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women in shared mobility autonomous vehicles

Women in Shared Mobility: Autonomous Vehicles with Larissa Zeichhardt, Hadeer Shalaby, and Rachel Allen

Jan 23, 2018

This month, we had the opportunity to focus on a growing and revolutionizing topic that most of us in shared mobility can’t wait to see become a reality: autonomous vehicles. We spoke with three women working in the shared mobility space to gather their thoughts on AV. You can have a look at our last series here.

Autonomous Vehicles: Women in Shared Mobility

The interviewees:

Larissa Zeichhardt of

Larissa ZEICHARDT women in shared mobility

How will AVs be introduced into our current transportation offerings?

Introducing AVs starts with communicating success stories! Promoting positive examples would certainly help to turn fear of unknown into productive curiosity. Trains could play a central key role here: Urban trains have been autonomous since 1983, and there are currently driverless train and subway systems in 15 European cities. Instead of quietly continuing to convert traditional trains to driverless systems we should celebrate the modernization to show that AV in any shared mobility service will holistically enhance mobility.

What is the biggest impact of AVs on mobility and our society?

Open data will allow all mobility related services to come together an function as one integrated system. Digitalizing and automating train tracks results in one key benefit for urban mobility: Data will be available and hence enable synchronized services. This will finally enable passengers to pick the most comfortable and sustainable mode of transport for the particular trip in mind.

What is the biggest hurdle for AV adoption and how do we overcome it?

Fear and interrelated excuses need to be overcome to boost the introduction of AVs in Germany. The substantial capital investment and fear of hacking are frequently used as an excuse for not starting AV projects. Successful projects like for example the automated underground train in Copenhagen proof that improvements in the quality of service delivered, the amount of passenger growth that results, and potential reductions in operating costs consent investment.

Larissa runs a family owned and operated SME for mobility related construction services in Germany together with her sister Arabelle. She is an experienced Entrepreneur,  worked as a Business Manager in Forbes 500 and sits in the board of Gütegemeinschaft Leitungstiefbau (German quality promoting association). She is Vice President of the German Women’s Railway Association (Allianz pro Schiene), deputy chairman of the infrastructure committee IKH (german chamber of commerce),  founder of (AFO challenge) and a member of a number of organizations including IEEE, Women in Digital and VdU (Female Entrepreneurs Club). Larissa is known for initiating the InnoTrans Ladies Lunch, an annual meeting of the leading women in transport in Germany. Her hobbies include Augmented Reality and exploring the outdoors with her two daughters (2 and 3 yrs). Connect with her on Twitter here.

Hadeer Shalaby of careem

HADEER SHALABY OF CAREEM women in shared mobility autonomous vehicles

How will AVs be introduced into our current transportation offerings?

I imagine it to be introduced as a personalized private option where you get to personalize the car the way you want (music, A/C, etc..). Personalized & private but with no effort and even higher safety on average.

What is the biggest impact of AVs on mobility and our society?

We won’t have an issue of shortage in supply at peak times and we should be able to plan properly for the demand needed at all times and locations considering seasonality & holidays as well.

What is the biggest hurdle for AV adoption and how do we overcome it?

The infrastructure is not optimal in all cities and the cost of AV in a lot of cities is still higher than having a person drive.

Hadeer Shalaby is the Director of New Categories in the HQ of Careem. 3 years ago she started Careem in Egypt and was the GM there and just moved to Dubai 4 months ago. She is also founder of Taxi El sa7el which was acquired by Careem. And before that she was VP Entity Development in AIESEC International in the Netherlands and founder of AIESEC in Lebanon. Graduated from AUC (American University in Cairo) with Business Administration certificate. Connect with her on Twitter here.

Rachel Allen of arity

Rachel Allen Arity women in shared mobility autonomous vehicles

How will AVs be introduced into our current transportation offerings?

They are already introduced to our current transportation system through shared mobility platforms. This form of access will likely grow before personal ownership due to regulations and the costs associated with manufacturing the vehicles.

What is the biggest impact of AVs on mobility and our society?

AVs require building and rebuilding of not only vehicles, but cities. The biggest impact will not be felt in how we move, but the environment that we move in.

What is the biggest hurdle for AV adoption and how do we overcome it?

Consumer adoption will come easily with convenience, trust, and price. Before that happens though, significant monetary investments must be made in the supporting ecosystem, often with a long-term view on profitable growth.

Rachel Allen is the Group Product Manager of Shared Mobility for Arity, a technology company founded by the Allstate Corporation. In this role, Rachel has been responsible for defining and bringing to market a set of products that use predictive risk and driving analytics to help operators build the next generation of a connected transportation network. Prior to Arity Rachel worked at Accenture integrating multiple complex systems before joining HERE Maps where she built multi-model navigation products and then Conversant Media where she created user profiles based on geo-spacial travel patterns for Ad targeting. Rachel has a Masters in Science from Northwestern University and a Bachelors in Science from DePaul. Connect with here here.

The excitement of autonomous vehicle adoption worldwide is only growing, especially with these additional insights. Are you interested in being featured in our Women in Shared Mobility series? Contact us here.


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