1. Electric, self-driving, shared – are these the vehicles of the future?
Absolutely. Electric propulsion is proving to be a much more efficient use of energy and reduces CO2 emissions by up to 60% depending on how the electricity is produced. While the EU average is only around 20%, the development of sustainable forms of electricity generation will certainly improve this share in the coming years.
In addition to electric vehicles, larger vehicles are likely to use hydrogen, which will allow longer distances even for larger vehicles such as buses and trucks.
Self-driving vehicles are already being driven in many cities around the world and it is only a matter of time before there is a broader consensus on how such vehicles should be used. In any case, confined or restricted areas and large cities will be the first. It will be some time before they reach us in widespread daily use.
There are 2 areas in car sharing. The first one is car sharing, which successfully improves the utilisation of vehicles, so that they are not parked 96% of the time and taking up public space, but these vehicles are much better utilised and thus reduce the emissions generated by vehicle production.
The other area is ride sharing or shared transport, which is what we are doing. This way, emissions and costs are on average reduced 3 times more. Passengers, on the other hand, still have the flexibility to choose their hours and to travel from door to door.
That is why I also believe that in the next decade, ride-sharing will become the real mobility of the future, together with fast and frequent bus and rail transport on the busiest routes and at peak times, together with micro mobility for shorter distances and good weather, and of course shared vehicles for trips and journeys where there are a lot of stops, luggage, or little traffic.
2. How do you think mobility will change in the future to be not only environmentally friendly but also user-friendly?
Any change in habits is a problem in the short term. If we look at the private car as the pinnacle of user-friendliness, this transition will be hard for users in the short term. However, if a large enough number of users make the decision to jump from the private car to alternatives, the alternatives will become better and better and more user-friendly.
At some point, we will feel that the private car is actually a burden, and the real freedom lies in the freedom of alternatives.
What is better than using a bicycle on a nice day, hopping on fast and frequent buses when it is raining and travelling into the centre, and being taken from one part of the city to another by a group van for a similar price but direct.
And the fact is that even if you are in a hurry and need to hop on a taxi often, the monthly cost of all the moves will be cheaper than the current real cost of a private car. In the end, all that is needed is one app that combines all these alternatives, and we have the most user-friendly mobility.
3. We all know that private cars are a major polluter. Although more and more people are cycling in city centres, not all of us can get to work by bicycle. In some areas even public transport is not developed well enough. Where do you see a solution?
Public transport is mainly provided by vehicles with larger capacities. This means that these vehicles have to go everywhere and make many stops. As a result, journey times and schedule reliability are problematic.
So, the easiest solution is definitely ride-sharing. We want to create dynamic shuttles on routes to big cities where public passenger transport is poorly connected directly to offer a comfortable daily commuter transport for employees. We will be testing such rides next year in Slovenia.
4. What is the biggest advantage of car-sharing and ridesharing?
No vehicle costs. The value of the vehicle decreases over time, annual registrations, regular servicing, breakdowns, rims, vignettes, parking fees, petrol... it's a lot and the average driver doesn't even realise the real cost of their mobility. With ride sharing, the costs become clear, and life becomes much more carefree and less stressful. No more searching for parking spaces, no more road rage and difficult drivers, no more endless rushing....
Unfortunately, as public passenger transport and alternatives are not yet well developed in all parts of the country, the transition from car ownership to car and ride sharing requires a bit more commitment to planning your movements and adapting if one of the alternatives is not available at the moment you need it. Every year the offer is getting better, and this transition will become easier and easier.
5. GoOpti is certainly one of the innovative technological solutions in the field of mobility. In what direction will you develop your services to keep pace with new mobility concepts?
We have just launched a new app for drivers and a mobile app for passengers is coming early next year. The latter will allow tracking the location and arrival of the driver and, as a second step, the possibility of making changes, which is currently a big problem in our system, where only cancellations and new purchases are possible.
In addition to airport transfers, we already provide transport to events. We really hope that the SmarMove project, which is currently taking place in Ljubljana, will show that we are ready to switch from our own vehicle to a much more sustainable and cheaper group transport service. If the results are encouraging, we will continue to develop the adaptation of the platform even outside Slovenia.