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IPhone central in Apple’s automotive solution, says Frost & Sullivan’s Mobility Team

IPhone central in Apple’s automotive solution, says Frost & Sullivan’s Mobility Team

Apple is secretive about Project Titan, its alleged future mobility program. However, considering the recent hiring spree of automotive experts, patent publications related to connected car technology, and the $10 billion spent on research and development, Apple is expected to offer connected, autonomous and shared mobility solution.

Frost & Sullivan’s Scenario Analysis of Apple’s Strategy to Enter the Car Industry discusses the possible products and/or services that Apple could offer through “Project Titan.” The analysis also explores the rationale behind Apple’s interest in the automotive industry and details the most probable service and/or product that is Apple is expected to release by 2021.

“Apple has a long way ahead before its autonomous vehicle becomes a reality. With automotive and technology companies working together to build autonomous cars, Apple is expected to face fierce competition when it launches its product(s)/service(s),” said Frost & Sullivan Mobility Research Analyst Ajay Natteri. In addition, growth could be hindered in initial years by customer fear of fully autonomous vehicles, existing laws for autonomous car use and accident liability issues.

“Apple’s entry into the automotive industry will help it complete its ecosystem, comprising devices software, cloud storage, and home kit thereby, offering seamless access to personal data both at home and on the move,” noted Natteri. “Its acquisition of companies in the field of artificial intelligence and machine learning indicates interest in creating a service solution for the automotive industry that could revolve around the iPhone.”

Click here(https://goo.gl/7RQ5D9) for complimentary access to more information this analysis and to register for a Growth Strategy Dialogue, a free interactive briefing with Frost & Sullivan thought leaders.

  • What is Apple’s strategy in the autonomous field? And what role plays the IPhone?
West Midlands opens new Whim/MaaS system

West Midlands opens new Whim/MaaS system

According to Smarthighways.net West, travellers in the West Midlands could soon benefit from a new integrated transport system allowing them to access multi-modal ‘Mobility as a Service’ (MaaS) via their smartphones.

The service Whim, by the MaaS operator MaaS Global, will be launched in the West Midlands metropolitan area soon.  The launch follows a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) by the West Midlands Combined Authority, transport service providers National Express and SilverRail, Birmingham City Council and MaaS Global.  Other transport companies will be welcomed onboard the Whim service in the future.

The alliance says the MaaS concept means looking after people’s daily mobility needs with a single service, which can be used either on a subscription or pay-as-you-go basis. It believes that in West Midlands, MaaS can transform how over 5.5 million people get from A to B – including commuters in Britain’s second most populous city, Birmingham. Kaj Pyyhtiä, the Co-Founder and CXO of MaaS Global, sees enormous potential in the region saying, “This is an incredibly exciting location for us to start our first international operation. With their open and forward looking approach, Transport for West Midlands, and local transport service providers from National Express and SilverRail to Enterprise are the true enablers of bringing MaaS to the UK. The ongoing support of Transport Systems Catapult has also been invaluable – we simply couldn’t have found better partners.”

The world’s first capital region MaaS service is already in operation in Helsinki, Finland, where MaaS Global has launched the Whim mobile app – initially for a limited group of test users. Whim, which will be released in Birmingham and West Midlands metropolitan area in the spring, will integrate public transport, hire cars, taxis, trains, bikes and more to take people door to door as easily as possible.  MaaS Global says it has proven immensely popular in Finland, with a growing list of users on the waiting list before this year’s public launch.

The MoU commits all the signed parties to develop MaaS in West Midlands, with a shared goal to build an attractive, comprehensive and convenient service with long-term viability. Councillor Roger Lawrence, lead member for transport for the WMCA, see MaaS as a great idea to encourage people to consider how they get about other than with the private car. “Mobility as a Service can transform how people get about this region and by doing so help free up our roads and tackle the scourge of congestion which costs this region billions of pounds a year,” he said.

  • West Midlands Combined Authority and MaaS Global are both members of the MaaS Alliance.
Davos launchpad for new ‘Hydrogen Council’

Davos launchpad for new ‘Hydrogen Council’

Thirteen leading energy, transport and industry companies have today launched a global initiative to voice a united vision and long-term ambition for hydrogen to foster the energy transition.

In the first global initiative of its kind, the ‘Hydrogen Council’ is determined to position hydrogen among the key solutions of the energy transition. Hydrogen is a versatile energy carrier with favourable characteristics since it does not release any CO2 at the point of use as a clean fuel or energy source, and can play an important role in the transition to a clean, low-carbon, energy system. Hydrogen technologies and products have significantly progressed over past years and are now being introduced to the market. The Council will work with, and provide recommendations to, a number of key stakeholders such as policy makers, business and hydrogen players, international agencies and civil society to achieve these goals.

During the launch, members of the ‘Hydrogen Council’ confirmed their ambition to accelerate their significant investment in the development and commercialization of the hydrogen and fuel cell sectors. These investments currently amount to an estimated total value of €1.4 Bn/year1. This acceleration will be possible if the key stakeholders increase their backing of hydrogen as part of the future energy mix with appropriate policies and supporting schemes.

Meeting in Davos for the first time, the ‘Hydrogen Council’ is currently made up of 13 CEOs and Chairpersons from various industries and energy companies committed to help achieve the ambitious goal of reaching the 2 degrees Celsius target as agreed in the 2015 Paris Agreement. The international companies currently involved are: Air Liquide, Alstom, Anglo American, BMW GROUP, Daimler, ENGIE, Honda, Hyundai Motor, Kawasaki, Royal Dutch Shell, The Linde Group, Total and Toyota. The Council is led by two Co-Chairs from different geographies and sectors, currently represented by Air Liquide and Toyota.

“The 2015 Paris Agreement to combat climate change is a significant step in the right direction but requires business action to be taken to make such a pledge a reality. The Hydrogen Council brings together some of the world’s leading industrial, automotive and energy companies with a clear ambition to explain why hydrogen emerges among the key solutions for the energy transition, in the mobility as well as in the power, industrial and residential sectors, and therefore requires the development of new strategies at a scale to support this. But we cannot do it alone. We need governments to back hydrogen with actions of their own – for example through large-scale infrastructure investment schemes. Our call today to world leaders is to commit to hydrogen so that together we can meet our shared climate ambitions and give further traction to the emerging Hydrogen ecosystem.” Benoît Potier, CEO, Air Liquide.

“The Hydrogen Council will exhibit responsible leadership in showcasing hydrogen technology and its benefits to the world. It will seek collaboration, cooperation and understanding from governments, industry and most importantly, the public. At Toyota, we have always tried to play a leading role in environmental and technological advances in the automotive industry, including through the introduction of fuel cell vehicles. Moreover, we know that in addition to transportation, hydrogen has the potential to support our transition to a low carbon society across multiple industries and the entire value chain. The Hydrogen Council aims to actively encourage this transition.” Takeshi Uchiyamada, Chairman, Toyota.

“Zero emission technologies are an integral part of Daimler’s powertrain strategy. Besides plug-in-hybrids and vehicles equipped with 48-volt-systems our portfolio will feature more than ten fully electric vehicles in the passenger car segment alone by 2025. Fuel cell technology has a huge potential for the energy and mobility sector. The benefits for us are obvious: a long operating range and short refuelling stops as well as a broad spectrum of possible uses ranging from passenger cars to urban buses. We strongly continue to pursue our goal of bringing the next generation fuel cell electric vehicles on the market. We will unveil the Mercedes-Benz GLC F-CELL already this year”. Jochen Hermann, Vice President Electrics/Electronics & E-Drive Development at Daimler AG.

A report entitled ‘How Hydrogen empowers the energy transition,’ commissioned by the Hydrogen Council – further details this future potential that hydrogen is ready to provide, and sets out the vision of the Council and the key actions it considers fundamental for policy makers to implement, to fully unlock and empower the contribution of hydrogen to the energy transition.

As global companies from major energy and industrial sectors, it is part of the corporate responsibility to provide solutions to manage the energy transition and move forward to a low-carbon, sustainable economy: joint action is required to tackle this formidable challenge. This is why we invite governments and key society stakeholders to also acknowledge the contribution of hydrogen to the energy transition and to work with us to create an effective implementation plan.

The members of the Hydrogen Council collectively represent total revenues of €1.07 trillion and 1.72 million employees around the world.

  • The partners of the ‘Hydrogen Council’
Nissan’s starts with first European self-driving car trials in London

Nissan’s starts with first European self-driving car trials in London

According to TechCrunch and Reuters, Nissan will start testing a version of its electric Leaf car with autonomous driving capabilities in London next month, kicking off its first European trials on public roads. The Japanese carmaker also recently announced that it would be building two new vehicles in the UK, where it makes around a third of the total volume of vehicles produced overall.

Self-driving trials for Nissan are not entirely new; the company began testing its first prototype back in October on public roads, demonstrating Piloted Drive capabilities that are intended to become a fully autonomous driving system in production vehicles by 2020. Piloted Drive also has a single-lane, highway-only version that will be included on vehicles including a Qashqai SUV set for release next year in Europe. The second iteration of its self-driving tech, on track for 2018, will introduce a multi-lane highway autonomous mode, with full autonomy across both city and highway again planned for 2020.

Nissan’s choice of the UK is probably inspired by the British government’s drive to create a nurturing regulatory climate for companies looking to test and develop autonomous drive systems in the country, as well as its strong existing relationship as one of the country’s top car producers.

  • Nissan starts testing self-driving Leaf’s on London streets.
In Movement Uber gives some access to its traffic data

In Movement Uber gives some access to its traffic data

Just when Uber is in a wrangle with New York City about giving the city more of its traffic data, Uber is opening up in an area where it might make sense competitively for it to stay more closed off: The ride-hailing company’s new Movement website will offer up access to its data around traffic flow in many areas where it operates. The approach is intended for use by city planners and researchers looking into ways to improve urban mobility.

The basic idea is that Uber has a lot of insight into how traffic works within a city, and it can anonymize this data so that it isn’t tied to specific individuals in most cases. So where that’s possible, Uber is going to begin sharing said data, first to specific organizations who apply for early access, and then eventually to the general public. Yet when a government official with a recognizable governmental email-address was recently trying to log in to Movement, he was denied access for unclear reasons.

Uber says it was looking at all the data it gathered and began to realize that it could be used for public benefit, and assembled a product team to make this happen. The result of this effort was Movement, which aims to address problems city officials and urban planners encounter when they’re forced to make key, transformational infrastructure decisions without access to all of, or the proper information about actual conditions and causes.

Users of the website can adjust things like time of day, day of week and zones to call up Uber’s data for that specific point or range, and can download the data, both with existing time series charts and in raw format for inputting into their own models. Uber says it’s looking at also releasing access to the data as an API, but it told Recode it is “trying to figure out how to do it in a performant way” at this stage.

Uber is only releasing these data publicly which can be successfully aggregated and anonymized. For parts of a city where it determines there isn’t enough data to properly protect driver and passenger identities, it simply won’t return results for queries, Uber says. Uber adds it wants to do some good in the cities where it operates, for one, but it also stands to benefit from infrastructure improvements in cities.

  • Uber’s Movement should help city planning departments (a bit).
Addison Lee has acquired Flyte Tyme’s $ 65m. business to become world’s largest FHV company

Addison Lee has acquired Flyte Tyme’s $ 65m. business to become world’s largest FHV company

Addison Lee is now set to become the first truly global provider of executive ground transportation, LCT writes. Addison Lee’s acquisition of Flyte Tyme Worldwide Transportation and Flyte Line Transportation has created the world’s leading executive car service. The acquisition will strengthen the Addison Lee Group’s established North American business – bringing combined North American annual revenue to in excess of $100m – and bolster its position as the leading provider of managed ground transport services globally.

This latest addition to the Addison Lee Group and follows the acquisition of executive car service company Tristar Worldwide last June. The combined Addison Lee Group will operate across North America, Europe and Asia, and have a total turnover of nearly £400M (US$500m].

Addison Lee Chief Executive Officer, Andy Boland says: “This is an important moment for the executive car industry. Flyte Tyme has deep expertise and an extensive affiliate network in the United States. By combining Flyte Tyme’s North American presence with Tristar’s global operations and Addison Lee’s digital booking platforms, we can now truly lead the ground transportation industry providing, for the first time, global managed ground transportation services through a single platform”.

Founded in 1979, Flyte Tyme is based in Mahwah, New Jersey and has a turnover of $65m. Flyte Tyme has 525 staff including 375 chauffeurs. The company has a long established reputation for the highest customer service standards and reliability, and it has won numerous industry awards. Flyte Tyme is the USA’s fourth largest operator of executive cars, and will bring to Addison Lee Group’s US portfolio airport transfers, events transport services, shuttle services and black car operations. After the acquisition, Addison Lee Group’s combined US fleet will have over 400 premium vehicles in North America, as well as over 17,000 executive cars through affiliate partners.

Addison Lee Group’s North American businesses will be run by Flyte Tyme Worldwide Transportation Chief Executive Officer, Timothy P. Rose. Rose, who will serve as CEO of Addison Lee North America, says: “We feel that Addison Lee and Flyte Tyme are a perfect match, since both firms strive to provide and deliver the highest quality ground transportation in their respective marketplaces. Through this acquisition, we will be able to leverage our combined technology and client service capabilities to deliver a truly global service for our clients.”

The Flyte Tyme acquisition is the latest step in Addison Lee’s global growth strategy. Earlier in the year, Addison Lee, which is owned by US private equity firm The Carlyle Group, acquired executive car service Tristar Worldwide which operates in 80 countries across the globe. Addison Lee has also expanded its operations to cities around the UK which are now bookable on the Addison Lee app.

Addison Lee Group will now have a particularly strong presence in New York City, which has the world’s second largest corporate ground transportation market worth $1.5bn, where its brings together existing Addison Lee car services with Flyte Tyme operations and Tristar’s award-winning chauffeured limousine service.

Addison Lee Chief Executive Officer, Andy Boland says: “Our customers value our combination of the highest quality executive services with seamless, modern booking platforms. With the acquisition of Flyte Tyme, Addison Lee Group becomes the world’s leading provider of executive car services so that our global customers can take advantage of our quality, reliability and service almost anywhere in the world they want to book a car”.

Some background on both companies: Founded in Battersea in 1975, Addison Lee is Europe’s largest private hire car service company. Addison Lee is trusted by its customers to provide an exceptional service through innovative technology combined with stand- out service from experienced driver and customer service teams 99% on-time record across 10 million journeys per year. The vast majority of our customers rate Addison Lee 5 out of 5 for passenger experience. Support is always available by phone, email and social media. Customers can book by app, phone and web, and can book in advance.

Addison Lee drivers are handpicked; only 1 in 4 meet the rigorous selection standards. Frequent customers enjoy priority service and membership of our customer loyalty programme, ClubLee. Customers also benefit from off peak fares which is 30% less from typical peak pricing.

About Flyte Tyme: Flyte Tyme Worldwide Transportation, headquartered in Mahwah, N.J., with offices in New York City, Princeton, Stamford CT, Los Angeles CA and San Francisco CA, operates 425 vehicles throughout the Flyte Tyme Service Area of NY, NJ, CT, PA and California. Flyte Tyme is the 6th largest global ground transportation provider and has a network of affiliate service providers in more than 350 cities worldwide.

  • Addison Lee acquires Flyte Tyme in US to create world’s largest FHV company.
PTV Group addresses the MaaS market with new MaaS  accelerator programme product suite

PTV Group addresses the MaaS market with new MaaS accelerator programme product suite

Earlier this week at the Transport Research Board’s Annual Meeting in Washington DC, PTV launched its new Mobility-as-a-Service (MaaS) Accelerator Programme, a complete portfolio of component technologies for planning MaaS operations all the way to operating and managing MaaS in any given city around the world.

PTV Group’s strategy was explained by Miller Crockart, Vice President of Global Sales and Marketing Traffic, “Everyone has heard about the ‘Lisbon study’, in which PTV Group participated as a member of the corporate partner board of the OECD, and the potential implications of the introduction of shared mobility, MaaS and autonomous vehicles. The evaluation of such approaches is essential for all cities, transit operators, fleet operators and automotive OEMs alike.”

“The way we have previously planned for the movement of people and goods has been radically altered with the advancements of these technologies and new ‘shared’ approaches. So being able to, as it were, replicate the ‘Lisbon study’ for each city and potential operator, is something PTV Group has developed as a commercially available software suite capable of quickly and efficiently evaluating MaaS. We are already working with several cities and automotive OEMs on what we call PTV MaaS Modeller studies, which evaluate the introduction, KPIs, and appropriate parameters to allow MaaS, and eventually, fleets of AVs to become part of the overall transport eco-system.”

Crockart continued, “We are unique in that PTV Group understands the demand management side of this topic, and also the routing, scheduling and trip optimization aspects. The reason being, for many years at PTV Group, we’ve addressed the traffic demand management market, and also separately, the logistics and fleet optimization and management market. Bringing these two aspects together has given us the ideal solution to planning, optimizing and operating MaaS, and eventually the full deployment of fleets of autonomous vehicles.”

“That’s only half of the story because not only does one have to plan or model and evaluate the possibility to operate MaaS, one will also then have to integrate it with the overall ‘mobility mix’, operate, regulate and control it. We envision some rather large city operating systems or platforms will have to be constructed, and indeed some are already well underway. There are companies much larger than PTV Group who are well-positioned to develop these mega operating systems. For us at PTV Group, we see ourselves as the key intelligent mobility component provider, and our software programs and optimization technologies have been designed to plug and play within these quickly evolving third party environments.”

“PTV Group’s complete MaaS Accelerator Programme will take a client, or partner, all the way from modeling and evaluating MaaS operations, through to simulating, optimizing actual operations, controlling, and where necessary, integrating with a city or state’s overall mobility platform, or as Crockart coined it in a speech at TRB 2017, in a city’s mobility mix operating system.”

  • At TRB’s Annual Meeting PTV Group launched a MaaS Accelerator Programme
Volvo Cars to establish new shared mobility business unit

Volvo Cars to establish new shared mobility business unit

Volvo Cars, the premium car maker, is to set up a new shared mobility business unit as part of a broad expansion of its car sharing and mobility services strategy, it announced earlier this week.

The new business unit will be based around Sunfleet, one of the world’s first car sharing companies that has been operated by Volvo since 1998. Based in Sweden, Sunfleet has around 50,000 subscribers generating approximately 250,000 transactions in more than 50 Swedish cities.

While Sunfleet will form the core of the new business, Volvo said that it will in future be expanded into new global markets and provide an entirely new range of mobility services to meet changing consumer expectations around how they own and engage with cars.

“Private car ownership will not disappear, but as an automaker we need to embrace the fact that it will reduce and – more importantly – change. We have a proven and profitable concept in our home market which we intend to leverage as we develop a global concept,” said Håkan Samuelsson, president and chief executive of Volvo Cars.

Full details of Volvo Cars’ revamped shared mobility strategy will be announced in coming months, but the company intends to complement current and traditional car ownership models with a range of on demand mobility solutions. Flexibility, ease of use and personalization are to be critical success factors.

The chief executive of the new business will be Bodil Eriksson, currently vice president Product, Marketing and Communications at Volvo Car USA and former senior vice president corporate communications.

“Today’s notion of mobility and car ownership is changing. By recognising this fundamental and rapid shift in individual mobility behaviour and responding to it, we ensure that Volvo will continue to be relevant in the eyes of the consumer,” said Mr Samuelsson.

  • Volvo’s new mobility division will be built around its existing Sunfleet brand.
Collaborations with technology providers offer European automotive OEMs new growth opportunities

Collaborations with technology providers offer European automotive OEMs new growth opportunities

Improvements in advanced driver assistance system (ADAS) sensors are driving automation features in original equipment manufacturer (OEM) vehicles. By collaborating with leading technology providers in the autonomous driving space, OEMs have an opportunity to transform into mobility service providers and introduce levels 4 and 5 autonomous cars earlier than expected. With several suppliers already at work on over-the-air upgrades, the adoption of this feature is expected before 2025, even for conventional cars.

“Vehicles will become a living space for entertainment, work or communication, thereby offering scope for a new business model based on individuality,” said Frost & Sullivan Intelligent Mobility’s Senior Research Analyst Anirudh Venkitaraman. “OEMs’ aim of becoming market leaders in terms of technology introduction and adoption will be realised as highly autonomous vehicles are introduced.”

Frost & Sullivan’s new research, Market Analysis of Premium European OEMs ADAS and Automated Driving Strategies, is part of the Autonomous Driving & Connected Mobility Partnership Service program. This includes topics such as in-vehicle infotainment (IVI) systems, application interfaces and automotive application stores, human-machine interface options, safety, security and vehicle relationship management (VRM)-based telematics services, wireless technologies, cooperative systems (V2X) communication, and vehicle active/passive safety and automation.

The European ADAS market is hindered by legislations delaying the introduction of new technologies, safety mandates enforced on OEMs, and the high cost of system – all of which limit applications to higher-end vehicles. However, as sensors and algorithms become more widely available, systems costs will drop. Legislators across North America and Europe are also actively working to introduce favorable regulations.

“A major challenge for OEMs will be wider market acceptance in terms of customers trusting the technology, while addressing other technical, legal and liability issues in the race toward level-5 automation,” noted Venkitaraman. “Legislations in North America and Europe pertaining to autonomous vehicle technologies are different; hence, OEMs in Europe may need to curtail certain features to meet specific standards in North America.”

  • “Collaborations with technology providers offer European automotive OEMs new growth opportunities”, says Frost & Sullivan.
Restart with new team for Karhoo – link-up with Renault Nissan.

Restart with new team for Karhoo – link-up with Renault Nissan.

Karhoo, the world’s first cab comparison platform which folded spectacularly in November 2016, has been bought out of administration with a new team funded by RCI Bank and Services, the financial services provider for the Groupe Renault brands in the world and for the Nissan Group brands mainly in Europe. RCI Bank and Services operates at the crossroads of three challenging worlds: cars, banking and services.

In the month after the company folded, 40 bids were placed for the company by large global corporates and investment firms from around the world, who all saw the potential in the Karhoo model, IP and contracts with fleets around the world. Flit Technologies Ltd, a new venture funded by RCI Bank and Services, won a competitive auction process that will see the company relaunch this year.

Boris Pilichowski and Nicolas Andine, who where active in the ‘old’ Karhoo, took over as joint CEOs in the last few weeks of the previous company’s existence as they tried to find a buyer, have taken over the same roles at the new company and are recruiting around the world. Karhoo’s demise at the time was mainly ascribed to mismanagement by Daniel Ishag, Karhoo’s founder and CEO. He left the company just before it went bust.

Pilichowski and Andine commented: “There is a need in ground transportation for someone to aggregate all the independents and allow them to compete and we are determined to make sure Karhoo fills that need. Karhoo was amazingly successful in ferrying hundreds of thousands of people around the world but lacked a corporate backer, but with RCI Bank and Services, we now have that.”

Alice Altemaire, Chairman of the Board of Flit Technologies Ltd, Vice President, Accounting and Performance Control of RCI Bank and Services said: “We are very delighted to bring Karhoo back to life and build a new strategic plan with the team over the next months. I was very impressed by the professionalism and enthusiasm of the teams and I’m sure we will soon be back on the market. We will learn from each other. Furthermore, this investment will allow RCI Bank and Services to expand and enrich its offer.

Who is RCI Banque? Created and wholly owned by Groupe Renault, RCI Banque is a French bank specialising  in automotive financing and services for Groupe Renault customers and dealer networks (Renault, Renault Samsung Motors and Dacia) throughout the world and the Nissan group (Nissan, Infiniti and Datsun) mainly in Europe, Russia and South America.

With over 3,000 employees, we give our end customer access to automotive mobility through a full range of solutions in financing, insurances and services. For both individuals and companies, our line of conduct is the same: to deliver differentiated competitive solutions for smooth and sustainable access to mobility

In 2016, RCI Banque’s commercial identity has changed to become RCI Bank and Services. As a car-financing activity key player, RCI Bank and Services aims at becoming a bank offering innovative services and car-mobility solutions. The company remains nonetheless incorporated under the RCI Banque SA name

RCI Bank and Services covers 36 countries, on 5 continents, financed over 1.3 million contracts (new and used vehicles) in 2015 and sold more than 2.9 million services. Average loans outstanding stood at €28.6 billion of funding at end-June 2016 and earnings before tax at €844 million at end-December 2015 and €431 million at end-June 2016.

Since 2012 RCI Bank and Services has rolled out a deposits collection business in four countries.  At end-June 2016, net deposits collected stood at €11.8 billion, or 34% of the company’s outstandings.

  • Karhoo is restarting its activities under the wings of Renault Nissan.