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Micro-mobility is slowly becoming a preferred mode of transportation globally. Shared and self-service lightweight electric bikes and scooters provide people with an accessible, environmentally-friendly, and cost-effective transport solution.
Research shows that micro-mobility companies can make a greater impact by deploying cellular Internet of Things (IoT) - addressing safety challenges and optimizing operations. Micro-mobility operators can extend the fleet’s lifespan with cellular IoT.
They can introduce dynamic pricing options and asset tracking capabilities by optimizing more cost-efficient service logistics and diagnostics.
These three advantages, together, can create an annual value of up to $460,000 for an e-scooter operator in a single city if a fleet of 3,500 e-scooters and 1 million inhabitants are taken as a baseline.
As the “e” prefix, which stands for “electric,” indicates they are powered by batteries; it means they do not excuse pollution and are suitable for the planet. You could see them as IoT gadgets on wheels, less evident to the naked eye.
These vehicles have a satellite-based location retriever, a short-range Bluetooth or internet link for local functions, a cellular transmitter for cloud communication, user access setup and control and operator servicing and repair.
Besides, micro-mobility operators can set up safety zones with location-aware connected units, enforce low speeds, and recover abandoned scooters faster. Moreover, replacing cars with electric scooters can reduce CO2 emissions by 61%.
Maximizing the lifespan of electric scooters can minimize CO2 emissions by 6%. So you can see how cellular IoT is not just a stepping stone for micro-mobility companies but also offers them a way to improve and optimize their offerings.
Given that there is a necessity to build cities free from noise, traffic congestion, and pollution, we are sure cellular IoT will make it happen for everyone. Let us take a look at how micro-mobility can benefit from the technology:
Overview of micro-mobility: Some facts and figures
There has been an increase in use of micro-mobility equipment in the first- and last-mile delivery industries. Shared kick scooters, bicycles, golf carts, hobcarts, hoverboards, and micro cars are supporting the growth of the global IoT solutions market for micro-mobility.
Governments and consumers across the globe are being compelled to switch from conventional automobiles to micro-mobility vehicles as the latter helps address issues related to global climate change, urbanization, and rapid population increase.
The development of new climate-friendly transportation methods is essential to provide secure and fast assistance in commuting across cities. Technology, in particular, AI-powered computer vision, has a crucial role in fusing public and private interests in developing micro-mobility solutions as a long-term urban transit option.
These new means of transport will help address the challenges of traffic congestion, scarcity of parking space, and saturation in the automotive industry.
The market for IoT solutions for micro-mobility was pegged at $3.4 billion globally in 2020 and is anticipated to expand at a CAGR of 17.39% to reach $26.3 billion by 2031.
Micro-mobile manufacturers are investing heavily in R&D to make IoT-based hardware and software solutions. They collaborate with IoT solution providers to equip their micro-mobility fleets with IoT devices, making them easy to track and maintain. But how does IoT help in this scenario?
What happens when you combine IoT and micro-mobility?
According to the Connected Micro Mobility report by Ericsson, micro-mobility operators may optimize the performance of their fleets with more cost-effective service delivery and logistics.
Vehicle diagnostics help extend the life of fleets, enable asset monitoring, and conduct preventive maintenance. Fleet owners can generate revenue through IoT investments by precisely applying dynamic pricing to their products.
Additionally, micro-mobility firms can reduce dangers by creating safety zones, enforcing modest speeds, and recovering abandoned scooters thanks to location-aware connected units. The International Transport Forum claims that micro-mobility can sustainability contribute to safer and greener streets.
Manufacturers say electric scooters can cut CO2 emissions up to 60% in two years. By reducing city traffic, these technologically advanced vehicles make transit convenient and eco-friendly.
Secure IoT connection for micro-mobility operators
The companies that offer micro-mobility services have an implicit duty to protect their consumers and drivers. Installing appropriate IoT devices will enable businesses to quickly track the vehicles' whereabouts.
Secure IoT connection for micro-mobility operators
Integrating IoT-connected systems with vehicles helps improve rider, driver, and passenger safety. It also keeps track of the micro-mobility commuting route's health to prevent malfunctioning accidents.
Furthermore, IoT provides users with driving assistance, route guidance, emergency alerting capabilities, and real-time vehicle condition updates. Micro-mobility companies can use the information gathered by IoT devices to improve their product.
They are developing better products quickly and continuously to increase their chances of success. With the rising competition, they must find ways to extend the vehicle's lifespan to ensure each unit survives beyond the breakeven point.
They are focusing on raising the number of scooter rides per unit and increasing the number of rides between charges to eliminate extra costs. Secure connectivity is also a crucial aspect of growth. Without a scalable network provider, you run the danger of having to migrate hundreds of deployed micro-mobility vehicles to a different network.
It involves huge risk as the providers have physical access to the gadget. A scalable IoT network should accommodate an expanding fleet of cars and a growing area to be covered on the map. Choosing a worldwide IoT-based micro-mobility solution may be a better idea, but it also depends upon your business operations.
Global expansion can, for instance, be facilitated with cellular IoT connectivity. The cell towers and operator contracts worldwide make coverage possible through these networks. Micro-mobility services also have to face challenges related to public perception.
Some providers may have a bad reputation owing to how the equipment is being operated, parking when not in use, and the faceless nature of their services. By developing solutions that benefit passengers, brands may overcome unfavourable perceptions.
Providers can also reduce the perceived threat of micro-mobility vehicles by designing safe experiences for passengers. They can incorporate customer education in their campaigns to explain better equipment handling.
The usage of IoT technologies can help them deliver upon customer expectations and improve their positioning as a brand, thereby driving higher revenues.
The impact of IoT on micro-mobile companies
Micro-mobility equipment manufacturers can take advantage of IoT and the internet. The number of connected devices is rising with their use across various applications and domains.
IoT in security, transport, and environmental protection considerably assists market growth. IoT is among the most beneficial technological advancements across the globe. It offers scalability, security, and sustainability in its deployed industries.
Public transportation affects the economy as it assists in securely and affordably moving around people and goods. The last-mile link from home to the station or bus stop, and vice versa, represents a substantial gap in the use of public transportation.
First- and last-mile connectivity for commuters may be made possible through micro-mobility. IoT enables micro-mobility by addressing its significant concerns such as e-vehicles not being parked appropriately. Mobile connectivity enables micro-mobility businesses to track their connected equipment.
One can monitor the location, charge, and condition of assets remotely. Implementing policies to support active mobility becomes easier with IoT technology. It enables remote surveillance to ensure compliance with laws.
The technology helps reduce accidents by creating safety zones and supports enforcement of low speed. The location-aware connected units ensure they are used within the defined periphery only. The operators are alerted if they go beyond that periphery.
Additionally, by gathering important information on traffic patterns and commuting trends throughout a city, micro-mobility companies can help with thoughtful city planning and transit enhancement. Increased awareness around eco-friendly urban transportation is also being made possible by IoT cellular connectivity.
The Subscription-as-a-Service model benefits customers by providing them with an affordable transportation option with reduced environmental impact. Data sharing promotes dependability, transparency, and flexibility.
IoT solving problems faced by the micro-mobility industry
Despite the range of societal and personal benefits, micro-mobility operators face a growing list of challenges, including passenger safety issues and fleet management.
IoT solving problems of micro-mobility industry
Adding to that thought, here are a few significant ways that constant connectivity through IoT has fueled the popularity of micro-mobility:
1. Follow the state or city rules
With the rise in population and business competition, deploying a micro-mobility fleet is no longer easy. There are specific regulations to follow - depending on the city or state. Complying with these rules is often challenging but necessary.
Additionally, these rules have become stringent and require users to drive within the specified speed limit, parking regulations, and vehicle weight limits.
To ensure compliance, businesses must keep track of vehicle metrics, including speed, travel time, route, location, and parking. IoT gadgets such as GPS trackers and sensors can help achieve this.
It allows wireless operation and remote monitoring while abiding by the specific regulations of the city. The vehicle prompts users to stay within speed limits, drive according to traffic norms, and helps them track designated parking locations.
2. Share IoT-based data with the traffic authorities
The city traffic authorities require vehicle data to optimize traffic operations across the city. IoT-enabled micro-mobility vehicles can share the required details such as weather conditions, traffic patterns, driving routes, and speed limits with the traffic authorities.
IoT firms ensure the data is shared securely with the concerned authorities. Security concerns and software vulnerabilities are common because most micro-mobility operations take place through a mobile app, especially on electric bikes and scooters.
These faults result in numerous problems, including the ride ending in the middle of it, overcharging the passenger, improper route navigation, and so forth.
The micro-mobility service providers need to implement over-the-air firmware for enhancing their products, regularly updating the software and tracking its behavior to solve these problems. That is how it should be used!
3. Educate on good driving/riding practices
An intriguing benefit and application of IoT in micro-mobility. A few years ago, it was believed that technology could not be used to regulate or inculcate riding behavior. Guess, everyone was wrong!
Innovation in IoT - for instance - now allows automobile companies to remotely or wirelessly assist cyclists in bettering their riding habits.
The firm monitors the behavior of the cycles and how the rider controls them. Operators alert riders of discrepancies by sending notifications to the app or connected device.
For example, if a scooter is cutting the lane or wobbling, the internal IoT sensor detects that and tells the rider to ride in the street straight ahead. This function is also beneficial for inexperienced riders who are not fully aware of traffic rules.
4. Track your vehicles in real-time for greater safety
The companies that offer micro-mobility services are also accountable for keeping their drivers and passengers safe. The right IoT devices installed in the car make it very simple for businesses to monitor the whereabouts and activities of the vehicles.
Due to this, vehicle intelligence systems have been developed to increase rider, driver, and passenger safety when using a micro-mobility commute system.
The government's stricter regulations, the increase in traffic on the roads, and the daily rise in the number of traffic accidents are other elements that influence vehicle intelligence.
Therefore, IoT technologies would aid in guaranteeing a safe micro-mobility service. Sensors would monitor driver behavior and GPS trackers to identify the shortest and fastest way to reach the destinations.
5. Prevent and report vandalism and theft in your area
Technology must be leveraged to stop micro-mobile vehicle theft and/or damage. Thankfully, the operators can keep an eye on it with the aid of specific IoT sensors:
Prevent theft by monitoring the unusual user behavior during the drive and if a theft is detected, blocking wheels prevents the vehicle from being driven.
Remote monitoring of the vehicles in the parking location is possible and alerting authorities in the event of vandalism.
The power tracking function prevents the theft of a vehicle’s parts by automatically activating the kill switch upon detecting the loss of power supply in one or more components.
The micro-mobility equipment owner, the relevant traffic authorities, and the vehicle's occupant all receive direct access to this information in real-time. This creates a sense of calm amongst all parties and lets them use or optimize the vehicle the way it should.
6. Scale up the micro-mobility service with ease
Your product or service may fail if you do not scale it correctly. In addition, rather than scaling a single system, IoT technology scales the entire process, which includes operations, data processing, and the manufacturing capacity
Therefore, the focus must be on adding IoT features to your micro-mobile vehicles or equipment that would be exceptionally advantageous for operators and the users. Scaling may become difficult with the wrong vendor or someone who does not have enough expertise.
Therefore, it is advisable to work with a single IoT service provider, who completely understands the equipment and model. It will be easier for them to make design adjustments and software updates as required.
Types Of IoT-Based Air Quality Monitoring Solutions
What does the future hold for micro-mobility?
Beyond our current focus on developing new climate-friendly transportation methods, lies micro-mobility as a service. It aims to integrate dockless electric bikes and scooters in urban cities.
These vehicles use IoT-powered GPS trackers and sensors, which will help them locate parking spaces or charge stations. Technology, and AI-powered computer vision, in particular, have a crucial role to play in fusing public and private interests.
It will help build safer and more convenient vehicles, making micro-mobility a long-term urban transit option.
Another significant development is creating a micro-mobility servicing infrastructure platform. The sensors of IoT-driven devices help users identify parking spaces, find charging stations, and reserve a parking spot using apps on their mobile.
Along with other parameters, it also provides the distance traveled, the location of the closest charging station and the anticipated length and cost of the ride.
The information helps both users and companies that provide micro-mobility services. Manufacturers can use this information to continue developing and modifying their hardware and software to serve their users better.
Micro-mobility on its way to reshaping transportation with IoT
Yes, there is no doubt about that. You can now think of a more accessible and sustainable approach to transportation. It also creates new challenges, including safety issues, asset tracking, and diminishing vehicle life span.
The micro-mobility industry relies heavily on IoT connectivity, including its service layer. IoT offers more efficient service logistics thanks to real-time optimization, giving operational teams to focus time and energy where it matters the most.
The excellent news is Intuz designs and delivers a range of IoT tools and services for micro-mobility transportation. If you would like to know how we can make a difference to your business (and end-users), book your free consultation with us.