AWS Startups Blog
Getting Around: Ridecell’s Integrated Approach to Mobility
Individual car ownership may be poised on the precipice of an impending decline, but that doesn’t mean car travel is on its way out. Especially in urban areas, people are hailing rideshares and hopping on employer-provided shuttles with increasing frequency. These services rely on uniquely tailored platforms—and that’s Ridecell’s area of expertise.
To put it simply, “You have a service region, you pick up the car, you can drive it anywhere, and you drop it off within the service region,” notes Alistair Adams, Ridecell’s director of product marking. “You pay by the mile or up to a fixed fee; the business model’s up to the end customer, and at the end of the day, how they want to charge for it.” Ridecell’s flexible model is modifiable for a range of mobility services, from rideshares to rental cars to fleets of autonomous vehicles, and it’s been successfully adapted for auto clubs, university transportation systems, and corporate transit agencies. As Adams explains, “In any space, any car-sharing company is dealing with the local regulations,” including parking, traffic governance, and insurance. Ridecell takes care of all that, integrating multiple levels of operations for both its clients and their end users, ensuring a seamless experience for both. The platform also works for newly popular micro-mobility options like scooters and e-bikes. “For the end user, it’s really nice because they just have one fixed fee; they don’t have to worry about insurance, they don’t have to worry about gas, they don’t have to worry about parking. They just go use a vehicle, and then when they’re finished, they drop it off again.”
And, like any transportation tech company worth its salt, Ridecell has its eye on autonomous options, too. “One of the challenges you have in carsharing is that your fleet remains what we call imbalanced, so you’ve got cars in one part of that city, but the demand might be in others,” says Adams. Individual employees usually rebalance vehicle distributions, but what if those tasks could happen on their own? Using autonomous driving, “In the middle of the night when traffic’s low and low speed, you can rebalance the fleet,” explains Adams. Thinking even further ahead, he notes, “You could, in fact, even have the case where you say, ‘All right, I want a vehicle,’ and instead of having to walk up to it, it drives to you itself.” Ridecell is ready for the day when that prediction becomes a reality.