Micromobility

Micromobility

Micromobility explores the disruption to urban transport that comes from new electric, lightweight utility vehicles. Using the history of computing as a framework, we unpack how e-bikes, scooters and more will change how people get around cities.

Hosted by Oliver Bruce and Horace Dediu.



#21: Regulating Micromobility - A Panel from the recent Micromobility Summit

February 20, 2019 at 5:00PM • 49 minutes

On today's episode, Oliver runs over recent news in the scooter/micromobility space with Michal Naka (@michalnaka) and we release the government regualtor panel from the recent Micromobility California Summit talking about the experiences from LA, Portland, Oakland and Claremont in regulating scooter operators.

In the news section, we discuss:
- The emergence of Grin in South America, and what this means for scooters in Latam.
- Lime's recent $310m raise and how this reflects the consolidation of the rest of the industry.

Next, we have the panel from the recent Summit where Katie Fehrenbacher from Greenbiz hosts a panel with Seleta Reynolds from the LADOT, Ryan Russo from the Oakland DOT, Briana Orr who managed Portland's Shared Electric Scooter Pilot, and Julie Medero, Chair of the Traffic and Transportation Commission from the City of Claremont.

They cover:
- how cities are viewing the rise of micromobility operations as a means of providing access to low-cost mobility and benefitting their citizens
- what cities have learnt from the rise of Uber/Lyft and how that is influencing their regulatory stances with new operators and business models
- how they're using their ability to regulate to influence data standards and how this will affect operators/entrepreneurs in this space
- the variables that they, as regulators, need to consider as part of rollouts
- how cities are thinking about infrastructure and deployment, and the challenges that they face in rolling out safe infrastructure for micromobility


#20: Investing in Micromobility - a conversation with Reilly Brennan of Trucks Venture Capital

February 8, 2019 at 4:00PM • 49 minutes

On today's episode we do a very quick recap of the inaugural 2019 Micromobility Summit and then turn our attention to talk through what early stage investment in micromobility looks like with Reilly Brennan of Trucks Venture Capital (@reillybrennan).

He is a founding general partner at Trucks (trucks.vc), a seed-stage venture capital fund for entrepreneurs changing the future of transportation. Reilly holds a teaching appointment at Stanford University and is influential newsletter Future of Transportation is a radar for what’s happening in transportation. Prior to Trucks, Reilly was Executive Director for Stanford’s automotive research program, Revs. He is very well known in the transport technology space.

In this episode we discuss:
- Trucks VC and how it's adjusted it's thinking about micromobility in its search for the companies that will power the future of transportation.
- How he thinks about the evolution of the supply chain in the micromobility sector, and who will be looking to get involved.
- Where he sees parallels between the existing early stages of micromobility and the autonomous vehicle space a few years ago.
- What opportunities he is looking for in the space, and his thesis of where value will accrue.

We also discuss the new Micromobility VC syndicate on AngelList that will be syndicating interesting deals in the micromobility space out to early stage investors. If you are an accredited investor and would like to hear about the deals that Horace, Oliver and others are coming across and backing, please find us on AngelList and apply.


#19: Creating an internet of mobility - Boyd Cohen of Iomob

January 29, 2019 at 2:00PM • 40 minutes

On today’s show we have Boyd Cohen, CEO of Iomob, to discuss building a marketplace operating system for city transportation, and what is enabled having all modes of transport interoperable and discoverable.

Specifically, we dig into:
- What the benefits to customers and operators are for an open marketplace for mobility.
- Why micromobility is specifically well suited to open marketplaces/interoperability.
- Why Boyd doesn’t think the current scooter/micromobility operators will survive in their current form.
- The benefits and pitfalls of having system wide integrations for all transport options.
- How this will scale in the face of competition from Uber, Google Maps and others.

Looking forward to seeing many of you at Thursdays Micromobility Summit in the Bay Area! Please come and find us and say hi.

As always, let me know what you think on Twitter - @asymco and @oliverbruce


#18: Micromobility Safety with Steve Anderson

January 25, 2019 at 1:00AM • 1 hour 4 minutes

In this episode, we have Steve Anderson (@Rashomon2) as a guest on the podcast. Steve has a long history in motorcycle safety and engineering forensics, and more recently has been working on low powered electric vehicles. He will be speaking at the upcoming Micromobility Summit in California on the 31st of January.

We cover:
- The role of vehicle design, infrastructure and speed in micromobility safety.
- The coming emergence of different form factors, including cabin motorcycles and enclosed cargo trikes
- Different avoidance and damage mitigation options for micromobility.
- Helmets - their impact and how their role in micromobility. Be sure to check out the Danish airbag helmet, the Hovding, at hovding.com
- The role of fun and joy in micromobility’s appeal.

Our sponsor for the show is Joyride, a software platform that lets you launch your own bike or scooter share system under your brand, with full consumer facing apps, and backend fleet management and integrations. Check them out at Joyride.city


#17: On Vandalism

January 16, 2019 at 3:00PM • 54 minutes

On today's show, Horace and Oliver talk through the challenges that vandalism pose to the shared micromobility model.

Specifically we cover:
- the core drivers of vandalism of such fleets, and how this compares to historical parallels.
- the implications for capex vs. opex
- the calculations that operators are making to ensure that the services still function well.

Apologies about the echo in the podcast. We ran into audio issues.


#16: Tokenizing the micromobility business model

December 22, 2018 at 4:00PM • 1 hour 10 minutes

On today's episode, Horace and Oliver dig deep into the evolution of business models in transport, and how micromobility lays the foundation for the next great shift of interoperable, efficient, low-cost transport services powered by blockchain. I think we just hit peak hype words, but bear with us!

We cover:
- how the car was the first great bundling of transport ‘jobs-to-be-done’ into a single option - kickstarting the first major productisation of transport.
- the emergence of Uber, and the shift of trips from pre-paid product to service.
- The dynamics of vehicle fleets, and why scooter/e-bike fleets are likely to move off-balance sheet for most large operators in the near future.
- How multimodality, especially that underpinned by micromobility, lends itself to open transport systems, and how this will give rise to token marketplaces for trips (similar to Bitcoin developer Mike Hearn’s tradenet proposal ).
- The impact that decentralised token marketplaces will have on cities.

It's a conceptually dense episode as we explore the Productisation-Servitization-Securitization-Tokenization (Pro-Se-Sec-To Framework?). As always, keen to hear your thoughts on this. Hit us up at @oliverbruce and @asymco.


#15: City Dashboards for Micromobility - Regina Clewlow from Populus

December 13, 2018 at 3:00AM • 40 minutes

On today's episode, Oliver talks with Regina Clewlow (@reginaclewlow), CEO & Co-Founder of Populus.ai about her insights gained from building micromobility data dashboards for city officials. We discuss what matters to cities, and why the rise of micromobility data will drive the changes in streetscapes across the world.

We also discuss:
- The new data standards emerging for operators in cities, and how this will help both operators and cities better manage fleets, and cities to develop more appropriate infrastructure.
- The new partnership they've developed with Lime to monitor their LimePod car sharing in Seattle, and how that lays the foundation for fixing the tragedy of the commons problems with scooter parking.
- The report that Populus has produced for DC looking at equity of access to dockless mobility services vs more traditional docked services and why this matters to cities.

Our sponsor for the show is Joyride, a software platform that lets you launch your own bike or scooter share system under your brand, with full consumer facing apps, and backend fleet management and integrations. Check them out at Joyride.city


#14: Dediu’s Law and Franchising Micromobility

December 4, 2018 at 4:00PM • 46 minutes

In this episode we discuss the recent Bird Platform announcement, why this was predictable given the dynamics of the market, and how franchising might evolve in the future.

We also cover:
- Dediu’s Law: Horace’s thesis that we’ll see 10x growth annually for the next 5-6 years in micromobility trip numbers.
- how challenges related to social technologies like local bureaucracy/current scooter caps will be overcome.
- The VeloMetro/Veemo shared covered trike system that has emerged in Vancouver and whether this is likely to catch on.

Our sponsor for the show is Joyride, a software platform that lets you launch your own bike or scooter share system under your brand, with full consumer facing apps, and backend fleet management and integrations. Check them out at Joyride.city

As always, let me know what you think on Twitter - @asymco and @oliverbruce


#13: The environmental implications of micromobility with Dr Chris Cherry

November 28, 2018 at 10:00PM • 47 minutes

On today's episode, we're joined by Dr Chris Cherry (@drchrischerry), Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Tennessee and Director of Light Electric Vehicle Education and Research (LEVER) Initiative, an international academic/industry research consortium on lightweight and low speed EV's about the environmental and social implications of micromobility.

We discuss:
- How China's electric micromobility sector has grown to lead the world, and how Chris and his colleagues have worked to understand it.
- The framework that they use to understand the benefits that lightweight electric utility vehicles offer users - notably low cost, point to point, low emission transport.
- The emission and energy use of micromobility vehicles compared to other options.
- How to think about whether micromobility is additive or substitutive trips vs. incumbent modes of transport.
- What the role of fun plays in micromobility adoption.
- Which cities will benefit the most from the ride of micromobility and why.

Apologies for the slightly jerky editing - had a few audio editing issues.

Be sure to let us know what you think on Twitter at @asymco and @oliverbruce!


#12: The Scooter Ecosystem with Michal Naka

November 21, 2018 at 6:00AM • 43 minutes

In today’s episode, we’re joined by Twitter micromobility celebrity Michal Naka (@michalnaka), to talk about scooters, how they’re evolving in hardware and their interactions with cities and what the future might look like. It’s a packed episode.

Specifically we cover:
- How Michal ended up in micromobility through his skepticism of autonomous cars. (5:50->)
- How the most valuable miles travelled are likely to be addressed by micromobility and not autonomous. (9:20->)
- The history of the scooter supply chain.(13:00->)
- The tradeoff that companies are making between opex and capex. (25:50->)
- What future evolutions we’re likely to see in (29:30->)
- How cities are responding to these new business models, and what we’re likely to see in the future. (33:46->)
- How the diffusion theory applies to scooters and their evolution. (40:30->)

We are no longer publishing transcripts (but are working on something exciting related to that - more soon!). Please let us know what you think on Twitter at @asymco or @oliverbruce. Thanks!