Welcome to the latest installment of The Mobility Briefing. It has been another fast-paced few weeks in the world of mobility and startups, with Dubai announcing an ambitious strategy for driverless cars; female-only ride-shares set to take off in Australia; and AI making a potentially game-changing impact on car-sharing.
Driverless Dubai: Emirate outlines bold plan for autonomous cars by 2030
Dubai has revealed an ambitious new strategy that aims to make 25% of all car journeys in the emirate autonomous by 2030. The Dubai Smart Autonomous Mobility Strategy is part of a wider initiative to make the city’s transport infrastructure greener and safer.
“Dubai’s ambitious new strategy aims to make 25% of all car journeys in the emirate autonomous by 2030″
As a part of the strategy, the emirate’s Roads and Transport Authority bought 200 electric vehicles from Tesla. The cars are equipped with “semi-autonomous” software and will be used as luxury taxis.
Car-sharing company to use AI to improve app
Turo, a peer-to-peer car-sharing platform, has teamed up with data management company Yhat to improve its app offering with AI. The move will allow Turo’s app to display data-driven pricing and vehicle recommendations based on user behaviour.
“Turo is an example of a company that has actually brought data science to life, which is evident when you use their app”
Speaking to the Drum, Austin Ogilvie, CEO and co-founder of Yhat, said: “Customer-level data is everywhere, which gives companies an incredible opportunity to serve their customers in a more tailored, personalised way. The challenge is finding a way to convert that into a strategic function.”
Girls allowed: female only ride-share set to launch in Australia
Almost 400 drivers have signed up to drive for Shebah, the Australian female-only ride-share app, with a further 820 applications in progress. The service will soon be available in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Geelong and the Gold Coast.
“I looked at how few female Uber drivers there are, and I’ve never personally had a female cabbie.”
Georgina McEncroe, founder of Shebah, told ABC News that the idea came about after hearing her teenage daughter’s stories of unwanted hassle from taxi drivers. “I certainly felt in my gut that female-only ridesharing was a viable idea,” she added.
Millions secured for Cornish transport hub
West Cornwall is set to get a new multimodal transport hub as £5.4 million of European funding is made available. The hub will connect rail, bus, and park and ride facilities in the region.
“It will provide a modern public transport focus that will be a key part of the new single public transport system for Cornwall, and will alleviate traffic pressures on St Ives and the surrounding villages”
The investment, provided by the EU, is set for completion in summer 2018.
UK fleet service launches new app
Fleet Service Great Britain (FSGB) has launched a new app designed to increase support for the company’s drivers. Using the app, drivers and the support team will now be connected in real-time on a 24/7 basis.
“We have been trialling the app in readiness for driver adoption and recognise that it not only delivers a high level of convenience for the driver but is also reassuring for compliance”
Drivers will also be able to report incidents – including breakdowns – via GPS; update vehicle mileage; review a vehicle’s lifetime and book a vehicle in for servicing and repairs. The company, which now boasts a fleet of 7,000 vehicles, is soon to celebrate its second anniversary.
Taiwan trials smart parking in city of Tainan
Tainan, a city in southern Taiwan, has unveiled a new smart parking management system that enables drivers to find parking spaces through real-time information and an app.
“Vehicles looking for parking lots account for 30% of traffic flow”
The initiative is a collaboration between computer manufacturers Acer Inc., Tainan University of Applied Sciences, and the Tainan City government. It will eventually be rolled out to other Taiwanese cities.
Indian startups ‘need more support to thrive’
A new report has stated that startups in India need more support from the government if they are to succeed. Incorporation, fundraising and hiring were highlighted as particular areas of concern.
“There are a number of challenges for Indian startups, from the stage of incorporation through the stages of raising capital, hiring resources, scaling up and making an exit”
The report, compiled by FICCI, goes onto suggest that the government should be providing more incentives to encourage investors in order to cultivate India’s developing startup scene.
People power: The most important aspect of choosing an accelerator
A prominent startup expert has advised young businesses to pick an accelerator based on the people who run it. Miklos Grof, director of Gust and CEO of Fundacity, said that this was “probably the most important thing” to consider when picking the right accelerator.
“They are the people that you will interact with day-to-day, who will be your mentors, and your biggest support when it comes to fundraising”
Writing in a guest post for Forbes, Grof also highlighted location, industry, stage focus, size, brand and investment terms as part of his seven top tips for startups.
UK entrepreneur hub generates £3.2 million in revenue
A startup hub in Milton Keynes has helped generate turnover of £3.2 million in revenue in 2016, supporting 72 local businesses and creating 55 jobs in the process.
“The stats are truly mind-blowing and we’ve enabled our entrepreneurs to create real jobs, huge turnover and significant investment”
The results of the hub, located in Silbury Boulevard, have been dubbed “mind-blowing” by Lucy-Rose Walker, CEO of Entrepreneurial Spark, who also hailed the impact that entrepreneurs are having on the UK economy.