Science

Google Maps competitor now also wants to overtake Tesla

In May 2020, Intel went shopping while he went to Israel. Especially for a technology company that was worth a lot for what it did and continues to do, as well as for what it knew. Moovit, the urban mobility app with presence almost everywhere in the world, has been a mine of data. With 6 billion anonymous data, it has the largest mobile data store on the planet. One that combines information from public and private companies, operators or shared mobility companies.

In 2017, Intel also acquired Mobileye, another Israeli technology company that builds self-driving cars and improves the intelligence of older models that are part of the US company. They wanted to get fully involved in the self-driving car race, which Elon Musk of Tesla was already leading at the time and continues to lead.

With the purchase of Moovit, the two companies were expected to create synergies. The common basis for taking Intel to the next level. What wasn’t clear was how they were going to do it. The first steps have been taken today. Moovit, building on its knowledge of urban mobility in over 3,500 cities on the agenda, will become the visible face of Mobileye self-driving cars.

The “Robotaxi” they want to launch in Israel in 2023 will use the Moovit software via MoovitAV for command and control. In addition, they will also be integrated into the public and private transport offer already available on the mobile app. Through this, and through their knowledge of the data, they want to improve transport management in cities. For other cities? More sites will be announced in the future, according to Yovav Meidad, director of marketing for Moovit.

Moovit wants to monetize ads

Building its own Robotaxi system in collaboration with Mobileye opens up a new monetization path for Intel’s technology subsidiary. However, they are also working on another important line of revenue generation from their data business. And this is the logical path. The company first created an ecosystem, now it wants to monetize it.

Based on a large database and knowledge of its usage and habits, Moovit is preparing an advertising and sponsorship model. For certain stores and establishments, the company wants them to appear in user directions. This way, if they are looking for a place, they won’t have to go to other apps.

It will be, roughly speaking, something like Google Maps, but with paid visits. Logically, with fewer appearances than its more direct competitor. In this case, they give the example of a McDonald’s or a coffee shop that may be strategically important to the user.

However, as Meidad assures us, they still need to work on increasing their user base and growing it to secure their future growth and path to monetization. They are also in the process of reaching out to potential partners that will eventually appear on the platform.

Problem with public transport

Moovit has grown with the advent of Covid. If the reduction in the number of prisoners, which affected all international activities, was noticeable, today they claim to record numbers. And the fact is that in this case several circumstances converged at once.

On the one hand, Moovit sought to adapt to the realities of the moment. Due to the need to maintain interpersonal distance, information on the capacity of various modes of transport has been added to the application. This has resulted in an increase in app usage. Today, with rising fuel prices, “many people who used to drive have switched to public transport,” they explain.

However, the inclusion of public transport ticketing improved the company’s data the most. In the Netherlands, Israel, and several US cities, Moovit has added in-app purchases during the pandemic. It was the perfect time for a world that didn’t want to touch anything or exchange money with anyone. In such cases, it was easy. The integrated and unified systems of these regions in the case of public transport ensured a rapid transition. With the software ready for the connection, Moovit didn’t have to struggle much with either side.

In Spain, this process is slow. They say they are in talks with local governments to help them make any changes. But, they explain, many do not yet know how to integrate these third-party services. If this happens in the future, they add, “they will be happy to be in this moment.” In any case, they assure that, despite all this, the good state of data discovery in the country made it possible to have up-to-date information. In many other countries it is still a dream. However, for the next step, they still need to tackle all levels of local government. This remains a Herculean task to this day.

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