity may smooth the transition for manufacturers as they look to recreate that model inside their vehicles.

Rather than paying for an expensive option at the point of sale, there’s the potential for customers to switch on or deactivate options according to their needs and budget. For instance, it’s likely that heated seats won’t be necessary in summer months but could be activated for winter driving or simply as and when required for seasonal road trips.

There’s an obvious tension between OEMs wanting to maximize their revenue, and customers wanting to use the hardware that’s already fitted to their vehicles. The subscription model could offer a personalized and dynamic driving experience, assuming OEMs streamline the payment structure beyond “dumb” annual fees, VNC said.

Modern vehicles aren’t visiting the dealership as frequently as OEMs would like, due to longer service intervals. However, regular software updates offered by OEMs could be billed as “digital valets”, enhancing existing features and adding new ones. Such refreshes ought to strengthen the relationship between OEMs and used vehicle owners.

Subscription features also make the car more configurable for subsequent owners, allowing them to specify features as they would with a new car but without the associated high purchase price of a factory-fresh vehicle.

Additionally, customers switching between vehicles could have their subscribed features move with them, with options activated according to each driver’s subscription package. These packages represent an opportunity for OEMs to lock in customers to a personalised subscription ecosystem, encouraging brand loyalty.

Citing flexibility, customer engagement and future upgradeability, Peter Galek, Product Engineering Director at VNC Automotive, sees a future for subscriptions.

Exciting new features or upgrades for a vehicle are a strong incentive for traditional vehicle users to subscribe. Such models give OEMs the best chance of marketing more features over the vehicle’s lifetime.

—Peter Galek

New figures from YouGov show customers are more tolerant and accepting of rented vehicle access. Three in ten (30%) of Brits and Americans agree with the statement: “I don’t want to be locked into owning a car because my needs may change.”

The same survey shows a shift towards acceptance of car subscription models such as ‘Care by Volvo’, which allows users to choose vehicles according to their lifestyle requirements. Younger drivers are tending to shun the ownership model, seeing vehicles as a transient commodity; it is the experience which counts, not the ownership. The same is true of recorded media such as CDs and DVDs—millennials tend to prefer the flexibility and freedom offered by streaming services.

Witness the monumental shift in the entertainment industry for streaming music and movies. Short-term leases and shared car ownership schemes like Zipcar and Co-Wheels versus having a car sit in the driveway show customers are open to the idea of subscriptions.

It’s clear to see that convenience and choice are key drivers behind a subscription model for certain vehicle features and, if such a move does deliver the flexibility that customers increasingly expect in everyday life, there’s a very strong case that such an approach will become the norm rather than the exception.

—Agustin Almansi, Sales Engineering Director at VNC Automotive. . . .

My fingers are crossed.