Yesterday I had the pleasure of being interviewed by Cheddar TV. Their big takeaway was that Ridecell lets anyone run their own Uber. That’s absolutely true, but Ridecell isn’t recommending this approach. Uber is sustaining dramatic losses as it strives to open new markets and recruit more drivers. Instead of following in their footsteps, businesses that want to enter the estimated $1 trillion market in mobility services (ABI research estimates by 2030) are preparing by launching carsharing services—rather than ridesharing or ridehailing services.
The best path to the autonomous future is not to compete with Uber but to start a carsharing service instead.
Why carsharing? Two reasons:
1. Carsharing provides the best preparation for the day when ridesharing vehicles no longer have drivers. In the autonomous future, the expertise in recruiting and retaining drivers will be irrelevant. What will matter will be experience managing a fleet of vehicles. With carsharing services, the operators manage all aspects of maintaining the fleet: cleaning, repairs, charging EVs, and even towing if the car should break down.
2. Carsharing can be profitable in the near-term future. You don’t have to burn billions to get ready for the autonomous future. Over the past 10 years of carsharing, the industry has learned a lot. For example, we’ve learned that consumers prefer free-floating carsharing services, where they can use cars for one-way rides, over station-based carsharing. We also understand that the demand peaks for carsharing are very different from ridesharing peaks. That’s important information, because it means you can use one fleet across multiple service models. For example, you can use the same vehicles for carsharing in the day and for ridesharing in the evening. And because you’re getting much higher utilization on your most valuable assets, your mobility service will turn a profit faster.
Ridecell makes the platform that lets companies enter the new mobility market. By launching a modern free-floating carsharing service and adding on ridesharing, station-based carsharing, and even counterless valet-delivered car rentals, Ridecell customers can use one fleet of vehicles for multiple mobility services. The best path to the autonomous future is not to compete with Uber but to start a carsharing service – and to build the expertise that will matter most when ridesharing vehicles no longer have drivers.
Author: Mark Thomas, VP of Marketing, Ridecell