Using Technology to improve confidence in Micro-mobility operations

Using Technology to improve confidence in Micro-mobility operations

by Bob Mallon

Bob is VP of Product Development, managing the product and engineering teams at Zagster. He defines success as building well-designed and useful software tools that are essential for Zagster’s micro-mobility operations platform.

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Bob Mallon

VP of Product Development

Confidence Is The Underpinning of a sound Micro-Mobility Program

Communities are investing a lot into the success of micro-mobility programs. The benefits are plentiful: they get people out of cars and reduce congestion, contribute to better health and well-being and solve first- and last-mile challenges. In response, operations-focused companies like Zagster strive to be a good partner in keeping the community’s program organized, safe, and well-run.

As mobility options continue to grow, there is a hidden factor that is key to a well-run program - and that’s confidence. Confidence that, when a resident rents a bike or scooter to get to work or for recreational purposes, that there are vehicles available, that they are in convenient locations,  and they are in condition that makes them safe and usable for the rider.

High loss rates erode consumer trust in a micro-mobility program and can be a killer for mobility brands. If a rider finds that half the fleet is missing or damaged, they will likely go back to the traditional methods of transportation to which they are accustomed.

Leveraging technology to reduce lost vehicles

Our Micro-mobility operations-as-a-service software platform, Wrangler, bridges the technical and operational worlds to give our on-the-ground teams a variety of tools to ensure that vehicles are serviced, organized, and available for riders. When vehicles go missing, it not only disrupts availability for riders, but leads to high repair and recovery costs, driving up the total cost of operations.

High loss rates erode consumer trust in a micro-mobility program and can be a killer for mobility brands. If a rider finds that half the fleet is missing or damaged, they will likely go back to the traditional methods of transportation to which they are accustomed.

The most critical tool Wrangler has introduced is alerting. The first 24-48 hours are critical to recovering a vehicle that has gone missing, but it is easy to miss the warning signs in the bustle of managing hundreds of vehicles across a large city. Our alerts create a view for Operations Managers to see scooters or bikes that have traveled outside our normal service points, to highlight vehicles that were not scanned or serviced in the last 24 hours, or those that have low battery and might struggle to report their location. Tasks to recover vehicles within that critical window are easily generated and dispatched to our associates via the Wrangler mobile app. Our mapping tools highlight these critical vehicles to our field team, to ensure they prioritize retrieval and servicing.

One of our newest tools in this effort uses machine learning to try to predict which vehicles might be lost. Going back several years, micro-mobility assets were not connected devices, and if a bike went missing you could essentially write it off. Smart locks helped us better pinpoint location and ultimately paved the way for the modern IoT-based systems we have now on bikes, eBikes, and scooters. The resulting data models that are enabled by this information use hundreds of factors (e.g. multiple short rides, users that create multiple accounts with different credit cards, unlocked vehicles with un-ended rides) to highlight rides that are more likely to result in a missing bike. This information is also surfaced via Wrangler alerts, and is a key input to the Missing Bike process that our Rider Service team tracks on a daily basis.

A Relentless Focus on Fleet Management

By focusing relentlessly on how technology underpins great fleet management and operations, Zagster reduces risk and ensures that riders have a great experience accessing your micro-mobility program.

As important as it is to recover missing vehicles, it is just as important to service vehicles, so they are safe and available for riders when they need them. Scooters and bikes that are ridden multiple times per day and are exposed to the elements 24/7 need attention on a regular basis.

Wrangler helps us schedule planned maintenance, respond to rider reports about vehicle problems, and log repair tickets that ensure a vehicle is fixed before it is returned to the Fleet.

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Rider reporting is often a critical step in this process. When a rider gets in touch with our Service team or that of one of our partners, the information is transferred to Wrangler so that a task can be dispatched to a mechanic to Inspect the vehicle. With modern APIs and partner interfaces, this information can flow seamlessly from the rider’s initial in-app report through Wrangler’s dispatching engine and right out to associates in the field via the Wrangler mobile app. The result is less downtime for vehicles and a safer experience for riders.

By focusing relentlessly on how technology underpins great fleet management and operations, Zagster reduces risk and ensures that riders have a great experience accessing your micro-mobility program.

We love to bring our OaaS approach to your community. Contact us! If you are a mobility provider, we can help you operate your vehicles at a higher margin through our integrated technology and operations.