Environment friendly UMaaS commuting choices that are inexpensive, accessible, and scalable are the need of the hour.
Yulu, a popular a technology-driven mobility platform, provides an eco-friendly UMaaS (Urban Mobility as a Service) for the first mile, last mile, and short distance commute. The platform has developed a vertical stack needed to run its electric vehicles (EV) fleet. Yulu uses several emerging technologies, such as Internet of Things (IoT), Machine Learning (ML) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) to deliver a seamless experience via a user-friendly app. Through this innovative platform, vehicles can be rented on a pay-per-use basis, and users can book a ride via the iOS or Android app and unlock smart bikes through QR codes. In an interview with Geospatial World, Yulu CEO Amit Gupta advocates the inclusion of micro-mobility systems in smart cities of the future.
Can you share a few emerging trends in urban mobility?
This year presents us with the opportunity to optimize and strengthen our current mobility systems. Increasingly, cities and organizations are focusing on emerging technologies and innovative mobility solutions to aid achieve this goal. Some of the emerging trends in urban mobility include:
· Promotion of public transport system;
· Leveraging technological advancements; and
· Penetration of Non-Motorized Transport (NMT) systems in the urban transportation paradigm
How has the COVID-19 pandemic impacted the transportation sector, and how will this alter commuting patterns globally?
The transportation industry has been one of Covid’s main victims, with an economic impact on everyone — from rickshaw drivers to personal transit owners. According to the International Energy Agency, India’s national lockdown lowered energy consumption by over 30%. There has been a requirement to keep the transportation system operational for key responders, such as hospital staff, essential administration workforce, grocery staff, etc. EVs have garnered a lot of support in terms of government emphasis, as the world is shifting to green and clean technologies. In 2020, EV sales increased because of the government’s financial incentives and a push to reduce growing pollution. During lockdown and city curfews, customers continued to show confidence in Yulu as their preferred mode of
transportation. Since these e-bikes are easy to operate, they become a safe and equitable mode for riders with our safety and sanitization protocol and two-point contact vehicles. When businesses all across the country suffered due to lockdowns, Yulu experienced growth, and played a vital part in helping Covid warriors.
What are the factors that will drive the shared micro mobility segment in the future?
By definition, micro mobility refers to a range of small, lightweight vehicles operating at speeds typically below 25 km/h, mostly by individual drivers. The pandemic has been a game changer, bringing renewed attention to EVs and shared micro mobility as it is affordable and eco-friendly. But for shared micro mobility alternatives to develop, it is important to synergize with existing mobility infrastructure so that customers get a flexible transit ridership ecosystem. Following are the factors that will drive the shared micro mobility segment in the future:
Affordability — Opting for sustainable transit options don’t just save the environment but also save people’s pockets by not making a huge hole for reasons as essential as commuting. This is a major reason why people these days are more interested and inclined towards the micro-mobility industry.
Convenience — The traffic on the highways in India decreased by 90% as soon as the government established the national pandemic protocol. On the flip side, we only witnessed a 10-15% decrease in electric bike usage. Since Yulu is easily accessible, one can not only move from first mile to last securely, but also on time and without any inconvenience.
Smart city planning — Cities are planning towards an effective and efficient look and functioning. Interactive shared mobility has come to be of utmost importance for first mile and last mile connectivity, in cohesion with mass transport systems. The inclusion of micro mobility systems leads to the direct addition of how a smart city can be planned.
MaaS — Mobility service providers are ensuring safety through sanitization and routine check-ups which shall be a relief to all the people who have to move out of their houses to run errands. Mobility service providers are making sure that they do the most to withstand the trust that people have on them.
How are geospatial data and technologies powering urban mobility?
India’s Department of Science and Technology stated that “liberalizing the mapping business and democratizing existing datasets would drive local innovation and enable Indian enterprises to participate in the global mapping ecosystem by utilizing current geospatial technologies.” Geospatial data includes natural or man-made, real and imagined features, whether above or below the Earth. Borders, sites of interest, natural occurrences, mobility data, weather patterns, and other statistical information are all elements of geospatial data.
These high technologies give a lot of power to urban mobile options and push them on the path to work better for not just consumers but also the environment, by being aware of the best possible solutions to the existing problems and being prepared for the challenges ahead.
How can we achieve sustainable urban mobility?
In most Indian cities, air pollution has risen dramatically in recent years. In 2019, 21 of the 30 most polluted cities in the world were in India. Every year, 2 million Indians die prematurely because of polluted air. There has been growing consciousness amongst citizens to demand and adapt more sustainable ways of transportation, as car emissions are one of the leading causes of air pollution. Hence, environment friendly UMaaS commuting choices that are inexpensive, accessible, and scalable are the need of the hour.
With respect to the mobility industry there are upgrades in infrastructure, as charging docks become a common feature for the electric vehicles on road for the ease of consumers. Keeping in view how essential sustainability is at the moment to our environment and the way it concerns people, the government has been doing a tremendous effort by giving Investment incentives to the people so they can initiate and invest in this industry. On the other hand, there are tax redemptions as well for these business owners and consumers, who make the choice of opting for sustainable mobility alternatives.