Shared and electric: Transportation in cities of future

The coronavirus pandemic has irrevocably changed our lives over the past two years. It has ushered in a new generation lifestyle that includes sensors and data everywhere, data analytics or software for artificial intelligence, transportation, education, logistics, healthcare and payment systems.

Transport behavior and people’s habits are changing. More and more are opting for shared mobility rather than owning a vehicle, opting for electric over petrol, and preferring electric skateboards over cars.

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The concept of mobility is becoming more and more important in global events. Türkiye’s first micro-mobility initiative Martı, founded by Alper Öktem and Sena Öktem four years ago, was one of the sponsors of MOVE America, an avenue that brings together the world’s transportation technology and mobility giants.

Martı, which is set to go public through a merger with Galata Acquisition Corp., a New York-listed blank check company, a deal that marks the first initial public offering (IPO) of a Turkish company through SPAC, was among the initiatives that at the attention-grabbing event.

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Alper Öktem, CEO of Martı, said that the concept of mobility has changed behavior in all cities, stressing that the change is a “unique revolution, similar to the transition to color television”.

“Martı is not a scooter rental. Martı is a transport company. We believe that technology-enabled mobility is a revolution that is as important as the generational change in telecommunications, as important as color television,” said Öktem.

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“In the cities of the future, everything will be shared and electric. The definition of technology-enabled mobility is to transport people from point A to point B with the help of technology. We want to be there in every area and everywhere.”

Alper Öktem (L) and Sena Öktem, founders of Türkiye's first micro-mobility initiative Martı.  (Courtesy of Martı)

Alper Öktem (L) and Sena Öktem, founders of Türkiye’s first micro-mobility initiative Martı. (Courtesy of Martı)

Öktem explained that they represent their country in global mobility events and stressed that they have built one of the world’s largest micro-mobility fleets in Türkiye.

“We believe that in the future vehicles will be shared and powered by electricity. We meet more investors and entrepreneurs at global events and explain ourselves. We are trying to attract more investment to Türkiye. We focus on providing transportation solutions for people in all areas of mobility. We are trying to discover that journey that can be experienced in safer and more comfortable conditions,” he noted.

First on the NYSE

Öktem expressed that they believe Martı’s SPAC deal will be an example of Türkiye’s initiatives.

“We are proud to be the first Turkish startup to receive SPAC investment and go public on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). We work on every detail to achieve this. I think we will achieve that with a young and strong team. We hope that we will inspire more startups from Türkiye to reach global financial resources,” he noted.

domestic production

Öktem explained that technology-enabled safe travel is their priority and also addressed the target of the native rate of the vehicles they use.

“We make all improvements for safe travel. Our goal is to have 30% of production in Türkiye in 2024. We have extensive experience in the use of micro-mobility vehicles. In this regard, we have built one of the world’s most important fleets in Türkiye. We gained considerable knowledge not only on the hardware side but also on the software side. We strive to create a powerful solution in every segment from software to vehicle embedded application,” he explained.

Benefit from change

There are significant opportunities for startups in the rapidly changing field of mobility. From energy to telecoms, batteries to displays, many tech startups are trying to lead the transformation. Mobility offers many new possibilities, from software to hardware.

The fiber and 5G investments of Türk Telekom, one of Türkiye’s leading information and communication technology companies, have a significant impact on the efficient operation of mobility initiatives. The MOVE event in Austin, USA also aspires to be one of the organizations that manages the experience exchange and relationship network in mobility.

Important meetings with new brands in the mobility sector, where the enormous change is most felt, are taking place. The event focuses on building relationships at conferences rather than promoting vehicles or products. Finally, all startups are trying to fill a new gap in mobility. While the state of Texas is the symbol of oil, it aims to become the center of the mobility revolution with events like this.

love for bikes

Nearly 70% of respondents to the July 2021 Consumer Mobility Ownership Survey conducted by the McKinsey Center for Future Mobility said they were willing to use micro-mobility tools for their daily commute.

These findings suggest that as pandemic restrictions are lifted and offices reopen, a growing number of workers could resort to smaller and greener modes of transport.

These are in line with previous research from 2020, which suggested micromobility is poised for a strong comeback as the COVID-19 pandemic eases and people start traveling more.

In fact, it turns out that every second Chinese and Italian prefers to commute by bike. After all, all vehicles are affected by the electric transformation. It now seems to be the turn of the charging solutions in the electrical infrastructure. The MOVE event opens its doors to initiatives that want to be part of this transformation.

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