Inventing the Mobility Super App - Stuart Donnelly talks about his move to TMC
Stuart “Mobility” Donnelly is perhaps one of the more flamboyant personalities in the fleet sector. Adopting the ‘Mobility’ moniker after joining Sixt in 2017 and vowing to “disrupt” vehicle ownership. He’s prominent on social media, styled, always impeccably well-groomed and is renowned for donning orange shoes to remind everyone of Sixt’s striking logo.
But now he’s left Sixt to join TMC (The Miles Consultancy) as president of mobility. We caught up with him at the Global Fleet Conference in Portugal to ask: what’s next…….and what about the shoes?
Donnelly joined Sixt with a mission to disrupt the industry by creating a credible and attractive alternative to vehicle ownership.
“That was my mission then and is still my mission now”, he states. “Even as far back as 2015, having been in fleet management for almost 20 years, everyone was talking about the “M-word” [mobility], and together with colleagues in the industry, I had the vision of creating a mobility super app, but it wasn’t the right time.”
Envisioning the mobility super app
One of Donnelly’s main objectives in his new role at TMC is to bring the miles consultancy to mobility and bring the vision to fruition.
“There isn’t a single, digital solution worldwide that enables people to truly transition from car ownership to mobility. Convenience is the main reason people own cars but the time has come when many forces are conspiring to change that, such as geopolitical forces, the economic impact of those, the chip shortage, the rising cost of buying cars (discounts will never be what they were), fuel prices and the squeeze on disposable income, people are beginning to question how they spend their money.”
“But without knowing the true cost of mobility, how can people ever step over that threshold?”
Giving people the means to choose
Donnelly’s mission at TMC is to create transparency and foresee peoples’ mobility footprint based around what Donnelly refers to as the four ‘Cs”: cost, carbon, clock and calories.
“The super app will enable people to see the full picture of their mobility choices before they make them i.e., how much a journey will cost, how much carbon a particular choice will produce (whether car, train, taxi, bus etc.), how long it will take to complete the journey and how it will benefit their health in terms of calorie count for those health conscious customers who may be inclined to walk or ride a bike.
The first step is creating transparency of your own mobility footprint.” Donnelly explains, “Whether you’re a consumer, commuter, fleet driver who’s reimbursed or has a company car or a corporate traveller, anyone will be able to access our platform that will give them that visibility at a low cost. It’s a tracking tool effectively, which is also interactive.”
Launching the Mobility IQ super app
TMC already has the foundations of the super app, which will be called Mobility IQ, and are aiming to launch the first version in Q2 2022. Using a specifically developed set of algorithms, AI and machine learning, Mobility IQ sits on top of TMC’s existing platform and enables both TMC and the customer to foresee their mobility footprint.
“We can push intelligent recommendations to the user, based on their personal or corporate preferences i.e. reducing your GHG carbon emissions, which as we heard at the Global Fleet Conference, is increasingly the case across all fleets. This is creating transparency and nothing else like it exists just now.”
The app, which will be offered on a SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) basis, will also link with an aggregated group of mobility service providers and modalities, so the customer can search, book and pay for their ground transport mobility and travel through a single app.
“We want to create mass for the mainstream.”
TMC is also expanding its partnership with Citibank, through which it currently offers a fuel card, and will allow users to pay contactless for OnDemand services such as micro-mobility, underground train networks or public transport buses and trams, and in support of driving the development roadmap, Donnelly is launching the TMC Mobility Hub steering committee to help define priorities for app development and beta pilots.
And what about the shoes? With good humour, Donnelly says his love affair with the colour orange continues, and he points out, TMC’s branding is also orange…but he says they’ll be mothballed in favour of another schtick.