Micro-Mobility: The quick guide to know jargon and terms in the scooter, ebike and moped sharing industry.

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By Carlos Agudelo

Jan 19, 2021

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In the process of building or starting a business in Micro Mobility, whether is for vehicle sharing, micro mobility sharing for e-bikes, scooters or mopeds, you will always find similar terms to refer, it’s important to understand the context of them.

You might have some common questions like What is Micro Mobility? , What is a Moped? Or What is an ebike? When people refer to those normally the quick way to go is just by making a quick search but let me tell you there’s a whole trap where you can spend thousands of hours.

In some cases they are just Industry jargon in other cases they are the reference to talk about the different aspects of the business.

Since there’s a lot to learn and most people won’t tell this in detail we wanted to provide a quick guide about the most used terms across the industry.

This can be a bit intimidating. Don’t worry though. Below are some of the widest used terms in the shared vehicle and micro-mobility industry.

BACKEND / BACK OFFICE :  This is the brain of the vehicle sharing platform. It’s the area in which operators and in field teams use to monitor and maintain the fleet remotely, including payments and customer service tasks.

BLUETOOTH / BLE: BLE is one of the connectivity protocols to lock and unlock the vehicle by bridging the mobile device and the vehicle.

C.A.S.E. : Case is an acronym that stands for “Connected, Autonomous, Shared, Electric.” Describing the future of mobility.

COVERAGE AREA :  The permitted area in which the fleet is operated.

COSMIC: The coolest shared mobility platform EVER!

DECK :  The part of the scooter where the rider stands on.

DOCK :  The dock is the physical stand or kiosk that locks a vehicle until it’s ready for rental or usage.

DOCKLESS : Dockless and free floating are synonymous meaning without a dock and available for usage on the side of the street.

EBIKE: A vehicle normally similar to a Pushed Bike with the main difference being pushed by a electric motor.

FIRST/LAST MILE :  Last and first mile is the distance travelled to and from the beginning or end of the trip. This applies to commuters such as the distance to and from the bus stop or logistics meaning the distance to or from the distribution center.

FLEET DENSITY :  This is the amount of vehicles within any given area. The more vehicles in a smaller area, the higher the fleet density.

FLEET MANAGEMENT: The process of creating offl-line tasks to improve the vehicle administration and management.

FLEET MANAGEMENT SOFTWARE :  A.K.A F.M.S is the entire system that powers the management, maintenance and provisioning of the fleet.

FREE-FLOATING: Like dockless, free floating means fleets without docks and available without physical infrastructure.

GDPR : This stands for “General Data Protection Regulation.” GDPR is a regulation from the EU that determines the guidelines for how data must be stored in order to ensure user security.

GEOFENCE : This is the limited area that a user can ride the vehicle. This is defined and proctored through the backend.

GIG ECONOMY :  The gig economy are any contractor based positions similar to Uber drivers or in the example of shared mobility this is similar to Lime Juicers.

HARDWARE AGNOSTICISM :  The Fleet Management system will connect to any hardware or IoT provider. This comes with its pros and cons.

IoT DEVICE : IoT stands for Internet of Things and it refers to the “brain” of the vehicle that brings it online.

MaaS : Mobility as a Service represents a new model in which operators are able to launch their own fleets faster by licensing or purchasing the software from another provider (like Cosmic 😉).

MDS :  “Mobility Data Specification.” A data standard (set of definitions) and API specification created by the City of Los Angeles for mobility-as-a-service providers.

MICROMOBILITY : Micro-mobility represents most trips and rides less than 8KM.

MOBILE APP :  Normally an iOS and Android app which enables users to lock, unlock and pay for their rides.

MODALITY:  The types of vehicles used in the fleet. For example bikes, scooters & motorcycles.

MOQ :  Minimum Order Quantity is used to denominate the minimum amount of units needed to purchase.

MTS: This term stands for Mass Transportation Systems, normally wide operation systems, intended to have massive transportation for people in cities.

OPERATIONS :  Operations are the day to day tasks including logistics, charging and maintenance.

OPERATOR (FLEET) :  Typically the person or group running the operations. Many times the operator is also the fleet owner.

PARKING ZONES : Locations in which the ending of rides and parking are approved. This is typically provisioned through the backend.

PERMITS :  Permits are what local governments and municipalities issue to operators to give permission to operate their fleets and use public space.

PESKIN RATIO : The amount of failed rides vs. successful rides the rider or end user experiences.

PRIVATE FLEET :  Vehicles restricted to a specific group of users or organization. This could be on corporate campuses or private communities.

PUBLIC FLEET : Vehicles that are available to the general public.

RANGE : The range is how far an electric vehicle can travel on a single vehicle.

REBALANCING : This represents the tasks of redistributing the fleet for optimal usage throughout the day.

SERVICE AREA :  Same as Coverage Area.

SHARED FLEET :  This is the term for vehicles meant for the purpose of sharing.

SMARTLOCK : The smart locks connected to bikes or other vehicles that enable a user to unlock via their apps.

STATION : A station is a group of docks.

SIM CARD: The plastic card that transmits to and from the vehicle and/or IoT device. This is the same little card used to connect your phone to your carrier.

STEM :  The primary pole that attaches the handlebar of a scooter to its deck.

TEAM MANAGEMENT: The process provides a team a series of tasks for them to easily manage the process related with the day to day operations with a fleet, warehouse or similar.

UTILIZATION RATE: The amount of usage any given fleet experiences. For example if you have 100 available scooters and 70 are used that operating day than your daily utilization rate is 70%

WALLET : The feature inside the app which stores value in the form of currency. Typically wallets are used to sell and store riding credits.

Hope you find this information interesting and useful.

In Case you’re wondering about more insights from the industry we invite you to check our Mobility Academy, it’s a full series of content and best in market practices for you to start a business, either if you use Cosmic or other software providers.

Image Credits: Photo by Andrea Piacquadio fromPexels.