IDC: Katja, great to have you on our Advisory Board. Tell us a bit about She Drives Mobility
Katja Diehl: She Drives Mobility is a „one-woman business“ committed to a people-centered and climate-positive transportation transformation. With all the technology that is available to make this happen, we will not bring about the much-needed transformation of this sector, which continues to increase its emissions and consume space in cities, unless we embrace behavioral change. She Drives Mobility advocates for freedom of choice: Having a choice in how journeys are made. And to no longer be dependent solely on the car. Car-centeredness is man-made; good mobility should focus on people.
IDC: How would you describe the evolution of mobility, not so much from a technology perspective, but from a user point of view?
Katja Diehl: I see many opportunities as we reflect how we have changed our behavior because of the pandemic. We stopped flying and worked from home where possible. Changing transport also means reflecting on user models, business models and operating models. Do I have to emit emissions for an appointment or can I also organize the necessary arrangements to have an online meeting? Does my company have to offer company cars for a few or is a mobility budget for everyone the more modern way? I want to create discourse, network providers and, by combining different core competencies, contribute to the deviation from the norm.
IDC: How do you think transportation companies (and other stakeholders across the mobility ecosystem) should change their operations to deliver on the promise of a more user-centric mobility, now and in the near future?
Katja Diehl: I am firmly convinced that it is possible to quickly get climate and socially just mobility off the ground if all providers of different services work together. We have a false promise: If you drive a car, you’ll always be mobile. But we forget that many people can’t or don’t want to drive – some simply can’t afford a car. We should therefore pay more attention to the needs that exist for mobility. In technical terms, the digitization of existing local transportation is a major lever of improvement here. The core competence of a transport company together with that of a software provider and a vehicle manufacturer can help to create an ad hoc, barrier-free and locally emission-free local transport system on demand.
IDC: Are there examples of good practices that you have seen companies around Europe implement from this perspective?
Katja Diehl: I like the approach of Loop Münster, organized by the regional Stadtwerke Münster based on the ridepooling algorithm of door2door (Berlin) and the vehicles of LEC (“London cab”).. Stadtwerke Münster launched LOOPmünster in September 2020. The “LOOP” is an on-demand bus that goes where existing public transport options don’t. Via an app, users connect with an accessible London cab powered by green electricity that takes passengers to their destination quickly and in an environmentally-friendly way. LOOPmünster is on the go during the usual public transport operating hours all week from 5 a.m. to 2 a.m. the next day, and even around the clock on weekends. LOOPmünster is very flexible and convenient for the citizens of Münster, but at the same time it is instrumental in reducing the number of car tips, thereby supporting the city climate goals.