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Free-Floating Mobility Schemes in Focus at Autonomy Show

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Free-Floating Mobility Schemes in Focus at Autonomy Show
Free-floating e-stepscooter and bike sharing schemes were main topic at last week’s Autonomy Paris Show. – Photo Michel de Chavanon

PARIS, France – Last week’s Autonomy Show in Paris focused on a rapidly growing mobility phenomenon in city centers; in particular on free floating schemes offering for instance electric step-scooters. The 5th edition of the mobility event Autonomy targeted B2B and B2G businesses. The show also highlighted other sharing systems as well as active mobility like walking and cycling.

After bikes from various (Chinese) operators now electric step-scooters are offered for rent in big numbers in more and more cities around Europe. With the offering of docked and/or free-floating e-scooters growing like wildfire also their use is rapidly on the up and up. This raises concerns as the numbers of accidents also rises. Such concerns were reason for many discussions at the Paris Autonomy Show that at its 5th edition saw the number of visiting decision-makers growing.

Collected data

So, free-floating schemes were a main topic at the show and in particular the ones for the bike industry. Shared services in bikes, step-scooter as well as cars are now being deployed all around. With that the data that these services collect and are able to provide are of the interest of a growing number of companies. A start-up like Vianova, founded in January 2019, presented at the Autonomy Show a platform that collects data from free-floating operators like Jump (Uber), Car2go, and Cityscoot.  

Optimizing cities’ infrastructure

Vianova co-founder and COO Thibaud Febvre explains “Cities are currently made for cars. With our solution we want to help city councils to better understand all the new mobility forms so they can optimize their infrastructure.

However, Vianova also offers the operators of free-floating schemes its service. In particular so that these operators can become part of traffic policies of municipalities. For that Vianova is working with Brussels, Faro and Zurich and is in discussion with Marseille.

Google Maps integration

 At the Autonomy Show another new player dealing in mobility data analysis presented itself. This start-up is named Fluctuo which after two years of preperations launched its services last May. The Fluctuo business concept is to offer free-floating operators assistance for integrating their services in map providers like Google Maps or Citymapper. According to Fluctuo over a 100 of the shared mobility operators will be Map integrated in 24 European cities at the end of this year.

Growing number of freefloating operators

What the Paris’ Autonomy Show also made abundantly clear is that the free-floating concept is growing rapidly. More players are stepping in like Cykleo with its solar bike shelter, or APPeBike. This company offers the possibility to dealers and, or tourism professionals to rent-out e-bikes, regular bicycles and scooters that are easily and quickly available. The French company has been rewarded with the Eurobike start-up Award for its “easy-to-use” solution.

Created in 2009, Green On also exhibited at Autonomy. “We provide tailor-made support in the design, supply and operation of bike-mobility systems: shared or awarded fleets of bicycles as well as the equipment,” the company explained.

Another operator, Zoov, was able to present its first feedback on its rental scheme in the Ile-de-France area. “Between January and July 2019, Zoov has tried-out its service with ultra-compact stations in Paris-Saclay, in partnership with local authorities, businesses, schools and institutions in the area. Over 20,000 kilometers were travelled with the Zoov rental scheme,” explained the company. According to Zoov, 500 e-bikes will be deployed at the end of the year with 1,500 more in 2020.

As for interesting novelties presented at this Autonomy edition ; there was for instance what the French company Overade presented; a foldable bicycle helmet named Plixi Fit which looks like the perfect solution as it can be carried in a ladies’ handbag.

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