Volkswagen has plans to become the leader in the provision of mobility to its customers in the future. This statement has been made by Matthias Muller, Board’s Chairman of VW. By “mobility” term, we should understand not only cars owned by the people and corporations but also on-demand driverless autonomous vehicles that will make a competition to now-existing companies like Uber. Uber and Lyft are the biggest competitors, and Volkswagen concern has invested 0.5 billion US dollars to build-up the on-demand transportation fleet in 2020-ies. In addition to Volkswagen, another carmaker, General Motors, is actively engaged in the acquisition of or investing in technological and software startups to beat up the goal of VW to become the leading provider of mobility services (they did Lyft’s investment, Maven’s launch, Cruise’s purchase). VW gave USD 300 million in 2016 to a company named Gett to speed up the own competitive advantage in this area.
The Gett company is a startup that operates successfully in 60 cities of Europe with over 0.52 billion US dollars in the estimated cost. They have been trying to find a loan in USD 2 billion, and one of the stages was the Volkswagen’s participation eventually.
Gett has other investors (Kreos Capital, Access Industries and more) in their capital but they feel Volkswagen is their biggest victory as they have the same footprints in the industry and Europe – at least, as their CEO and co-founder Shahar Waiser tells.
“Volkswagen has about 25% of the market share in car production in Europe, which we call a strong position and we also have a strong company operating some 60 cities in this region,” says Waiser. “This unites us in the first step. The second step is that we have the similar clients’ profiles – when we rely on our 4,000+ corporate clients that provide us around 30% of the total profit, Volkswagen the same relies heavily on the corporate segment that seems to provide them the main clientele of autonomous fleet’s usage in the nearest future.”
As Volkswagen says, they plan to leap forward greatly thanks to cooperation with Gett, to become the provider of on-demand vehicle transportation services. They call themselves pioneers in the self-driving cars’ creation and they plan to benefit from the cooperation with Gett by 2025. There’ll be another milestone for the entire VW Group, and VW hopes that integrated solutions in the mobility area will deliver the huge benefits for all kinds of their customers.
Shortly after investments in Gett, Volkswagen made a spin-off a company named Moia that is planned to be engaged in the development of technologies applicable to wide range of driverless vehicles of various degree of autonomy. Ole Harms, Moia’s CEO tells that their primary goal will be the electric cars that will be able to step in the field of work of Uber and public transportation at once delivering several passengers in one vehicle to their destinations. This will be on-call, and on-demand electric autonomous cars that will be called from the app installed on the phone, laptop or called from the phone.
The main necessity to make such a spin-off was to concentrate on the millennials that largely don’t want to possess an own car and prefer to move around and between the cities on the public transport or a taxi. Harms’ opinion is that developing in this field will make it possible to VW Group to catch up millennials’ needs by proposing them the on-demand service that will be needless to serve, the same as neither needless to possess, it will be much cheaper to drive because of the absence of man driver and they will be available in the biggest part of area in the US and Europe as well.
VW will benefit from such simple delivery of people from point A to point B and, obviously, the only thing will be required to maintain the big autonomous fleet is cleaners, repairmen, and some line managers. VW plans to leap onto a significant piece of a field of self-driving cars creating a variety of possibilities to different people and their categories to make it simpler to use cars driving in cities without owning vehicles. This will also contribute to lowering the number of cars globally and will reduce the urban pollution.