GoShare Taiwan Ltd.
- End-to-end electric scooter sharing platform provides first/last mile and distance mobility for more than 800,000 users in Taiwan
An offshoot of Gogoro Inc., GoShare Taiwan Ltd. takes full advantage of the electric scooter maker’s comprehensive network of battery swap stations to offer the world’s first fully integrated end-to-end mobility sharing service.
Electric mobility revolution
While its sleek range of scooters in striking pastels are now a feature of the road in Taiwan, Gogoro has always set its sights even further afield, looking out for any innovative way to create “cleaner, smarter cities.”
Knowing that buying a scooter isn’t the only option for everyone, Gogoro began considering offering a fractional ownership model to enable more people to go electric.
“We want to promote an electric revolution. We want to provide a lot of convenient ways for people to join in,” head of GoShare Henry Chiang said. “By buying a scooter, you can join. By sharing, you can join. So from this larger perspective, we considered offering mobility sharing.”
Tests of the model in 2016 and 2017 through local partnerships in Berlin and Ishigaki, Japan, proved its viability, but its full potential was realized in 2019, when the model was plugged into Gogoro’s network of battery stations in Taiwan and granted its own GoShare brand.
Computer with wheels
While a manufacturer in name, Gogoro and by extension GoShare is more like a technology company in practice.
“Gogoro isn’t an electric scooter, it’s a computer with wheels,” Chiang said, stressing what’s possible when a vehicle maker thinks beyond just electrification.
It was through this logic-centered approach that emerged the core of its service: the Gogoro Network.
As opposed to other electric vehicles, a user does not need to wait for their scooter to charge — an extensive network of nearly 2,000 GoStations are scattered across Taiwan, allowing riders to swap for fresh batteries in seconds. For GoShare, this cuts down dramatically on the number of couriers needed to manage the fleet, as five in 10 swaps are done by the customers themselves. For the customers, it means they can drive for as long as they need.
Below the ‘hood’
On top of this foundation, GoShare can take advantage of its fully vertical integration to offer a suite of unique features, such as a wireless charging phone stand, yet for this tech company, even more opportunities lie in automation.
Registration traditionally takes about two days to complete, as a person must confirm an applicant’s ID and driver’s license by hand. GoShare initially thought it was just an industry norm, “but when we were developing the system, we thought this is a pain point that we can change,” Chiang said.
To bypass this human step, the GoShare app uses artificial intelligence (AI) and facial recognition to confirm an applicant’s documents and even differentiate their license class, all in the three minutes it would take to walk to a scooter.
The app also employs machine learning to help users find rides. When looking for a scooter, a user can either search on the map or press the GoShare button to recommend one. As the user might not know how far their destination is, the app will recommend the vehicle with the appropriate amount of battery, while it can also determine based on past usage where the user might be headed.
The scooters also integrate multiple usage models, allowing users to choose whether to rent through Apple Pay or by scanning a QR code on the scooter.
When asked about the business impact of these extra features, Chiang always says: “It has nothing to do with revenue growth. We just want to make the customer’s user experience better. That’s it.”
Cleaner, smarter cities
After a notable mobility sharing attempt stirred controversy in Taiwan, Chiang said he saw governments go from “not understanding to fear to revulsion” of the industry, yet he envisions the potential for a more symbiotic relationship.
“Companies can play an important role. We can share industry norms, the kind of challenges we face,” Chiang said. “Especially in these new industries like mobility sharing, blockchain or P2P, the biggest challenge is that the government doesn’t know how to manage them.”
Therefore, even though GoShare was capable of deploying nationwide within a month, the firm is taking its time to first understand each region’s needs and establish relationships with local authorities before moving forward.
GoShare in particular maintains a close relationship with Taoyuan, the first city to deploy the service and winner of the Intelligent Community Forum’s Intelligent Community of the Year for 2019.
The city early on recognized the value of GoShare’s detailed usage data for policy planning. The scooter’s smart batteries store information on a range of data points, including torque, lean angle, g-force, speed and brake force. Taoyuan has since been utilizing this anonymized data in conjunction with location to pinpoint areas to redesign for safety or to streamline traffic flow.
Points of interest
Taking the time to understand a region also allows GoShare to cater its service accordingly. For example, low densities in some areas render the free-floating model untenable, yet there remains demand for vehicle sharing.
GoShare therefore developed GoShare DOTS, a point-to-point system that allows users to travel between different attractions. The first rollout was along the northern coast of Taiwan, where users can borrow or return scooters from 11 different stations.
The model not only ensures that scooters will be left in convenient locations for the next user, but also prevents the issue of abandonment that has plagued many sharing schemes.
After expanding to Taipei, New Taipei City, Taoyuan, Yunlin and Tainan within a year of launch, GoShare is eyeing other regions in Taiwan moving forward, as well as collaborative expansions abroad and partnerships with enterprises such as Visa and Microsoft to broaden ridership. With 800,000 users taking 6.5 million trips as of September 2020, GoShare is showing no sign of slowing down any time soon.
- The world’s fastest-growing electric scooter service garnered 800,000 users in 13 months across five regions in Taiwan
- Scalable battery sharing network powers fleet, ensuring smooth and sustainable operations
- The world’s first end-to-end mobility sharing platform vertically integrates the entire Gogoro platform — including Gogoro Network, Gogoro Smartscooter, Powered by Gogoro Network scooters and GoShare App — into one powerful solution
- AI and facial recognition cut registration time down from two days to three minutes, while automation streamlines service
- Comprehensive usage data informs transportation authorities on policy decisions
- Flexible model can be adapted to local needs, such as point-to-point mobility for large operating areas