Learning to Share – Trends in Shared Mobility

Learning to Share – Trends in Shared Mobility

Children are taught at an early age the importance of sharing. In business, there is the inherent attitude of beating the competition and getting your share. As automotive trends progress in the next several years, we’re going to see much more shared mobility. Do you know how it will affect you?

Looking for more from the MobilityGarage Video Series? Click here!

As we hear more about the changing technologies and trends in an evolving automotive segment, one big-picture item that catches our attention is the future effect on vehicle miles traveled. VMT, as it’s known, goes beyond the number of registered vehicles in a given market, and tells us how much those vehicles are actually used. Or in simple terms – how many miles they travel.

That is critical information related to the wear and tear on those vehicles … how fast some of the parts might wear out, especially tires.

If you sell replacement tires, you obviously love it when VMT is high. More miles means more tire wear, and more tires sold. And the projections we’re seeing in the future are that VMT should rise rather than fall. Some forecasters predict VMT will double globally by 2030.

Excellent news on the surface – right? But the fine print tells us that much of that future growth in VMT will be due to “shared mobility” – and not necessarily due to increased miles driven on personally owned vehicles. So, what effect might that have on a shop’s future business? If the regular customer base of personal vehicle owners shrinks and is replaced by cars in a shared fleet?

Briefly, let’s consider what a shared fleet might be. If you’re currently working with fleets, they’re likely commercial fleets … fleets of trucks, whether heavy-duty or light commercial vehicles, such as utility vans or even municipal truck fleets.

But, evolving shared fleets include new modes and service that have emerged. Think of traditional taxi fleets and then consider the commonplace usage in the past few years of Uber, Lyft and other businesses. Especially in metro markets, you now have pooled ride-sharing with strangers, peer-to-peer car-sharing (driving a stranger’s car as if it’s a rental car) and even shared electric scooters.

The next versions to consider will likely be autonomous taxis – known as robo-taxis – and the currently existing autonomous shuttles seen in some limited city routes or on business or college campus sites.

This shared mobility topic also includes a term, e-hailing. Instead of hailing a cab, a user is “hailing” the shared ride service on an electronic device … a smartphone.

But from the shop owner’s point of view, why does all of this matter? And what can you do about it?

It matters because those all-important VMTs are going to increasingly be generated by these shared mobility platforms, rather than by personally owned vehicles. So, it’s vital to have a dual focus – still pursuing the individual car owner for replacement tires and service, but also identifying and targeting these new shared mobility businesses to grab a piece of that pie.

And from what we’ve observed thus far, most of these shared mobility companies are comprised of smart people from the tech world – who don’t have a background in automotive – and they don’t have a real interest in it, either. And that means there is an opportunity for those who can fill that void in a “Do It For Me” perspective.

So really, just like you’d provide service for other fleets – your traditional commercial fleets that will turn over their service and maintenance programs to an external provider – this is a similar opportunity. Identifying any emerging shared fleets in your market right now – and then creating a relationship with them – is exactly what to consider doing. Shops letting these operators know of the service and maintenance expertise that’s available, especially via mobile servicing, will be the future winners.

Just as fleet trucks need to keep moving to deliver their freight in a timely manner, so, too, do the fleets that are delivering passengers to a destination. Any outside provider who can reduce the downtime and increase efficiency for these emerging businesses has an advantage. An individual aftermarket shop can seek this shared mobility business on its own, or work with its major tire suppliers to become part of a network servicing program the larger manufacturers might already be rolling out.

Even the type of replacement parts, especially tires, should be considered when looking at future shared mobility vehicles. In many cases, the individualization of personal vehicles is diminished when compared to broad fleets. Sportiness and larger rim diameters give way to utility. From what we’re seeing in some of these shared mobility vehicles, it leads back to smaller rim diameters and less aggressive tread designs. These fleets want efficiency and ride comfort.

Again, watch trends and work with your tire suppliers to learn where the market is headed. For a few years yet, there will be parallel paths, but expect future autonomous shuttles and robo-taxis to drive the push back to more utilitarian sizes and types of tires.

The pace of shared mobility will depend upon regulatory developments, whether metro governments de-incentivize or even restrict private car ownership, technology advancements in autonomy, and – of course – consumer adoption.

It’s a lot to absorb, but doing it now helps you get around the coming curve in the road.

You May Also Like

How to Avoid Tire Bead Damage

Precautions you can take at the shop to avoid damaging your customer’s tire beads.

In the shop or among friends, you might have overheard someone saying they've had to replace a tire after someone blew the bead. You also might have heard of someone tearing the bead when trying to install tires.

In this Tire Review Continental Tire Garage Studio video, we go over precautions you can take to avoid damaging the bead, and in turn, damaging a tire.

Time to Get Smart About Autonomy

Some say it’s crazy to think about self-driving cars becoming commonplace. But elements of automotive autonomy are fast being applied to nearly all new cars. And how the tires interact with the future driverless car is critical. It’s all about connections… Related Articles – How are You Keeping Up With Rising Tire Prices? – Choosing

TR-Mobility-Garage-Featured-Image-EP7-Autonomy
Apply These Three ‘Es’ to Prepare for EVs

Electric vehicles are already here – and growing in share. They’re known simply as EVs, but there are three other E’s to consider in your preparation to service them. Related Articles – What to Know About Multi-Piston Brake Calipers – When You Should Change Tire Inflation Pressure on the Placard – Educate Your Customers to

TR-Mobility-Garage-Featured-Image-EP6-3Es
Is Your Shop EV Ready?

Through the years, tire and auto shops have adapted to various automotive evolutions … computer diagnostics, ABS, traction control, and more. Those were gradual changes that were eventually embraced and handled in terms of aftermarket sales and service. The new question is: Are you EV-ready? Related Articles – What Do Tire Wear Patterns Mean? –

TR-Mobility-Garage-Featured-Image-EP5-EV-Ready
Big-Picture Trends in Today’s Mobility Landscape

Electric vehicles. Self-driving vehicles. Low-maintenance vehicles. A drop-off in personal vehicle ownership. These are all things that are happening and are predicted to grow in the next decade. It makes your head spin as you consider future staffing, equipment investment, market and business focus, service delivery and more Related Articles – Don’t Let Electrification Shock

Big trends future mobility

Other Posts

Reading Tire Wear Patterns

Maddie Winer, Tire Detective on the case. Did you know that just by looking at a tire, its tread wear patterns can tell you if the alignment angles, inflation and suspension components are within specification? Related Articles – Why Winter Weather Affects TPMS – AMN Drivetime: MEMA Leaders Chat About the Future – Preparing Your

Why Winter Weather Affects TPMS

Winter is here, which could mean unexpected TPMS issues for your customers. In some parts of the country, arctic temperatures and massive snowfall create nasty driving conditions, opening the door for tire pressure issues to form and sensors lighting up dashboards. Related Articles – Hercules Tires’s Simpson: Adapting to Light Truck Tire Trends [Video] –

AMN Drivetime: MEMA Leaders Chat About the Future

In mid-November, the Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association (MEMA) made a major announcement about a new business structure to better position the organization and the vehicle supplier community for the future. The 118-year-old organization will now operate under one umbrella — MEMA — and will represent automotive and commercial vehicle suppliers with two groups: MEMA Aftermarket Suppliers

Preparing Your Tire Shop for the Winter Season

Oldman Winter is starting to wake up. Before you know it, roads in many parts of the country will look more like skating rinks than areas to drive. While stocking up on winter tires may seem like the best option, things aren’t that simple. Related Articles – The Largest Volume Tire Segment Continues to Thrive