[InOut] — Is car sharing the wave of the future?

On 14-18 March, InOut hosted digital tech and mobility professionals from all over the world to brainstorm how we will be travelling tomorrow from A to B. The event organised by Rennes Metropolitan Council had an ecological focus: “Gone is the supremacy of private cars: Digital technology is boosting the shared use of vehicles (through carsharing, carpools, etc.), and encouraging multimodal mobility that lets you get from A to B by a combination of walking, cycling and driving.”

To talk about these new sharing possibilities, we’ve invited Raphaël Morel (Uber), Maureen Houel (Coup) and Mathieu Bernasconi (Car2go).

Mobility focused on sharing

Mobility is one of the key challenges for the years ahead, not only for the world’s major capitals but also for mid-sized urban centres. At a time when discussions about driverless cars are increasingly taking centre stage, shared mobility seems to be spearheading tomorrow’s mobility solutions.

“The mobility sector is set to experience a real revolution! We hear a lot about driverless cars, but what’s just-as or more interesting for our cities and the people who live in them is “free-floating fleets” (of cars, scooters, bikes) that can be dropped off anywhere – as these new services let you get from A to B faster and with less stress, says Maureen Houel, CEO of Coup in France, a German startup that offers electric-scooter sharing. Having set up base in Paris in August 2017, this subsidiary of Bosch Group plans to triple its fleet of scooters over the next two months.

The objective of these new modes of travel? To change people’s behaviours and habits to, little by little, abandon private cars. Mathieu Bernasconi, who is developing the Car2go market in France and Belgium, believes that free-floating fleets are an essential link to achieve this objective: “The free-floating concept is ideal for an ecosystem that is incomplete. We currently have public transport, carsharing, car hire, and taxi route sharing. But we believe these options don’t cover the entire range of needs, especially for people who are attached to their own cars.”

Are driverless cars the future?

In addition to showcasing existing mobility solutions, InOut was also an opportunity explore future options, and the one most fantasized about: driverless cars. For Raphaël Morel, Development Director for Uber in France, driverless cars are the future of transport: We’re convinced that driverless cars will be one of tomorrow’s modes of transport and we’ve opened our own research centre in the United States to try to build this mobility option for the future. It will make travel more accessible, cheaper, safer, and will of course reduce congestion as these cars will be shared.”

For Uber, collaboration will be the key to the success of this major advance offered by driverless cars: “Collaboration will be vital to ensure that the various technological innovations converge on a model that will be used universally, and with the most uniform possible regulations all around the world.”

The proliferation of shared services also encourages multimodal usage, as Raphaël Morel succinctly explains: “The goal is to create a service where the user can say: I want to go from A to B, offer me the fastest and cheapest way to do it. “

Although driverless cars are not going to take over our lives immediately, it is important to consider, now, all the ways that they could be used, especially for sharing. And what do you think? How do you see us all travelling in 2030?

 

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