Revolutionizing Shared Micromobility: The Role of IoT Cellular Connectivity

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Shared micromobility refers to small, lightweight vehicles available to all, that are often electric and designed for traveling short distances within cities and suburbs. These vehicles are compact and agile, easily maneuvering through congested city streets and providing convenient and eco-friendly transportation for brief trips. Common examples include e-scooters, e-bikes, and electric skateboards. Some even include compact electric cars.

Below are examples of companies in the micromobility industry and the vehicles they offer for shared use:
Shared e-scooters: Lime, Voi, Tier, Spin, Bird.
Shared electric bikes: Jump (by Uber), Nextbike (by Tier).
Shared cars: Miles, Car2go (by Sharenow).
Shared mopeds: Emmy, Cityscoot.
To learn more about the various participants in this field, Micromobility.io offers an excellent overview of the micromobility landscape which can be found here 

How does shared micromobility actually work? 

Micromobility has become popular in cities as a way to solve transportation problems.

With the rise of IoT technology, see here, micromobility companies are finding new ways to improve efficiency, safety, and user experience.

Here is how some of the modern technology is being used:

  • GPS Tracking Systems are crucial for real-time location tracking. These devices are usually put on every vehicle to let operators check their whole fleet’s exact position anytime.
  • Telematics Systems collect and send data about the vehicles’ speed, mileage, and battery performance, and it helps facilitate proactive maintenance and optimize fleet operations.
  • Mobile apps for riders let users find and open vehicles, handle bookings, and give operators up-to-date info on vehicle activity and availability.
  • Fleet management software offers operators a centralized tool to watch and handle their entire fleet.

IoT connectivity plays a crucial role in the Micromobility sector. 

Without IoT connectivity, it would be tough to do the things talked about above because it lets devices communicate with the Internet. Indeed, efficient fleet management and safety features become possible with connectivity.

IoT connectivity makes real-time tracking, monitoring, and control of vehicles feasible, which allows for effortless fleet management. This ensures that the cars are usable and secure. It also allows for safety functions such as geofencing, maintenance predictions, and adherence to regulations.

IoT cellular connectivity (available with SIM cards) enhances the riding experience through mobile applications for finding, unlocking, and paying for vehicles. Companies may utilize this information to improve their services, expand their reach, and decrease their operational costs.

The system collects important data on vehicle usage, rider behavior, and performance. Micromobility companies can use IoT data to support sustainability and reduce their environmental impact by monitoring and reducing their operational effects. IoT connectivity can also increase cost efficiency by simplifying operations and ensuring compliance with changing regulations, ultimately extending the life of a company’s vehicles.

How does shared micromobility work without connectivity? 

Although some companies in this field existed prior to the availability of IoT connectivity, it facilitated their processes and improved their functionality. Imagine if a car-sharing company operated without IoT connectivity: Users would need to make reservations either by phone or in person at a physical office, such as a car rental agency, with car availability being less certain and reservations subject to manual checks for verification and availability.

  • Physical key pickup: to access the booked car, users must retrieve a key from the rental office or a designated location.
  • Limited tracking and security: without IoT connectivity, the car-sharing firm cannot track a vehicle’s whereabouts in real-time. They may depend on traditional methods, such as manual check-ins or physical inspections, which can make it difficult to promptly find and retrieve lost or stolen vehicles.
  • Management of maintenance and fuel: the company would face greater difficulty in monitoring the vehicle’s condition and fuel levels. Regular maintenance and refueling would have to rely on manual checks and user reports, which could result in less reliable and safe vehicles.
  • Inefficient billing: car sharing service billing would be less automated. Users may have to manually track and report their mileage and usage. The experience might be less user-friendly due to the absence of a mobile app and real-time tracking.

All the above would limit the shared car company scalability. To sum it up, a car sharing company could work without connectivity, but it would face lots of operational challenges and would be limited in how much it can grow. IoT connectivity shared mobility by making it more efficient, secure, and user-friendly. It allows remote vehicle access, real-time tracking, and streamlined operations. In short, IoT connectivity is essential for the growth and success of the shared micromobility sectors, not just a technological luxury.

Author: Jean-Eudes Ambroise, Director of Business Development at Moabits
The article was first published on Moabits blog here 

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