Transportation network companies like Lyft and Uber are no longer startups. The top four ride-hailing companies in the world – Didi, Uber, Lyft, and Grab – have a combined valuation of US$166 billion.

The rise of shared mobility services like Uber and Lyft is threatening to disrupt a multitrillion-dollar industry. Self-driving cars, zero-emission vehicles, connectivity, and innovative materials are defining the future of mobility.

Lux Research, a provider of tech-enabled research and advisory services for technology innovation, took a deep dive into the business models and themes disrupting this age-old industry in the new report, “Sharing is Scaring: New Business Models Disrupting Mobility.”

“These companies are no longer focused on expanding into new markets with ride-hailing services," said Chris Robinson, Senior Analyst at Lux. "Most markets are already saturated with such options. Instead, multimodality – providing access to different modes of transport, such as bikes and cars, on their platforms – is now a key focus.”

“Recently, two key changes are emerging in this space," Robinson said. "First, shared mobility companies are pursuing integration of many services and transportation modes, such as bikes and scooters, into one platform rather than developing one specific app or business model. Second, the industry’s growth is attracting a diverse array of competitors, including automakers, transportation network companies, and tech companies.”

The report deems autonomous vehicles the most important technical development shaping the future of shared mobility. “Despite the disruptive promises of shared mobility, no companies have been able to maintain profitability,” noted Robinson. “Autonomous vehicles promise to drastically alter the financials of ride-hailing.”

Navigating this change will be crucial for success, especially as shared mobility companies’ competitors have more experience in fleet management.

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