It’s going to take more than a bike-sharing venture for automakers to pivot to mobility.
Speakers at the CAR Management Briefing Seminars this week from automakers, startups and research institutions have been discussing the role of car manufacturers in a world full of new transportation technologies. In the emerging diverse mobility environment, experts predict a move away from car ownership, forcing automakers to find alternative ways to turn a profit.
Some automakers, such as Ford Motor Co. and General Motors, have invested in new products, such as bike-sharing, car-sharing and carpooling.
But when the goal is getting from A to B in the fastest, cheapest way possible, having five different bike-sharing companies operating in one bike lane, or a dozen cars from various car-sharing fleets parked on the street, is likely to frustrate customers rather than satisfy them.
The key to staying in the picture when consumers no longer rely on personal vehicles for transportation is seamless management.
Providing a service that tells travelers the fastest way to get where they’re going and allows them to book transportation immediately would be invaluable. Just look at the success of Google Maps.
The next decade will bring a different transportation economy, and companies will need to look to services rather than goods to survive.