3 days showing self-driving shuttles capabilities brought autonomous driving to next level of experience.
Some experiences are worth sharing and there is no better way to show a self-driving vehicle than riding in real everyday scenarios. Olli (#meetOlli), an autonomous shuttle performed 3 days of rides for more than 300 guests from all over the world to prove its new capabilities. Thanks to the RoboticResearch partnership with LocalMotors a new software platform and sensor sets have been designed and integrated into Olli.
The experience brought passengers on a ride smoothly, reaching up to 19 Mph, crossing pedestrians and cyclists intersections, with vehicle overtaking and signal recognition. But dynamic obstacles avoidance has been one of the most interesting tests. Every group was asked to move barriers located in the path of the vehicle and based on the software OLLI changed its trajectory each time to determine the safest possible route to drive forward as published in official Local Motors social media feed
The event gathered also a number of partners in fleet management , engineering services, insurance, HMI experience, mapping, operators and financing. It is clearly an entire ecosystem built to support self driving vehicles coming to market and providing all the necessary supporting tools to manage barriers to introduce this new technology.
Autonomous driving is the forefront of mobility and an entire industry will be shaped in the future according to new services, business models and players.
Next step is to bring confidence to the public around autonomous vehicles, deploying vehicles and proving how safe this technology can be. It’s a long way to go to reach fully autonomy but the journey will definitely be exciting. See you on the roads this summer!
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:
This provocative statement opens Citytech, the event gathering this week in Milan more than 800 international experts, key players and top brands showcasing some of the most relevant innovations in mobility aiming to shape tomorrow’s cities. It’s time to act and take strong decisions to lead the transition towards a more sustainable mobility system and urban environment.
If Government sets regulations, industry’s role targets technologies and manufacturing accordingly. After Volvo recently announced to produce only electric or hybrid cars in 2019, JLR just followed with a target date of 2020 and media are full of releases from IAA show in Frankfurt from BMW, Daimler and VW on huge investments to electrified the whole production in the near future.
We finally know that revolution today.. needs money more than arms, so what’s the opinion from financial community about E-mobility? JpMorgan just declared that electric technology will disrupt the market with many losers, all those ones that will not drive the change. (CNBC credit video) They forecast 35% market share for EV in 2025, scaling to 48% by 2030. More conservative position from MorganStanley’s comparing multiple scenarios expects 16% penetration for EV (fully electric) in 2030 that can reach up to 60% by 2040. Meantime Dutch bank ING identifies the battery costs reduction and public incentives as the main opportunities to drive production fully electric in 2035.
Market is full of researches we don’t want to get lost in, the fundamental is that global political, economic and financial community has complete knowledge about this changing. Now it’s up to management class (from politics, to industries and consumers, nationally and locally) to decide whether they want to lead the changes or get disrupted. Italy is far behind this trend as proven by the insignificant market share of Ev (0,03%) or the absence of commitment and specific policies, any autonomous driving initiative elsewhere in the country even if there are existing competences and technologies not only linked to the “old” motor industry. We don’t need discussions but facts, projects, trials, and investments. That will bring the country industry back to a primary role in the future of automotive…(oh no sorry I’am wrong, …in the future of mobility).
Carlo Iacovini Marketing Director, Local Motors, Board Member, Clickutility on Earth
#CES2017 is the first show to look at to understand trends and new technologies. It’s true that Automotive uses the show to unveil prototypes and concepts often far away to market creating a sort of gap between future and reality. Referring to mobility industry the show has been a key place to talk about autonomous driving, connected cars and electric vehicles in recent years. This opening editions is showing both concrete products and services. The GONV summit gathered public institutions (mayor of Las Vegas,
State Governor) and private industries executives (LocalMotors, Lyft, Ehang, Hyperloop and many more) talking about new business cases and autonomous driving deployment.
The industry is clearly showing that this technology is coming to reality and to prove so a series of test drive locations have been set up for visitors. “Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) is expected to put forth a highly autonomous driving demonstration in collaboration with its automobility partners. Microsoft is currently working on an autonomous driving project in partnership with NXP Semiconductors, IAV, Esri, Swiss Re, and Cubic Telecom” (cit). Similar approach comes from French industry representatives (Valeo,Keolys), as other relevant players like Nvidia (special Key note presentation), HERE (that just announced INTEL as new investor for the company) that will have big inside/outside locations to engage visitors to. High expectations comes from FCA that finally unveiled PORTAL the first fully electric car for millennians.. designed by millenians based on a new concept of family vehicle. It’s a prototype.. but seems that a market ready version will be ready in one year.
Even more rumours lead the Faraday Future unveiling. The official presentation of the first car comes after weeks of skeptics and executive leaving news providing the idea of a struggling company.. The level of presentation they just had proved that the company has strong commitment and even if financial problems are part of the challenge.. it doesn’t seem to be a close to end project. The car is quite innovative and sure will be one of the most interesting products to look after.
Ces2017 will open in the next days.. a lot to see and more to come, even from non exhibitors.. here comes that you can meet a #LucidMotors prototype next to parking spot for private presentation. Stay tuned.
Few hours after Trump’s elections the global “clean energy” business community started debating about potential debacle coming from a step back in green policies, some how announced by new US Government.
Automakers industry made the first step writing an official letter (see letter from AutomotiveNews ) to the “Transition team” asking to review and weak requirements for fuel consumption that is set to a fleet average of more than 50 MPG by 2025, declaring that “The combination of low gas prices and the existing fuel efficiency gains from the early years of the program is undercutting consumer willingness to buy the vehicles with more expensive alternative powertrains that are necessary for the sector to comply with the more stringent standards in out-years”, also arguing about single state regulations unbalancing consumers acceptance about alternative fuel specially considering California is at the forefront of this approach and other States are following. It’s good to remember that EV industry in California (and many more States) has 7.500$ purchase Tax credit (for the first 200.000 vehicles sold from each car manufacturer) and companies like Tesla still has a big revenue stream from selling EV tax credits certificates to other automakers.
More in general green policies seems to be in danger if we consider that President Trump denies global warming and seems positive towards oil and coal industries and believes that strict ecological regulations can slow economic growth… even if it’s not true according to recent statements.
It’s not clear whether the US government will erase Paris Cop21 agreement but there are few considerations about EV industry (and new mobility) to outline:
Electric vehicles and fuel economy regulations are necessary not only for environmental reasons: they are crucial to hold oil demand (and foreign oil import expenses). We can expect new administrations to keep these measures as today because they prove to reduce oil consumption.
New Government seems more interested in financing big infrastructures (roads, bridges, hopefully some public transport network too..) furthermore engaging car manufactures in creating new jobs and keep productions in US instead of foreign factories.. (Doesn’t matter if cars are internal combustion, electric or autonomous..). I guess State Governors will still deal and support new EV brands like FaradayFuture, NextEv, LEECO, creating thousands of new jobs in Nevada, California and more.
Most of all it is well known that Customers have the real power and even Trumps election confirms these statements if we bring this statement to politics. Well, consumers today more than in the past like the coming to market innovation in EV industry. After Tesla, all big automakers have highly committed plans to introduce new products and even new brands. This trend can’t be stopped by a public administration.. Maybe the Government can slow it down instead of accelerating but at the end the market goes there.
Considering that China and Europe will keep going in this directions US could be in disadvantage situation in the next decade if keep away from this trend.
A final political consideration comes from demographics distributions votes: Young people voted mainly for Hillary, following the most disruptive trends in EV, new mobility and innovation. Mr. Trump declares himself to be President of all Americans and those votes could be very helpful in the midterm election in 4 years time.. so it wouldn’t be so difficult to approach this electorate keeping the growing new and sharing mobility industry alive.
We’ll see in coming months real strategies and first nominations in crucial roles to learn more about what to expect on EV market. Stay tunes.
A Brand Storytelling to launch the new Electric Sport Motorcycle made in Modena
Energica #cal1tour proved long trips are possible with EV motorcycle based on DC fast charge technology.
Galleria Energica opens this week in San Francisco. Meet in 53 Page street from July 7th.
Electric vehicles technology and sharing connected mobility will shape the future of automobile industry. I wrote about recent industry changes in few recent posts, but when it comes to real projects things are quite different.
I recently had the chance to set launching plan for the superior Energica Motor Company second model EVA in USA. Products are well recognized and named by media as the “Tesla of 2 wheels” because bring similar value proposition to customers: performance, exclusivity, luxury, technology and more.
But experts know that Motorcycle industry is usually roughly 8/10 years later than automotive.. so you can figure out the level of concerns about sport 2wheels EV so far. On the other hand the automotive industry success in electric vehicle is a great result to leverage and speed up the introduction to market.
EVA&EGO have many special features but charging time remains the biggest problem consumers face when they consider an EV, especially if it has 2 wheels passion based.
Best way to make consumers aware about riding experience with new technology products is to prove it. Energica is the only bike with DC 20kw fast charge technology installed, the same of automotive industry. California is the crave of EV and has some of the stunning landscapes for riding motorcycle. So the #Cal1tour went live: from Los Angeles to San Francisco, 350 miles riding in one day at 60mph average, 9 fast charging stops of 23 minutes average to charge up to 95% of the battery. A long trip quite common if you have a Tesla or a Leaf… but not usual with an Electric motorcycle.
A crew followed the trip and brand ambassador told his trip in few videos. Enjoy the view, a branding&marketing story split in 3 parts:
To speed up sales strategy Energica opens its first Galleria in San Francisco where customers have the chance to feel the brand experience and see the products.
#CES2016 proved (again) how autonomous cars can be ready to market much earlier than Governments and consumers are. Technology seems not to be a big issue (autonomous engineers might disagree about it), specially if we see how big car automakers are confident in showing their new products.
We all know about Tesla autopilot-mode, Volkswagen had a keynote speech about how the management is shaping a new company for electric, connected, smart and autonomous driving range of products. Mercedes just been licensed to drive autonomous E-Class in Nevada roads, FaradayFuture showed a great concept car, not a production one and not even really close to their real plan, which aims to deliver new models since 2017, with autonomous driving in their path.
Toyota showed long term concepts cars and Ford CEO talked much about new regulations required as the industry is ready. General Motors after investing $500mln in ridesharing company Lyft, just unveiled the new Bolt. Even those companies not exhibiting at the CES made rumors about this coming future technology. Next-EV grows in San Josè R&D facility. The company team won the first ever world Formula-E championship last year and they think global with facilities in US, Europe, China. I can’t miss to mention Alphabet new tailored company Google Self Driving car further than Apple Car project that everyone knows about (.. but please don’t talk much as it’s a secret). I apologize if I don’t dive in describing Nissan pilot projects and Volvo existing self driving cars in Goteborg, but I only remind that the first ever self driving car fleet comes from Italian Parma University R&D company Vislab that drove (actually they didn’t) more than 13.000km from Milan to Shanghai in autonomous driving back in 2010.
Too many news… confirm that industry is almost ready, so what’s next? If we all believe that products will be enough to make the market, we’ll be terribly wrong. Further than that the overall car industry needs to point few more milestones to shape a new mobility business case:
Regulations. Detroit announce by US Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx about the 4B plan to set standard rules and promote self driving technology was the right think in the right moment (and at the right place, being at NAIAS show).
Market(ing). Are we really sure people will accept so easily such a disruptive new technology? Probably new generation does, Millennians already prefer sharing mobility more than ownership, but there are more adults on the streets than young ones driving around. It took years to make people familiar in using an electric car.. and you are still driving them. I am highly passionate about new technology so I know industry has to be forward thinking through a new smart approach to self driving cars. Marketing strategies will soon become a key issue to success into this new business industry and certainly it’s a different game compared to sell cars.