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Waive: Shared Mobility Solutions for Michigan Central Station Impact Area

A car-sharing platform that lets you drive for free. Vehicle solutions that increase rideshare driver earnings. And much more....

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Waive is a technology company that makes shared mobility cost-effective, safe, and environmentally friendly. Our company is established on the core beliefs that mobility should be accessible to all and that the cost to commutation should not obstruct a person in moving from one place to another. Our services deliver on our core beliefs by converging shared mobility with DOOH advertising. Our fleet of energy efficient vehicles (eg electric, hybrid, hydrogen-fuel cells, etc.) are installed with roof mounted digital Ad-display which works as Ad-platform for advertisers who want to reach their target customers at a street level. The revenue generated from Ad-platform is used to drop service cost and provide additional services to our customers.

In order to create a holistic mobility solution, its important to understand the current landscape, current challenges and future plans of the impact area. Based on our analysis and key insights from the exploration phase, we have found that:

Current Landscape

  1. The Michigan central station impact area is culturally diverse with a strong historic presence. Corktown, one of the most diverse place in US, is a historic district and attracts travelers. North Corktown is residential town whose culture has been shaped by long-time residents. The impact area also has a industrial presence with West side industrial in the South-east

  2. The impact area is surrounded by university district in the North, Downtown Detroit in the East and Mexicantown in the West

Future Plans

  1. Ford Motor Co. acquired the iconic Michigan Central Station on May 22 and plans to transform it into the centerpiece of a new campus in Detroit's Corktown neighborhood that will serve as an innovation hub for Ford's vision for the future of transportation

Challenges being faced

  1. Lack of convenience store ( store) in the area makes it difficult for local residents who do not have a personal mode of transportation
  2. A strong population of retired people (living on a pension) struggle with autonomy because car maintenance is too expensive
  3. Due to high cultural diversity and language barriers, elderly feel social anxiety when using public transit
  4. High cost of ownership of vehicle have resulted in demand for alternate mode of transportation.
  5. People find it hard to understand how the DDOT and SMART buses work
  6. Residents without vehicles have difficulty accessing food and healthcare\
  7. Single women find it difficult to travel alone during night time

Our Solution:

To solve the above-mentioned problems, we would like to propose our two primary service offerings, WaiveCar and WaiveWork.

WaiveCar - 

  1. WaiveCar is a one-way/roundtrip car sharing platform that allows customers to drive our vehicle for free for a fixed period of time
  2. Customer can still drive the vehicle after the fixed time period gets over at a minimal rate of $1 per 10 minutes (our rental rates are ~60% lower than any other car-sharing platform in US)
  3. Our business model helps us provide this price advantage. Apart from being a affordable mobility solution, it provides sense of safety to people (especially women) who want to travel during night time. 
  4. Our application is multi-linguistic (English and Spanish) and easy to use which removes the language barrier and social anxiety associated with it. 
  5. Anyone with a smartphone and a clean driving record can use WaiveCar services. We believe in price transparency and ensure there are no hidden charges (e.g. membership fee, etc.).

WaiveCar pricing example : 

- free to drive for the first half an hour 

- $1 for every 10 minutes henceforth (Where other competitors charge $1 to just unlock the vehicle, we provide 10 minutes drive time)

WaiveWork -

 WaiveWork provides energy efficient vehicle to ride-share drivers at the lowest price in the market (Our US price: $ 22 / day). Our offering includes vehicle insurance and schedule maintenance and can be booked on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis. Designed to increase transportation access and earning potential in an area, WaiveWork can further solve mobility issue in following ways:

  1. Low-cost to rent a vehicle: 
    1. WaiveWork provides the lowest price to rent a vehicle in the US market. Our business model allows us to maintain this price advantage. 
    2. Vehicle insurance and scheduled maintenance included in the fee
    3. Energy efficient vehicles drive down the fuel expense

  2. Enhanced safety: 
    1. Our extensive background screening involves insurance, proof of address and criminal record check. As a result, our screening act as an additional layer on top of background checks performed by ride-share companies.
    2. Fleet ownership allows us to keep 24/7 tracking of our vehicles out on service. This allows us to take immediate response in case of an emergency
    3. Our Ad-display platform can be programmed to project “distress signal” by passenger while on a trip. It will enable law enforcement to easily spot the vehicle

  3. App-enabled easy signing process from registration to behind the wheels

  4. Activate base of potential drivers who do not have access to a reliable
    vehicle, but want to drive for shared mobility businesses

  5. Rev-Share opportunity with drivers when certain operational conditions are met

Other advantages:

  1. Our roof mounted digital Ad-display platform can be used by local businesses to help reach their target audience at cost-effective rates

  2. Local agencies can utilize our ad-platform in their outreach efforts to improve access to mobility information

  3. The travel pattern data generated from our services can be used in future planning of the city (e.g. identification of mobility hot spots, accident prone zones, optimized location of charging stations, etc.)

*Please see attached slides on our product offering for more details.

How will your solution benefit residents, workers, or visitors in the Michigan Central Station impact area? (1,000 characters)

WaiveCar is intended for residents, workers, and visitors who want to commute in a cost-effective, safe, and environmentally friendly manner. Our primary target audience are people who find it difficult to afford transportation service. Residents can use WaiveCar to facilitate commutation to nearby amenities (e.g .grocery store, etc.) and perform daily chores. Workers can use WaiveCar as a cost-effective carpooling option to reach their workplaces. Travelers can book a car on a daily basis ($22/day) to move around the city and visit historical sites or other places of interest. WaiveWork is intended for user who do not have access to a reliable vehicle, but want to drive for ride-share platforms. Our lowest price offering along with revenue share opportunity makes WaiveWork a lucrative option to earn money by driving for ride-share platforms. Last but not the least, our Ad-display platform helps connect businesses with customers, thus creating an inclusive environment

Describe your solution's stage of development

  • Fully Scaled - you have already scaled your solution and are exploring new use cases

Insights from previous testing (500 characters)

Both WaiveCar and WaiveWork have been thoroughly tested in real world situations. The response is extremely positive which indicates the success of our business model. WaiveCar, with its operation in Santa Monica, is the only car-sharing platform to reach +90% fleet utilization (in a 12 hour time period, our cars are in-use for more than 10 hours). WaiveWork is highly popular among ride-share drivers. This is indicated by the average waitlist of 11 people per vehicle to use our service.

Tell us about your team or organization (500 characters)

Waive is a technology company that makes shared mobility cost-effective, safe, and environmentally friendly. Our company is established on the core beliefs that mobility should be accessible to all and that the cost to commutation should not obstruct a person in moving from one place to another. Our services deliver on our core beliefs by converging shared mobility with DOOH advertising.

Size of your team or organization

  • 11-50

Are you submitting as a student team?

  • No

Are you submitting as a team from the Impact Area?

  • No

Funding Request

  • $250,000

Rough Budget (500 characters)

A brief break down of the budget in terms of percentage share of total funding amount can be seen as following: 1. Vehicles and other equipment - 60%-80% 2. EVSE and other infrastructure - 10%-15% 3. Hardware and software platforms - 10%-15% 4. Marketing - 0%-10% 5. Operations and Maintenance - 5%-10%

Describe how you would pilot your idea (1000 characters)

The aim of the pilot phase is to establish an operational Waive platform that is economically sustainable and supports it's growth. A plan to realize this aim is as follows: 1. Challenge funds will be utilized to finance the operation (funds to purchase fleet, install EVSE charging stations(if required), perform hardware installations, etc.) and Waive will be responsible for daily operations related to fleet management, payment, vehicle reservation/dispatch, staffing, telematics and hardware, etc. 2. WaiveWork pricing model ensures that the vehicle rentals cover operating expense and the Ad-revenue contributes to pure profit

Describe how you would measure the success of your pilot (1000 characters)

The success of the WaiveCar and WaiveWork pilot can be measured by the help of following KPI's (Key Performance Metrics): 1. % fleet utilization: a demand metric to indicate product success, % fleet utilization helps us identify how well its being used by intended customers 2. Total customers on waitlist / Number of cars in the fleet: a metric that helps identify the need to expand fleet to cater unmet demand 3. Expense / Revenue (per vehicle): this metric would help in keeping track of whether each vehicle is able to cover its own operating expense, thus indicating product financial success 4. # of vehicle vandalization incidences: a metric that would help understand the driver behavior 5. Customer complaints: Analyzing customer complaints would help understand the target audience and help them serve better Apart from the above mentioned KPI's, we would analyze travel patterns to identify hotspots for business expansion purposes.

Sustainability Plan (500 characters)

Our services are designed to be a self sustainable as the rentals cover all the operating expense. The Ad revenue generated contributes to pure profit. Our in-house technology and hardware team allows us to make capital savings as we insource our own software and hardware platform. As our cars are mostly associated with a driver or at a station, it drives down vehicle vandalization risk and makes it easy to allocate cost to damage, if any.

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