For this month’s #PartnerSpotlight series, we are exploring how different mobility service models – subscription, ride hailing and car sharing – can be brought together with the help of the right technology. LAUNCH MOBILITY works in bringing these innovative business models to life.
Launch Mobility is a technology platform for running mobility-as-a-service operations. Its end-to-end solution includes mobile user apps, fleet and customer management tools, connected car integrations, payment management, and a sophisticated analytics engine for managing all the data your service generates. Launch Mobility is basically tech for all mobility services.
Partner Spotlight: Launch Mobility
Where does it fit in the urban mobility space?
The platform is quite flexible. With a modular architecture it helps operators to target specific needs by taking away the technology constraints while not compromising functionality. The world of shared mobility is changing and since the pandemic has been doing so in shorter innovation cycles and a need for faster go-to-market targets. By focusing on keeping the platform flexible, Launch has become the ideal partner for operators looking to run experiments with business models because they do that faster, gaining real world experience, and quickly scaling their solutions. It’s not just about creating new business, but about providing the ideal solution to solve mobility problems in cities right now. Not problems that have been existing for some time, and problems that don’t have the luxury to go through research, new technology development and testing.
The platform integrates with a wide range of mobility and productivity apps that enhance the customer and operator experience. The team also helps from designing the solution to delivering live customer support.
Typically the mobility business has CAPEX, OPEX and financial modeling needs to get things right before and after the launch of a service. How does Launch Mobility’s solution help in this front?
Operators work with Launch Mobility because they have a unique business plan to execute – one that needs to stand out from the rest. However, building a scalable technology platform from scratch (and getting it right) will take many years and cost millions. Other platform providers deliver standardized solutions that can limit a business’s competitive advantage. Instead, Launch Mobility partners with operators to deliver highly customized technology solutions in a fraction of the time and at a fraction of the cost to build.
That’s the benefit in the capital expenditures side. Speaking of operational costs, Launch Mobility’s platform is developed as a direct response to years of running high-utilization electric car share fleets. For example, the Mission Control fleet-and-customer management tool is specifically designed to improve the support experience of end consumers. With so much focus on fleet management, customer support goes overlooked, but it’s a key driver of a service’s success. Mission Control ensures agents can quickly access all the information they need to support their customers and keep them on the road. One of Launch’s clients was able to improve the efficiency of their service team by nearly 300% through Mission Control.
Let’s talk about the forecasting and planning stage. Launch developed a number of predictive modeling tools and microservices to ensure that operators deploy their fleets optimally – doing it right at the first time. Launch’s forecasting and optimization tools help customers:
- Forecast demand and plan for growth
- Right-size and deploy their fleet to optimal locations
- Allocate vehicles to maximize capacity for increased utilization
- Provide recommendations for optimal maintenance scheduling
Launch Mobility has been in the subscription space even before the pandemic. How would you define this business model and what are the intricacies to consider?
Subscriptions are month-to-month (or week-to-week) alternatives to buying or leasing your own vehicle. The big benefit is convenience. Subscriptions became extremely popular in 2020, when COVID pushed consumers away from mass transit and toward personal vehicles. As cities and other shared mobility advocates wanted to avoid a new wave of Carpocalypse, mobility operators worldwide experimented with longer term rentals and subscriptions.
Launch Mobility’s subscription solution supports a range of features that complement these more nuanced and larger transactions. For example, a customer may want to compare photos, specs, and condition levels between vehicles before selecting one. On the other hand, operators may choose to run credit checks on their customers, or even set pricing dynamically based on the consumer’s credit rating tier. The service may benefit from offering options, for example a helmet for your bike or home delivery for $100 more. Subscription combines all the customization options of a purchase with no need to ever visit a dealership or the hassles of ownership. It offers the ideal flexibility for users between having unpredictable or higher demand for vehicles and having the option to not own a vehicle for years. Simply put, it’s as convenient as food delivery and priced as affordably as your Netflix account.
How does Launch’s solution help solve end-user (driver) and city (regulatory) pain points?
Personal vehicle ownership as we know it today is financially inefficient and environmentally unsustainable; it perpetuates inequities in our communities and clutters our cities. In order to provide vulnerable communities with the same freedom of movement that otherwise only wealthier, better connected communities enjoy, cities need access-based affordable yet convenient mobility solutions. Launch Mobility provides the technology platform for public or private operators to develop access-based mobility services.
Access-based mobility also provides an incredible opportunity to promote the transition from gasoline to electric vehicles. As an example, Launch Mobility works with car share operators, subscription services and ride hail companies to make zero emission vehicles available to ride hail drivers on an hourly, daily, or weekly basis. In doing so, drivers are given access not only to a clean energy vehicle (a ZEV), but also a job. We’re shifting some of the highest-mileage drivers from gasoline to electric miles. In some cases, delivery drivers are able to downsize from a 5-seat passenger vehicle to an electric delivery scooter that takes a fraction of the space parked on city streets. By flipping the model from ownership to access, we’re empowering communities with EVs as tools for economic gain, while also driving the adoption of these clean technologies. After all, ZEVs will see accelerated adoption only when larger fleet applications become feasible.
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