At CES in Las Vegas today, HERE Mobility, the mobility unit of HERE Technologies, launched its all-in-one mobility app, SoMo.
SoMo, derived from "social mobility", provides a single-app experience for various types of transportation.
HERE Mobility says: “To keep transit affordable, HERE Mobility’s app merges all urban transportation onto one platform so that riders can compare costs and schedules without app-toggling. The primary feature is the ability to find free rides by event categories with people in users’ social circles – not strangers – responding to the demand for a more social transit experience.”
"When one company dominates a transit system, drivers and riders suffer.”
It adds: “The goal is to challenge corporations like Uber and Grab that spike rider fares, force drivers into poor working conditions, and exclude small businesses from the market. When one company dominates a transit system, drivers and riders suffer.”
Through the Social Ride Sharing feature, SoMo allows users to share their ride with friends, family or co-workers, enabling them to choose who they ride with.
SoMo also introduces a concept called Gatherings – events that are defined by location, time, attendees and intent. Users can connect with friends and social circles based on common activities and ride together to a Gathering of any size. A Gathering can be a one-time event, like a concert, wedding or a night out with friends, or a recurring event, like afterschool clubs or a daily commute to work.
SoMo allows event organisers and participants to find the best way to get to such events and aims to make co-ordinating and travelling easy and social.
SoMo provides access to the HERE Mobility Marketplace, an open smart mobility marketplace that aggregates all mobility services and transportation options in real-time, such as taxi, private hire, public transport, bike-share and more.
HERE Mobility says it has already signed 1.4 million vehicles to the platform in over 350 cities. SoMo will operate in an additional 15 cities from today, including Amsterdam, Athens, Almere Stad, Barcelona, Brussels, Haarlem, The Hague, Helsinki, London, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, New Orleans, Nice, Piraeus and Thessaloniki. The company plans to expand to as many as ten new cities every month in 2019.
Transit providers that have registered to HERE Mobility’s Marketplace platform include Talixo in Athens; TCA (Taxicentrale Amsterdam) in Amsterdam; ComfortDelGro in London; Crown Las Vegas in Las Vegas; LA Yellow Cab in Los Angeles; New Orleans Car Service in New Orleans; and PideTaxi in Spain, the country’s largest fleet of taxis.
“SoMo is the bridge to today’s sharing economy,” said Liad Itzhak, SVP, Head of HERE Mobility.
“Consumers should have freedom of choice in how and with whom they travel. That’s why SoMo brings people together based on common social interests and mobility demand, whether they’re travelling to a holiday party, basketball practice, or a Beyoncé concert.”
“Just as platforms like LinkedIn, Airbnb, and Facebook have leveraged social connectivity, SoMo taps into the power of social networks to reimagine the future of transportation,” said Itzhak, adding: “Standing at the forefront of the social mobility revolution, SoMo enables users to plan, share, and ride in a way that’s simple and hassle-free. Increasing the average car occupancy will make traffic jams disappear and will have an enormous impact on our planet, reducing pollution and making it much greener.”
"SoMo taps into the power of social networks to reimagine the future of transportation."
SoMo also functions as a classic navigation app offering turn-by-turn guidance and real-time traffic updates. The app uses rider locations to determine the most efficient pick-up and drop-off routes based on full-route waypoints, time and distance. SoMo sends automatic updates about driver location and estimated time of arrival.