And what if multi-modal mobility was accessible to all?
Société Générale is the majority shareholder of ALD Automotive, a group present in 43 countries whose mission is to propose mobility solutions. So, why not Finland, too?
After trying out the “lab” experience, ALD redefined its strategy of innovation by recently creating an Innovation Centre. As Vanessa Govi, digital and marketing director for France, explains,
“we are now working very much in terms of design thinking and minimum viable product, which enables us to test the attractiveness of a product.”
The discovery of innovative solutions can be carried out on a country-by-country basis, before moving on to a global industrial phase. Thus, ParkBob (digital parking) is of Austrian origin, Mobeelity deals with mobility assistants, and Vinli, another startup, is interested in connected vehicles.
Finnish start-up deserves special attention
But in the field of global mobility, a Helsinki-based Finnish startup deserves special attention. MaaS Global (Mobility as a Service) has developed an app called Whim that could well change our behaviour and our way of “consuming” mobility. It is true that the Finnish capital is already testing self-driven mini-buses (which are in fact manufactured in France) but this time it concerns a more global project which proposes a subscription that allows the subscriber to use all the means of transport available in a city: cars, public transport, taxis and even bicycles and scooters!
What is the economic wager behind this bold undertaking?
By analysing our urban travel data, it is possible to map our movements and simulate their impact in terms of cost for an individual. The promise is to provide users with a subscription covering all their needs for a little less than 500 euros per year! Whim offers 3 levels of subscription, the first of which is accessible free of charge with the choice of pay transportation (taxi, car, etc) and allows users to familiarise themselves with the service and view their actual costs. The app becomes the unique platform for travel and stores all our movements in the city. This is a boon for both manufacturers and renters of all types of vehicle, but also for cities and associated services. It is hardly surprising to learn that Sixt, Toyota and also taxi companies are operational partners of Whim. These companies are also at the leading edge of innovation and must imagine other uses for the future.
Mobility accessible to all
We can imagine that Whim will easily win over those people who spend more than €500 per month for the acquisition and maintenance of a vehicle that is used primarily in the city. Nonetheless, success will depend on the condition that the transition from a rented car to a bike-share service is as fluid as the app’s UX suggests.
We are increasingly mobile and the means of transport are multiplying. Providing us with the opportunity of a type of consumption that is perfectly adapted to the context and reduces our constraints to a minimum is ambitious but particularly attractive. We are gradually leaving behind a world where being mobile meant being the owner of a means of transport for a world that is significantly more equitable, in which mobility will become accessible to all and at all times.
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