Smart City

Local Motion proves that one does not need a car to be mobile

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Following his participation in our Prime Open initiative, we interviewed Louis Chatriot, Local Motion’s Head of Development Europe. Local Motion is a start-up that helps organizations manage their fleet of shared vehicles and has recently raised a $6M series A.  Discover this start-up which is already a key player in the Smart City ecosystem.

  • Prime: Hello Louis, can you present Local Motion to us?

We are a US start-up based in the Silicon Valley, that recently raised a $6M series A round with Andreessen Horowitz. We are building a hardware+software solution to help organizations manage their fleet of shared vehicles saving time and cost.

  • Prime: What is your product? What is your value proposition for companies and governments?

We have created a module that we install in our clients’ vehicles which is able to read employee badges, lock/unlock the doors, and track the car’s position in real-time. Once the module is installed, employees can use our platform to book cars and then access them with a simple tap of their badge on the windshield. The fleet manager uses the platform to monitor the fleet: real-time position of the cars, level of fuel (or charge for electric cars), who’s driving, length of rides etc.

This of course is very helpful on a day-to-day basis, but is just the first step. Once the module is installed, we begin to collect a huge amount of data on fleet usage. We use this data to help our clients right-size their fleet and know which car they can get rid of, which can be replaced by an electric one and so on. We are also working on efficient driving training and a maintenance application.

  • Prime: How can your business or technology have a positive impact on cities?

Helping organizations manage their fleets is just the first step. What we really want is to make people aware that you don’t need a car to be mobile, and that carsharing is a much cheaper alternative for urban trips. We want people to install our module on their cars and begin to share them. We basically want to create the largest network of shared vehicles in the world.

This is how we’ll be able to get an accurate idea of the mobility needs of our cities, get rid of all the useless cars, and reclaim the enormous space they take up for what people really need: parks, shops, restaurants etc. In a city like Paris, we should be able to shave off 1 square kilometer. Isn’t that a lot?

  • Prime: You founded your start-up in the Silicon Valley and are now launching operations in Europe, more particularly in France. From your point of view, what are the main differences between Paris and the Silicon Valley when launching a start-up?

Both have their strong points. In Paris, you’ll easily find very good engineers, there are a good number of programs helping start-ups and life is generally less expensive than in the Bay Area. In the Silicon Valley, it’s much easier to access capital for crazy ideas (like “create the largest network of shared vehicles in the world”) and get in touch with world-class mentors. It is still the center of the start-up world!

For more information on entrepreneurship in the US and France, visit http://www.innovation-prime.com/

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