From Mindshift to Modeshift Ep. 2: Behavioural insights using shared mobility technology

Welcome to the first edition of the “From Mindshift to Modeshift” webinar series (title to be determined at the end of this series) where we will interview experts in the shared mobility industry to discuss methods we can use to transition people from personal car use to alternative modes of transport.

In our latest episode (number two) of the ‘Mindshift to Modeshift’ series, we took a deep dive into the fascinating world of technology and its transformative impact on behavior within shared mobility ecosystems. Hosted by Venkatesh, this session brought together insights from industry experts Natalia Le Gal, a behavioral scientist who specializes in transport behaviors, and Chris from INVERS, a leading telematics solutions company. The discussion unraveled the intricate connections between technological advancements and behavioral shifts, providing a comprehensive look at how these elements work together to create a more efficient and user-friendly shared mobility landscape.

"One causes the other (mindshift and modeshift) and the other causes the first one to trigger even more. As long as shared mobility continues to proliferate across cities, we don't really care if one comes after the other, as long as everything is growing
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Venkatesh Gopal
Principle | movmi

Keep reading for the key takeaways from the webinar, or watch the full session below. Stay tuned for new episodes launching monthly.

Mindshift & Modeshift

Episode Two: Behavioural insights using shared mobility technology

Webinar Panel

Sales Director | INVERS

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Principle | movmi

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Behavioural Scientist | movmi

The Interplay of Mindshift and Modeshift

Venkatesh kicked off the session by emphasizing the symbiotic relationship between mindshift and modeshift. “One causes the other,” he remarked, capturing the essence of the cyclical nature of behavioral change and technology adoption in shared mobility. The session’s primary focus was on how technology can influence user behavior, particularly in car sharing, and the subsequent operational benefits. He eloquently explained, “As long as shared mobility continues to proliferate across cities, we don’t mind if one comes after the other, as long as everything is growing.”

Data-Driven Insights and Behavioral Change

Chris, a seasoned sales director at INVERS, highlighted the critical role of data in understanding and shaping user behavior. INVERS, with its extensive experience in telematics, focuses on maximizing operational efficiency by reducing costs associated with damages, theft, and insurance. Chris noted, “Influencing the behavior of the users can reduce those costs and make all these projects more profitable.” He shared intriguing insights from their vast data collection, stating, “We have over 40,000 vehicles now that are using driver analysis.” This data helps identify risky behaviors such as speeding and harsh acceleration, which are indicators of potential accidents. Chris elaborated, “It’s kind of the first step is knowing who’s doing what before you can go and start influencing behavior.”

Regional Differences and Behavior Patterns

The discussion also touched upon fascinating regional variations in user behavior. For instance, Chris pointed out that in some regions like France and Belgium, vandalism and theft are more prevalent, while in others, aggressive driving is more common. These differences necessitate tailored approaches to behavior management. He illustrated, “In Australia, you have much lower barriers around keeping to the speed limit, so if somebody’s going 15 km over repeatedly, that is indicative of behavior that could cause an accident.” This regional insight is crucial for developing targeted strategies that address specific behavioral patterns in different areas.

The Balance of Carrot and Stick

Natalia emphasized the delicate balance of incentives and punishments (carrot and stick) to effectively modify user behavior. She shared a compelling personal anecdote from Poland, where a hefty fine for not stopping at pedestrian crossings significantly changed driver behavior. “Just the thought of it made people completely change their behavior,” she noted, highlighting the power of extrinsic motivators. This example underscored how external pressures, such as fines, can create immediate and substantial shifts in behavior.

However, Natalia stressed that while extrinsic motivators like fines and penalties can be powerful, they need to be complemented by intrinsic motivation to achieve lasting behavioral change. Using the example of seat belt usage, she highlighted that over time, wearing a seat belt has become a socially accepted norm rather than just a legal requirement. “It’s socially unacceptable not to wear a seat belt in the Western world,” she explained, underscoring the importance of ingraining positive behaviors into societal norms.

Chris supported this viewpoint by adding examples from their customer experiences. “We have some customers that have reduced damages by up to 70% by targeting the top 10% of worst offenders with strict warnings and penalties,” he said. This shows that while penalties can significantly reduce negative behaviors, they must be part of a broader strategy. Chris continued, “It’s also about rewarding good behavior. For instance, if you drive well, maybe you get access to newer or premium vehicles.”

Natalia further elaborated on the need for a balanced approach. “Both carrots and sticks work on extrinsic motivation, but it’s crucial to also work on intrinsic motivation, on beliefs, and on social norms,” she said. She pointed out that this dual approach can create a more profound and lasting impact. “A great example is the adoption of seat belts. It required technology, regulation, education, and persuasive campaigns. Now, it’s a social norm,” she added.

Strategic Use of Behavioral Insights

Both Chris and Natalia agreed on the paramount importance of a strategic approach to utilizing data and behavioral insights. Natalia eloquently suggested, “We shouldn’t use behavioral insight and data as a sprinkle on the cake but really as the flour from which the cake is made.” This analogy emphasizes the foundational role that data and behavioral insights should play in crafting effective interventions. By making these insights the core of their strategy, operators can ensure that their efforts are not just reactive measures but integral parts of a comprehensive plan to foster positive user behaviors.

Chris reinforced this viewpoint by stressing the necessity of a holistic understanding of incidents. “Try to get a full picture of incidents, not just work on a single data point,” he advised. This approach urges operators to consider the broader context of user actions, enabling them to make more informed and effective decisions. By looking at the complete scenario, from the moment a vehicle is booked to when it’s returned, operators can identify patterns and root causes of behaviors, leading to more targeted and successful interventions.

Natalia added, “Understanding the barriers and motivations behind user behaviors is crucial. It’s not just about penalizing bad behavior or rewarding good behavior, but about understanding why these behaviors occur in the first place.” This strategic insight allows operators to design interventions that address the underlying causes of behaviors, rather than merely treating the symptoms.

The session wrapped up with key takeaways from each speaker. Natalia beautifully summarized, “Behavioral science is the crust and data is the chocolate,” emphasizing the complementary nature of these elements in shaping user behavior. Chris echoed this sentiment, urging operators to “try to get a full picture of incidents, not just work on a single data point,” highlighting the necessity of a nuanced understanding of user actions.

In essence, the interplay between behavioral science and technology in shared mobility is pivotal. By understanding and strategically influencing user behavior, operators can enhance both user experience and operational efficiency. This session has laid a strong foundation for further exploration into the dynamic field of shared mobility and behavioral insights, promising a future where technology and human behavior work in harmony to create seamless and efficient mobility solutions.

Stay tuned for the next edition of the “Mindshift to Modeshift” webinar series, where we will continue to explore innovative ways to transform transportation habits and create more sustainable cities.

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