The global automotive industry is seeing vehicle manufacturers propelling research and development (R&D) towards autonomous vehicles, future powertrains and shared mobility. Concepts such as Mobility-as-a-Service, or shared mobility – are taking center stage which sees the rise of a centralized service-based approach utilizing vehicles not only as a mode of transportation but also, as a service provider.
In Malaysia, this paradigm shift is already apparent as we notice the emergence of a social norm amongst people in using e-hailing, car-sharing and e-payment services provided by various companies such as Grab, SOCAR, and e-wallet businesses such as Touch ‘n Go eWallet.
The Movement Control Order (MCO) has somewhat increase awareness of the use of such services. Nevertheless, MARii CEO Dato’ Madani Sahari once explained in a podcast published by MARii that such services are just the beginning of the unlimited potentials MaaS can offer.
This brings us to our next question – How will the birth of shared mobility influence vehicle ownership trends?
Numerous case studies, articles, and journals suggest a gradual decrease in personal vehicle ownership. A factor that contributes to this is the rise of e-hailing and ride-sharing services.
In Malaysia, the demand for MaaS-based businesses such as Grab and SOCAR is continuously increasing, further strengthening their position in the mobility industry.
Picture source: amanz.my
According to Grab, the company hit 3 billion rides (e-hailing transport services only) in January of 2019, an increase of 2 billion rides within a span of six months.
“When we crossed the 3 billion mark, it was with 61 trips starting at the exact same time, taking place across 21 cities in 6 countries.”, said Grab in a statement, proving its impact across the mobility industry of Southeast Asia.
Picture source: www.carsome.my
Consumers who prefer a personal space while driving are not left out either as SOCAR offers ride-sharing services in more than 1,000 SOCAR zones across Kuala Lumpur, Penang and Johor Bahru. Their service, like Grab, operates 24/7 and offers a variety of vehicles to “borrow” from, ranging from hatchbacks to SUVs – even electric vehicles such as the Renault Zoe – to cater to a variety of customers.
Even OEMs, such as Renault, have joined the bandwagon by introducing subscription-based purchases, making it even easier to “own” a car. This model works similarly as a leasing service – just pay a predetermined monthly sum and the car is yours for the taking.
Subscription plans benefit customers due to the lack of extra maintenance costs that are usually beared by the owner. The absence of down payment, loan applications and interest rates further ease the hassle of owning a vehicle.
*For more information on Renault’s subscription service, click here.
Taking into the account the impact of shared mobility and e-commerce industry on digital economy, the Malaysia Automotive, Robotics and IoT Institute (MARii) launched a programme last year called “MARii MaaS Scale Up Programme” – dedicated to facilitate the adoption of MaaS-related technologies and services into the domestic mobility industry to enhance the e-commerce ecosystem.
The programme looks into catalysing innovation via smart corporate partnerships with “MARii MaaS Scaleups”, consisting of 10 domestic technopreneurs utilising MARii’s MaaS e-commerce solutions to enhance e-commerce technology ecosystem development through 5 focus areas which include – Sharing Concept, Multimodal Transportation, E-Payment, Connected Living and Telematics.
Picture source: www.mdpi.com
While shared mobility is still at an introductory stage, other developments surrounding it are forming the foundation for a centralised, integrated mobility service. Intelligent Transportation System (ITS), Next-Generation Vehicles (NxGVs), and Vehicle-to-Everything (V2X) communication modules amongst various other enablers are all being extensively developed and tested.
They may stand out as separate elements now, but once they are integrated into a seamless, cloud-based network utilising Internet of Things (IoT), Big Data Analytics (BDA) and Artificial Intelligence (AI), the need to own a personal vehicle may not be as apparent as it seems to be today.