It was great to travel to Austin, Texas, recently for the Move Conference. The first thing I do at any trade event is a visit to the start-up section. It’s always a great way of getting a quick summary of the top trends in the automotive tech industry and to see the beginnings of new trends forming. As expected EV technology was unquestionably the dominant trend at Move this year. There were any number of innovative battery charging technologies there, Go-Eve caught the eye with its charge point extension system. Artificial Intelligence also featured, but not heavily, I believe by next year it will be much more pronounced in our industry. For the second show in a row, I noted a small but growing number of services heavily using gamification to drive user behaviour, it will be interesting to see if that gains more traction at future shows.
The talks were very interesting with much focus on how to facilitate the mass adoption of EVs. Given that over 100 new models of EVs will hit the US market in the next three years, and that within 10 years EVs will make up the majority of the cars on the road in the US; mass adoption is a vital business imperative for OEMs. Yet at present EVs are primarily the preserve of affluent customers.
I also attended several talks on the rise of an affordable subscription model which resonated with my own and GTS’s views on the shared mobility space. Simplicity is the key to meeting the needs of affordable subscription customers. What does that look like in practice:
- Make the barrier to entry as low as possible
- Ensure the user doesn’t have to worry – if the car’s broken it gets fixed as part of the package
- Ensure the user is never trapped – they can cancel easily and pay mainly based on mileage
GTS already works with 5 affordable rental services in the US, and certainly, that message of simple, worry-free, services is key to that user group.
From an OEM perspective, the focus seems to be on leveraging all of their existing assets to fully deliver for their customers. As one speaker put it – “we want to be everywhere our customer is”. Leveraging their dealer network to roll out short-term rental and flex-term subscriptions is seen as a key to winning more market share and providing a service for customers at every stage and in every circumstance of their lives.
With margin compression and the reduced maintenance costs associated with EVs, dealerships need new ways of generating continuous revenue and rental services are a key element of that and a vital support OEMs can provide to their dealer network.
My key takeaway from Move was that by coordinating affordable subscription services, through the dealer network, there is a great opportunity for OEMs to help to drive mainstream adoption of EVs. Move also demonstrated how steeply the pace of change in the industry is developing and how vital it is for all players within the industry to work together to deliver for customers in the future.
GTS has been working closely and developing shared mobility software solutions with several OEMs for almost 15 years and we are constantly exploring innovative ways to unlock new business models and new revenue streams for the industry. We understand the pressure points that OEMs face, the importance of stakeholder engagement, and the value of finding ways to innovate without exposing the business to risk. Should you wish to find out more about our solutions please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our website at www.goodtravelsoftware.com
Richard Doody, Chief Operations Officer, GTS