Note — Feb 03, 2019

Micromobility, An Introduction

(and Part 2: Disruption)

Horace Dediu with an excellent two-part introduction to Micromobility (I linked to his manifesto a couple of weeks ago) where he presents his vision of that it means, what kinds of small vehicles are included, how the business is different to cars, what it enables, etc. To his mind, micro mobility is to cars as mobile phones are to personal computers, i.e. eating away at a slice of usage and dollars. Super interesting and an important developing trend for cities.

The revolution in transportation will come from the bottom. These are the smallest, the cheapest, the most likely to be used vehicles. They are the shared bikes, scooters, e-bikes and potentially many more types of vehicles coming down the line. […]

Ironically this accessibility is enabled by smartphones and GPS and cheap lithium ion batteries and cheap motors. All consumer technologies that cars have had difficulty absorbing. […]

[Part 2] As evidence consider that in the US Ford and GM have essentially abandoned cars in order to focus on SUVs and pick-up trucks—vehicles associated with rural and suburban travel and disassociated from urban travel. […]

I think the evidence is overwhelming that whether it’s a cycle or electric bicycle or a docked or dockless, or throttle based, two or three wheels, micromobility is resonating with users and there’s still plenty of room to go. […]

Autonomy engineers are trying to make an existing system better, that existing system being cars on streets. But the car is not the subject matter. The car is a bundle of trips. It is a bundle of trips ranging from a few hundred meters and a few hundred kilometers that we prepay for.

Also have a look at Apple’s Unit Economics on Dediu’s other site, to understand this concept vital to micromobility models.