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Providing Technological Solutions for Smart Mobility: Mobly, a Belgium-based Start-up, Steers its Way from Niche to Mass

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We want to make you more secure and give you more insight. That way you can buy a car based on increased certainty and knowledge: Gerrit Nollet

Over the last few years, automotive electronics and wireless technologies have grown by leaps and bounds. Advancements in these technologies, combined with device convergence and changing lifestyle demands, are enabling the automobile to extend the driving experience beyond traditional vehicle transport.

To fulfil such demands, an increasing number of solutions are providing vehicle-to-infrastructure and vehicle-to-vehicle communication, services that allow cars to continuously exchange information with the environment through which they pass. The car’s connection to the surrounding world is a game changer that is growing beyond traditional in-vehicle infotainment.

In view of the above, we are delighted to present Mobly – committed to making you more mobile using smart technological solutions. It sees mobility as a service, and offers the mobility platform to make that happen.

The company was established in 2017 and is based in Antwerp, Belgium.

Interview Excerpt: Gerrit Nollet, CEO

Getting off the Ground: The Birth of the Idea

Nobody will deny that Belgium faces a huge mobility challenge. As Belgian road network becomes increasingly congested, new growth markets such as car sharing and connected car technology are emerging. Within three to four years, mobility will fundamentally change, with technology driven innovations leading the way – an important revolution that Mobly wants to contribute to. With technological solutions for smart mobility, the young startup wants to make the consumer more mobile by putting them in the driver’s seat. It sees mobility as a service.

The Belgian mobility market is mainly characterized by intransparency, unreliability and imbalance – a warped situation that Mobly wants to change, “rather today than tomorrow.” It plans to make the change by allowing the consumer to take control using connected car technology. The company’s mission is to empower people by equipping them with smart tools that respond to kinds of mobility needs.

“Over the past few months, our 10-person team has focused primarily on the total cost of car ownership, the total cost for the car owner. As a result Mobly can now offer potential car buyers a cost-free car report for all car brands and types, enabling the customer to calculate the total economic life of any specific car.

If you want to buy a new or second-hand car, Mobly’s free car report provides a complete picture of the expected costs and cost elements, based on the number of kilometres driven on average per year and taking into account frequently occurring defects, fuel consumption, environmental impact, low-emission zones, etc. All these factors also have an impact on the market value and later resale price of the vehicle.”

The Innovation Catalysts

As a startup, our 10-person strong team is definitely the biggest asset of our organization today.” The drive and contribution of each individual has a huge impact on the development of the company and its successes. In the coming weeks and months, “we expect to see our team grow to 18.”

As a corporate start-up, a very large asset is our mother company,” Baloise Insurance, which is an international insurance company based in Basel Switzerland. While Mobly is an independent company with its own structure and leadership, it does benefit from this relationship, and the access it (Baloise) provides to a large network of partners in the automotive market.

The ecosystem of partners that Mobly works with allows it to move more quickly into the market and “this is definitely an important advantage today and tomorrow as we continually look for potential partnerships.”

Mobly App: A Much Needed Solution

At the end of April, Mobly will launch its mobile app on the market.

With this app, the consumer will be able to get insight into the technical status of his car, his driving statistics and access to numerous mobility services like roadside assistance.

A dongle, connected to the OBD (on-board diagnostics) port, reads all data from the vehicle and sends it to an online diagnostics platform. “With our app, the driver will receive proactive notifications of technical defects on his smartphone.” Diagnosing the vehicle therefore occurs permanently, and no longer only in a car workshop, with the major advantage that potential defects are detected earlier, which provides the consumer with considerable savings in terms of maintenance and repair costs, even in the case of technical incidents or an accident.

In Full Swing

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In an ideal Mobly world, there will never be defective vehicles by the roadside. In time, the Mobly Mobility Platform will provide consumers with access to a wide range of service providers from the after-sales market, with personalized recommendations and offers. “Imagine that in freezing weather in the evening you can hear from the app that the battery of your car is almost empty and the next morning a new battery is delivered at home. Or when you cross the border, you will be asked in real-time whether you want to take out temporary insurance for foreign countries.” In the Netherlands, private individuals can already take out prepaid car insurance; they pay per bundle of a thousand kilometres. Technology goes one step further and allows you to insure your car per kilometre travelled. And perhaps you will no longer have to go to a physical payment terminal in the near future: the moment you park the car in any city, this will happen automatically. “We are on the verge of a definitive breakthrough of that kind of smart mobility solutions and it’s great that we can contribute to it.”

Game Plan

Even though today’s services are still focused on driving, Mobly is committed to working on various mobility fronts. In the coming months, for example, “we will take a closer look at insurance formulas.” “And who knows, maybe tomorrow we will be working on systems that incorporate other modes of transport with embedded mobility services.”

The Man Behind The Operation: A Brief Description

Gerrit Nollet: Gerrit Nollet is the CEO of the company. With an impressive track record of over 15 years in insurance industry, Gerrit was appointed by the shareholders as CEO of Mobly. Gerrit has been an active advocate of new mobility business models, and has been a driving force of Mobly since early inception within Baloise Insurance. Mr Nollet earned a degree in law from the University of Ghent, Belgium.