Strategy, pillars and operations for autonomous driving fleet management business (part 1)
We are quite aware that future business model for carmakers is mobility oriented more than car focused. All brands are moving to become miles/km providers, much bigger market than struggling selling cars to dealers and customers.
Weekly news support this future.. but the focus of this post is more about the business side. How to make money in this new shaping industry?
The convergence of electric and autonomous technologies, public regulations, tradeoff between public/private business, integration of fleet management, long-term and short-term rentals are disrupting multiple traditional businesses and shaping a completely new competitive arena where different industries want to play the game.
We see car makers directly moving to mobility (brand like Moia, Maven, IMotion, Moovel, Lynk&co just to mention few ones) or huge public transports operators (Deutsche-Bahn, Transdev, Keolis) extending their offer to ride-sharing pilots, or big rental companies embracing sharing mobility (corporate or privately based) and don’t forget new players often heavily backed (Zoox) or leading forefront giants like Uber or Waymo.
Quite a crowded arena, specially if we consider that none of those players really own the whole stack of services that future business will require. Even more if we understand that final stage of this change will be the coming popular definition “Mobility as a Service” clearly described in this picture by Sampo Hietanen, pioneer entrepreneur running his Maas Global company.
Starting from here I outline some of the most important topics to be considered addressing this market based on assumptions that only few companies will have the resources (money, team, assets) to scale globally and we’ll probably see many providers acting locally followed by an increasing number of M&A.
Full mobility service business case is based on a tailored range of vehicles according to client’s preferences. Vehicles will feature new design (cars/van/minibus/light-freight) with multiple mobility targets. Vehicles will be initially electric and autonomous in a short timeline of period (local deployment according to regulations). In some regions it’s possible to include 2 wheels in the game.
Fleet Financing (leasing/rental) will be a core business because even if we think about the future.. we’ll still need someone to own and rent cars for mobility. At least until we’ll move in 3 dimensions instead of 2 and flying car will hit the road.. (actually the sky) of our cities.
Business operations: the business case includes a broad range of operations:
- Vehicles management (maintenance, service, cleaning, warranties, storage/parking)
- Fleet management (software, on board unit)
- IT-Platform – Integration of API with third parties.
- Business user app (driver and backend system): Booking/Dispatching/Routing/Billing/customer service
- End user (consumer) app: expected to be up to Customer or fully owned if is directly operating
- Charging (fast charge daily, slow charge overnight, wireless and automated)
- Customer experience (riding experience based on entertainment/business time traveling with autonomous vehicles)
- Drivers experience (safety, eco driving, community approaches)
In the near future we’ll assist to
- Integration of IT-platform with autonomous driving software and hardware.
- Integration of business case with MAAS aggregators (not only cars but also public transports and more)
- Integration of business case with logistic/freights hub
- Integration of IT platform with blockchain
Next post (Part 2) will address Assets, Revenue streams and market regions… coming soon, stay tuned