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In Full Auto World, The Manufacturer Focuses On Shared Services


The head of the French group’s connected services and mobility department takes stock of its latest progress.

Brigitte Courtehoux is Director of the Connected Services and Mobility Unit at PSA Peugeot Citroën. © PSA

PSA has just unveiled Free2Move, the brand that encompasses its activities dedicated to new mobility. What will be his role? How do you envision the future of automobile consumption patterns?

Brigitte Courtehoux. We want to be an operator of the mobility of the future and we will not be able to do it alone. The goal with Free2Move is to develop partnerships with innovative companies to offer newly shared mobility, intelligent fleet management, and innovative connected services. We have already signed up with four companies: the French companies Blue Solutions, a subsidiary of the Bolloré group, Koolicar and Traveler, and the Canadian Communauto. We are also minority shareholders of the last three.

Concretely, Blue Solutions will soon put 30 Citroën C-Zero electric cars in Lyon and 20 in Bordeaux. Koolicar raises many car-sharing brakes with a connected box that allows access to a vehicle at any time without having to exchange keys or counting kilometers. We will also contribute to the expansion of Travelcar. Their idea is very innovative: it takes charge of the traveler’s vehicle at the station or airport, assures him of all risks, maintains it, and rents the vehicle to another individual. Finally, Communauto is facing a growing demand from cities such as Montreal, which requires at least 1,000 electric vehicles free floating, that is to say without reservation, on its streets within 5 years.

“We want to offer newly shared mobility, intelligent fleet management, and innovative connected services offerings”

What are your financial means?

We created the connected services and mobility business unit, of which I am responsible, three years ago. Today we have a budget of 100 million euros with the objective of reaching 300 million euros of turnover in the new mobilities by 2021.

Are not you afraid of making it easy for those who do not have cars to incite them to never have them and those who have to leave them?

On the contrary, it is a win-win relationship because all the partners of this project will share their experience. Blue Solutions, for example, has been working in Paris for five years on Autolib ‘and has a lot to offer us in this buoyant car-sharing market.

“Our objective is to reach 300 million euros of turnover in the new mobilities by 2021”

The digital will allow more people to access one of our vehicles. Not only does this allow us to connect with those who do not want it but we also intend to offer new financing offers with our partners to allow more people to afford a car. The goal is to bring mobility to people who do not currently have the means and to offer them permanent availability.

Travelcar also noted that 50% of its fleet was under five years old. It is therefore possible that carsharing involves a more frequent renewal of the car fleet.

What ideas are you particularly attentive to?

For now, we are focusing on carsharing. This is the closest to our core business and we do not want to disperse. We have already launched the Multicity initiative in Berlin. We want to develop it and extend it to other big cities in Europe and elsewhere. Carlos Tavares has also announced his ambition to conquer North America and the first gateway there is mobility.

“We will be particularly receptive to everything related to automated car sharing”

We will be particularly receptive to everything related to automated car sharing. We want to create a value chain, including shared parking, but this will only happen when we have found financial stability with carsharing. We want to do a lot of things, there is a lot of solicitations, but we do not know yet if we will have the means to do everything.

PSA recently embarked on open innovation with the PSA Group for Developers program. By the end of the year, you will be waiting for ideas for apps on the theme of health and well-being for the connected car. What do you hope concretely?

It’s a kind of permanent hackathon. Two weeks after the launch, we have already selected 100 innovative service ideas and this is already much more than the basic theme.

“We help and support developers on a regular basis, who have access to our APIs and test vehicle data”

We help and support developers on a regular basis, who have access to our APIs and test vehicle data. In the future, we will offer our customers the most interesting applications and it will be up to them to decide to adopt them and give access to their data, or not.

Where are you with Car Easy Apps, your platform for developers to help them build smartphone apps for your vehicles?

This software platform and its software development kit will be available for our future generations of vehicles by 2017 or 2018. They may be available even before thanks to aftermarket solutions.

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