The transportation industry is in a state of flux owing to ever-evolving technologies. New mobility services powered by emerging technologies are becoming a key driver of growth and profitability in the industry. A company which stands prominent in offering the only mobility solution that powers carsharing, ridesharing, car rentals, and autonomous mobility services—from a single integrated platform is Ridecell. In a recent interaction with Analytics Insight, Mark Thomas, Vice President of Alliances and Marketing at Ridecell outlines the current trends in the new mobility services market and the company’s strategic plans in the times ahead.
1. Kindly brief us about Ridecell, its specialization and the services it offers.
Ridecell is a new mobility cloud provider which powers all types of new mobility. With Ridecell, customers are able to power carsharing and ridehailing services and well as autonomous ridehailing services. Ridecell also has the Auro autonomous platform for autonomous driving. This platform is optimized for today’s near-term use cases for autonomous driving with Level 4 low-speed use cases.
2. With what mission and objectives, the company was set up? In short, tell us about your journey since the foundation of the company?
Ridecell was founded in 2009 as a company designed to help you get a “ride” with your “cell”-phone. It’s been focused on new mobility since its inception. Since our foundation, we have run a ridesharing service in San Francisco with 2500 drivers and have been powering more than 20 company’s new mobility needs. In 2015, we extended our platform to accommodate carsharing in addition to ridehailing and have the world’s only platform that lets operators run carsharing and ridehailing sharing on a single fleet of vehicles.
3. Mention some of the awards, achievements and recognition that you feel are notable and valuable for the company.
Ridecell has won awards from Red Herring, SXSW, TU Automotive and LA Automobility recognizing it as one of the top innovative new mobility companies. We have worked with lighthouse customers such as BMW, Renault, VW and AAA. Strategy Analytics and SBD automotive both recognized Ridecell as the leading new mobility company.
4. Brief us about the proactive Founder/CEO of the company and his contributions towards the company and the industry.
Aarjav Trivedi founded the company in 2009 with the vision of finding a way to utilize all of the empty space in vehicles and turning that into transportation for people. He founded the company in Atlanta but moved it to Silicon Valley once the company realized that to grow and be a part of the venture community, San Francisco would be a preferable location. Aarjav consistently sees the future of new mobility and was recognized by TU Automotive as automotive influencer of the year.
5. Tell us how your company is contributing in the Artificial Intelligence/Self-Driving Vehicles industry of the nation.
Autonomous driving is disruptive, but on its own, without new mobility, it could be categorized as a next-generation cruise control. Combined with new mobility, it will become the pillar of the transformation of society from vehicle ownership to using shared mobility. Ridecell focused on building the on-demand transportation platform that will scale from driven to driverless to help companies achieve a successful shared mobility platform. Our Auro autonomous tech can be used for near-term use cases to support carsharing. Carsharing use cases include using autonomous tech to reposition vehicles at night to locations where they will be in high demand for customers in the morning. Additionally, they could be used to valet deliver a car to a driver, and then valet park the car, while letting the customer drive themselves while using the car.
6. Kindly share your point of view on the current scenario of the Big Data Analytics and its future.
Big data analytics in carsharing involves making the operations run much smoother and more affordably. With big data, we know precisely where demand for vehicles will be and can reposition the fleet to best meet that demand. We also can use it for prognostics and predictive maintenance for the vehicles preventing unwanted vehicle downtime. Big data analytics for transportation will be used at a macro level to optimize public transit and, multi-modal travel, and carpooling to help increase the density of people in vehicles. If we continue to put only one person in one car, we will end up with traffic Armageddon. Big data will allow us to efficiently combine people in vehicles who share similar destinations. Increasing the density of people in vehicles, and overall reducing the carbon footprint of travel.
7. What is your biggest USP that diﬀerentiates the company from competitors?
There are many carsharing platform companies. There are no carsharing companies that also power ridesharing and autonomous ridehailing solutions. In the future, carsharing will morph into autonomous ridehailing as the fleet of cars gets autonomously enabled. More and more companies are entering the carsharing market in order to be prepared for autonomous ridehailing. That market is expected to be worth $9 trillion in overall market capitalization for all new mobility companies. (vs $1.4 trillion for a total market cap of automotive OEMs car businesses.) This is a huge opportunity. Ridecell is the only company with the new mobility cloud that will scale to power this new opportunity.
8. What’s your growth plans for the next 12 months?
Ridecell has a slew of strategic partners who are investors in our B round of funding. We are working with Penske, Cox Automotive, DENSO, DB and Mitsui. In partnerships with these companies, we are working to develop an ecosystem of services to help scale new mobility operations. We are also working with Tier 1 suppliers including DENSO and auto OEMs to develop carsharing vehicles that can be ordered from the car manufacturer ready to be deployed into a carsharing fleet.