Before Regulating Next-Generation Mobility Data, We Must Understand That Data

The congressional and European Parliament testimonies of Facebook’s CEO focused attention on Internet and ecommerce corporations and startups whose business models rely on the collection and exploitation of big data, with personal data being a major component. Legislators and the public at large came to realize a) the leverage such companies now possess through the dominant positions of the free and frequently personalized services they offer in exchange for the data they collect, b) the risks associated with not properly safeguarding this data, c) the legislators lack of detailed understanding about how the data is collected and used by these companies and their partners, and d) how difficult it will be to regulate the collection, processing, AI-based exploitation, and use of this data in a way that is agreeable to both consumers and businesses. These issues are re-emerging as more connected vehicles are shipped and will become more critical as companies using autonomous vehicles in a variety of services start to employ big data in insights-enabled business models. As we consider the monetization of transportation-related data it is necessary to understand who the main generators and users of this data are, who owns each type of generated data, the risks that may arise from mishandling the collected data, and whether existing and proposed regulations relating to autonomous vehicles and more broadly next-generation mobility suffice or need to be augmented.

Continue reading

Five Categories of On-Demand Mobility Services Companies

On-Demand Mobility Services, and particularly ride-hailing, have emerged as a strong option for consumer urban transportation. In the process, ride-hailing has disrupted the taxi and limo industries and could next disrupt public transportation and last-mile package delivery. Nowhere is this more evident than in cities such as New York and San Francisco. Other mobility services such as shared ride-hailing, and microtransit, as well as various forms of car sharing are also showing robust growth. In a previous post I organized automotive OEMs into five categories. I’ve tried to create a similar structure with a small set of categories for the companies offering on-demand mobility services. It proved to be a harder task because of the complex interactions among the dimensions I used. In this post I present my first attempt to organize these companies into five categories based on how they approach next-generation mobility and the value they offer to their customers.

Continue reading

Next-Generation Mobility Leads To 5 Categories of Auto OEMs

In early November 2017, Waymo announced that while it will continue its tests in Washington, California, and Texas, it was ready to start ferrying consumers in its fleet of driverless minivans in Chandler, Arizona. Later the same month GM presented their roadmap for autonomous vehicles and details about the mobility services it intends to offer using such vehicles starting in 2019. These larger scale efforts follow a year during which incumbent OEMs, automotive suppliers, global ride-hailing companies, large technology companies, and startups have been demonstrating autonomous vehicles of many form factors targeting a variety of next-generation mobility applications. Automotive OEMs are making important decisions about the role they want to play in next-generation mobility. These decisions will organize automotive OEMs to five categories.

Continue reading

Analyzing the On-Demand Shared Mobility Value Chain

In the previous post I described a new value chain that will connect companies providing on-demand personal mobility services and three emerging models for this value chain. This value chain is the result of the consumer shift from a car ownership-centric transportation model to a hybrid model that blends car ownership with vehicle access through a combination of on-demand mobility services and public transportation. It is also based on the stated intent by the providers of certain of these services to adopt Autonomous Connected Electrified (ACE) vehicles. Various acquisitions, partnerships, including the recently announced partnerships between Waymo and Avis, and Apple and Hertz, and investments by automotive industry incumbents and by companies offering, or intend to offer, on-demand mobility services point to new ecosystems that will be developed around this value chain. In this post I provide a deeper analysis of the emerging value chain and explore investment opportunities in startups that will participate in it.

Continue reading

A New Value Chain For On-Demand Shared Mobility

This post first appeared on 4/27/17 in O’Reilly’s site. It has been revised since it first appeared.

In my book The Big Data Opportunity in Our Driverless Future I make two arguments. First, societal and urban challenges are accelerating the adoption of on-demand personal mobility services. Second, technology advances, including big data and AI, are making next-generation vehicles, and specifically Autonomous Connected and Electrified (ACE) vehicles a reality. I define Next-Generation Mobility as the movement of people and goods using a combination of ACE vehicles, and of transport services such as ride-hailing, car sharing, ridesharing, and others that are offered on a short-time, on-demand or as-needed basis. Next-Generation Mobility will cause three major shifts that can lead to the disruption of the automotive and transportation industries: a consumer shift, an automotive industry shift, and a mobility services shift.

In a series of posts, starting with this one, I examine what is causing these shifts, one of the value chains that is emerging as a result of these shifts, big data’s and AI’s key roles in the value chain, and the models being created around this value chain.

Continue reading