Mind the Tech 2019
The Future of Mobility Is Greener, Says Citymapper Founder
Omid Ashtari spoke Thursday at Calcalist’s third Mind the Tech conference in London
The vehicle of the future has yet to be invented, but when it is, it will be what an iPhone is to a old-school phone, according to Omid Ashtari, founder and president of public transportation application developer Citymapper Ltd. Ashtari spoke in a chat with Eze Vidra, co-founder of Tel Aviv-based venture capital firm Remagine Media Ventures LP, at Calcalist’s third Mind the Tech conference in London Thursday.
CityMapper’s app offers functions such as locating the nearest available electric scooter or shared bicycle and hailing a ride via services like Gett and Uber. The company recently launched a card that enables users in London to purchase a combined subscription to various mobility services. The company is trying to solve the problem of getting from point A to point B by combining a variety of mobility avenues, Ashtari explained.
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Ashtari also spoke about the future of companies like Uber, saying that as smart cities will become greener, companies who make use of polluting technologies will face backlash and be forced to adapt. There are very narrow profit margins in the industry, he said, so companies will need to adapt.
There a few current trends in urban mobility, according to Ashtari. The first is shared micro-mobility services like scooters and bikes. The second is making use of a few transportation methods on the same route, and the third is complexity. All those things should be made easier, Ashtari said, and that’s where Citymapper comes in as an aggregator.
Today, city outskirts are not as well-served as the urban centers when it comes to mobility services, and that will need to change, Ashtari said. Operators should be pushed to offer the same level of services throughout cities, and more emphasis should be placed on creating infrastructure that is friendly to walking or to electric vehicles, especially at city centers, to reduce pollution.