The Road Ahead: Ushering in the Next Era of Mobility

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The hallmark of Summer 2022 might have been the return of travel. It came back fast and strong with innovation emerging from everywhere across the mobility ecosystem.

Put simply, the new tech that arrives with every season is astounding. Looking in the rearview, the definition of “mobility” has evolved in tremendous ways over the years, just like our business.

Today, mobility is the movement of people and goods. It goes beyond the vehicles we drive to encompass an integrated way of travel that meets every individual’s unique needs and preferences. It means more than simply getting to a destination … but rather, embracing technology and services to spur a more meaningful, efficient and sustainable journey.

This next era presents a unique opportunity for Enterprise Holdings. It urges us, and all mobility players, to focus on solutions that are accessible, equitable, seamless and sustainable for our planet.

This week I spoke at the U.S. Travel Association’s Future of Travel Mobility conference about our approach to support the industry in strengthening our mobility future.

Efforts to realize a more seamless and sustainable future are happening across our industry and business today—and more are on the horizon. Here are just a few priorities that we discussed:

  1. Today: Partnering with industry leaders to enable the acceleration of shared mobility—a transportation model that’s key to sustainability. Enterprise has been in the business of shared mobility since 1957, and that remains the same today. In 2022, we have more places to catch a ride, more ways to travel to our next destination, and more tech to make the journey more efficient and more sustainable.

Just last year Enterprise became the official car rental partner for GO-HI, one of the largest mobility as a service (Maas) projects in Europe, which covers an area that’s almost the size of Belgium. The GO-HI app allows users to plan and book their journeys with a range of shared transport options, all in one place from their smartphone. It’s a wonderful example of the power of partnerships—and something we hope to see more of around the world.

  1. In the next five years: Paving the way for an electrified future. We embrace the transition to electrification and are committed to doing so in a thoughtful way. As we think about our strategy, it’s not simply about introducing large numbers of EVs into our fleet. Our approach is focused on 1) ensuring we deliver a great experience and 2) partnering and investing purposefully to support the long-term viability of EVs.

Our research shows that customers are most hesitant about EVs for three reasons: 1) there’s not enough charging stations, 2) charging times are too long and 3) they face range anxiety. As more EVs enter the picture, we’re leaning into our strengths as operators and our extensive network, including in local neighborhoods, to ensure that every experience with an EV is a great one.

And, while there has been significant charging investment along major corridors, there hasn’t been as much investment in neighborhoods … where people live. We’re also doubling down on the equitability side of the equation, partnering with the National League of Cities to provide a roadmap to re-set the playing field for a just and inclusive transition.

  1. Even further down the road: Solving the “self-driving” puzzle. Autonomous vehicle (AV) technology is already being road tested—and when its scaled, we see the potential for AVs to play an important role in personalized, shared transit.

While the tech in the car is coming along, there are a whole host of factors that inform when and how it becomes mainstream. Our current priority is to learn everything that we can about AVs and identify opportunities for collaboration to help prepare our customers and communities for the adoption of AVs.

It’s an exciting time to be on the road and in the skies. As the seasons change and we stand on the brink of a mobility evolution, we’ll keep our customers, our employees, and our communities at the heart of everything we pursue.

Because from more than 65 years of experience, we know that balancing the interests of our customers, our employees and the natural world is essential to steady, long-term growth and the sustainability of the mobility industry.

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