Do You Have the Next Big Idea for Shared Mobility in Indian Cities? Apply Now to the New Mobility Accelerator
India New Mobility Accelerator

Emerging businesses are transforming the shared mobility space in Mumbai and other Indian cities, providing last-mile connectivity and improving efficiency. Photo by Benoit Colin/Flickr.

Across the world, young and dynamic businesses are leveraging technology to improve last-mile connectivity and deliver more efficient mobility solutions. While access to on-demand services like Uber and Ola has often made commuting in cities more convenient, it is unclear whether it has done much to reduce the amount of vehicles on Indian roads. By 2025, the number of vehicles is estimated to grow globally by an astounding 150 percent. In India alone, the number of cars in India will increase to about 35 cars per 1,000 population by 2025. This would amount to approximately 45–60 million cars on the road and in some cities more than 300 cars per 1,000 people.

This exponential growth will have tremendous impact on energy consumption, air pollution, road safety, congestion and equity—impacts that many cities are already witnessing. Innovative businesses involved with car share, vanpool, electric and autonomous vehicles and public transit apps (and more) can play a key role in offering and encouraging sustainable transport options. However, these entrepreneurial initiatives often do not operate in an appropriate regulatory environment or with the financial support needed to scale up.

Based on the success of the Rickshaw Rising Challenge, which offered entrepreneurs business, technical and financial support and created an impact on the entire auto-rickshaw ecosystem, the New Mobility Accelerator is designed to support new and innovative early-stage shared mobility businesses that are providing mobility-as-a-service and transforming urban transport in India. Organized by WRI India Sustainable Cities in partnership with CIIE, and supported by Shell Foundation and Hewlett Foundation, the New Mobility Accelerator will help businesses build a strong value proposition and enable them to access funding to scale. The idea is to change the greater business and investment community’s perception by demonstrating that shared mobility entrepreneurs can scale and serve as profitable business models. This will spur new business, investment, and innovation by the private sector.

To participate, click here and submit the form before or by March 7, 2016 (at midnight).

The Growth of Shared Mobility

In August 2015, Uber and Lyft reported that in San Francisco, almost 50 percent of Uber rides were made with UberPool, and 60 percent of Lyft rides were made with Lyft Line. The rise of shared trips and vehicles through platforms like UberPool, Bla Bla Cars, Ola Shuttle, and Zoomcar is clear evidence that personal mobility is undergoing a transformative shift globally—moving away from private ownership and towards models that provide people with a range of service options. A new focus on shared resources is making transport systems more efficient and generating new business opportunities. In fact, research shows that ‘the global market for shared vehicles and mobility offerings is estimated to grow as much as 35 percent a year through 2020.’

Technology as an Enabler

Shared mobility is a relatively old idea in India, with shared taxis available in Mumbai since the early 1970s. However, the model has not scaled until now. Only in recent years have innovative business models and advanced technology (e.g. smartphones) helped to reduce costs and enable people to connect instantaneously.

Globally, the world is witnessing a paradigm shift in consumption patterns, with people moving from ownership to access. This trend is visible across markets and the consumer peer-to-peer rental market globally is pegged to be a US $26 billion business opportunity. Even traditional car manufacturers like Daimler and BMW have acquired car share companies, Car2Go and DriveNow. Additionally, the high costs of parking and insurance are acting as deterrents to private car ownership, leading to greater demand for shared services and acceptance of shared alternatives.

New Research Points toward the Future of Shared Mobility

WRI India Sustainable Cities has conducted extensive research and interviews with more than 60 mobility businesses in India to identify five key new mobility trends: shared mobility, on-demand mobility, commuter experience, connected mobility, and product innovation. The research took an in-depth look into each trend to highlight market demand, business models, pipelines, regulatory challenges, and transactions. The results are bringing to light the widespread and growing shared mobility space and the need to support these emerging enterprises.

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