Smart Use of Machine Learning Makes for Winning Combination for City and Shared Mobility Operators

August 5th, 2019 | by Fran Thorpe, Director of Product Marketing and Alistair Adams, Director of Product Marketing | Posted in: Insight on Things


Free-floating carsharing services are finding their way to city streets across North America, Europe and Asia. By offering city residents and visitors a way to reduce carbon footprint and access less expensive transportation options, they have generally been welcomed as a positive economic and environmental solution

Yet in some cases, carsharing has been derided by residents as creating an eyesore using up scarce street parking resources.

Eyesore or a business opportunity? 

The reality though is that as an asset in a successful free-floating service, a vehicle does not spend much time parked on a curb in any neighborhood. The chart below illustrates a well-managed services addresses demand fluctuation across a day and week. High-utilization is great. But as the smart operators have learnt, optimal performance requires efficiently managing the lows.

Time of day multiple mobility services

A principal tenant of the Ridecell High-yield Shared MobilityTM platform is simple: enhance revenue from a shared mobility fleet by maximizing its usage at any given time. The key is offering different types of mobility services to accommodate both corporate and personal use scenarios and in parallel adjusting pricing dynamically to reduce idle or parked time.

Capture maximum use: A better way to do corporate Carsharing 

 The Ridecell platform can be used for Corporate Carsharing. It can be easily configured to support on-demand, scheduled, or both options. But such a pure corporate carsharing solution still doesn’t make the best use of vehicles. They sit idle at the weekend. There can be seasonal variances. There may be times when there are not enough resulting in user frustration. Too many and the fleet is underutilized, and cost savings evaporate. 

 The solution, configurable with the Ridecell Platform, combines corporate carsharing with a public free-floating fleet. In the Ridecell Platform, a car sharing service can be thought of as the quartet of pricing, vehicles, users and service regions. It’s very easy to create a public and a corporate service from the same fleet. Carve out some vehicles for exclusive corporate use. Detect a shortage of vehicles for scheduled rental? Easy, move some over from the public fleet. No use for vehicles at the weekend? Easy again, make them available to the public free-floating service. Or even give allow corporate users access to the public fleet at corporate rates.

Multiple mobility services

Employees can use the vehicles during the day for company use and when out of work hours pay with their own payment card for their own personal use. Pricing configuration allows personal use to be charged at the standard public or at a discounted rate depending on the relationship between the corporation and the carshare operator.   

Capture maximum value: Machine learning delivers the best price at the right time

Dynamic pricing is a critical piece of the puzzle, ensuring available vehicle supply is priced to meet demand in real-time. Our intelligent High-yield Shared Mobility platform allows operators to reduce their fleet idle or parked time by adjusting pricing based on the forecasted demand–off-peak or peak.

Machine learning makes this possible by combining our supply-demand algorithms and our new Time-of-day, Day-of-week pricing feature. 

Previously, operators could only adjust pricing manually, therefore irregularly. With our time-of-day, day-of-week feature, operators can now automate the pricing configuration to reduce downtime. Discounted, off-peak pricing can be set to attract users during known low-utilization periods while peak-hour pricing can be set to capture maximum value. 

Our flexible platform is designed to serve our customers’ unique business needs, but in each instance we aim at increasing their operational efficiency, fleet utilization and customer experience as these are the three constant profit drivers. With the right balance, there will be no complaints about parked cars.

Author: Fran Thorpe, Director of Product Marketing, Ridecell and Alistair Adams, Director of Product Marketing, Ridecell

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