Bestmile history is closely intertwined with the European Union’s exploration of the benefits of shared, electric, automated mobility. In 2010, the European Union (EU) launched the City Automated Transport System (CATS) project to evaluate driverless electric vehicles’ feasibility in European cities. Its 2014 demonstrations of autonomous shuttles on the campus of the national technical university (EPFL) in Lausanne, Switzerland, led to the creation of Bestmile.

As one of the first experimentation on autonomous mobility services, the CATS project brought to light a fundamental missing link in autonomous mobility. The industry was taking a vehicle-centric approach and only focused on the…


It may be difficult to imagine at this moment, but the International Air Transport Association (IATA) predicts that air travel will double by 2036 — from 4 billion travelers in 2019 to 8 billion in 2036. While the pandemic-induced reduction in air travel has caused steep reduction in air traffic, Ty Osbaugh, director of aviation and transportation projects at architecture firm Gensler, believes now is the ideal time to rethink airport transportation and implement new solutions. With airports emptier, disruption can be minimized.

“Every projection I’ve seen says airport traffic will rebound to pre-COVID levels in 2022 or 2023,” Osbaugh…


Efficient dispatching and routing are critical to the success of any mobility service. Traditional manual dispatching (think taxi service) requires a human dispatcher to receive ride requests and assign the trips to a driver/vehicle, typically to the nearest one available. As services scale, this model becomes increasingly unsustainable due to the limits on how many requests a human dispatcher can manage.

New mobility services like ride-hailing have eliminated human dispatchers. App-based ride requests are automatically sent to nearby drivers, and the first driver to accept the ride gets the booking. But peer-to-peer networks do not consider fleet efficiency.


Autonomy and research firm Capgemini recently teamed up for a report, “The Future of Mobility as a Service (MaaS): Which Model of MaaS Will Win Through?” The authors point out that “the concept of MaaS is simple enough: an app with a map that connects you to a bunch of transport options to get you from point A to point B with an end-to-end seamless journey.”

The simple concept belies an enormous challenge that has so far stymied implementation. “Despite the enthusiasm of cities and companies in the sector, the various solutions launched have not yet achieved the full MaaS…


On-demand microtransit, where shared rides can be booked and drivers respond to requests in real-time, has been a challenge for mobility providers. Balancing supply and demand, ensuring predictable ride and wait times, and enabling operators to maximize revenue with strong fleet utilization are not trivial efforts. Vehicles and drivers need to be routed efficiently and every kilometer without a passenger loses money.

Bestmile’s Fleet Orchestration Platform is designed to meet this challenge. …


The Evolving Roles of the Attendant

In most countries, a human attendant is still required to be on board autonomous vehicles that are carrying passengers. At first these were called safety drivers, which makes sense for vehicles that retain human-driving capabilities (steering wheels, brakes, etc.) for specific maneuvers and use the driver as a back-up resource to stop the vehicle if it malfunctions. But the term didn’t really fit autonomous vehicles that have removed these human-driving features. The role these employees play varies depending on the service provider and on the use case.

On board staff are also there to welcome and educate passengers and gather…


Public transit authorities and transport operators realise that one of the most important problems cities are facing is the lack of first and last mile services that connect travellers to and from transport hubs, making public transit more convenient and attractive. The goal is to boost ridership and reduce private car traffic and pollution on city streets. The need to increase ridership is even more urgent due to the impacts of the COVID-19 health crisis.

Why are the first and last mile options so important for an efficient transportation system?

The first mile and last mile connection describes the beginning and end of journeys travellers make in order to reach a destination. The terms refer…


Global quarantines have crushed public and private transportation businesses. Stay-at-home orders caused demand to disappear overnight. Worries over contamination suggest a dark future for mass transit and private hire services alike — the cleanliness of the vehicles and the health of fellow passengers, drivers, and staff are likely to slow a return to anything near the pre-virus “normal.”

But a return to normal may not be what cities, residents, and travelers want. After all, pre-epidemic, urban traffic, and pollution were growing unabated. Who wants to return to that? “Cities have a window of opportunity to rethink the future of urban…


According to recent research, the COVID-19 crisis stands to be the most abrupt shock to the global economy with the mobility industry being among the hardest hit. Physical distancing and safety requirements change the way people use public transportation and create new operational challenges for the industry stakeholders. The UK mobility sector was badly impacted as well. Innovation of the product and the services the UK transportation provides is necessary to grow and mobility leaders are evaluating and reinventing their core operations.

The Bestmile Solution will help your service answer the new transportation needs and adapt to new customer behaviour…


The lockdowns caused by the pandemic have had a dramatic impact on public and private transportation. All services have seen ridership and revenue plummet. A silver lining in this scenario is that cities, with traffic suddenly disappearing, seem keen to keep the change. Many are creating personal-car-free zones that could open the door for flexible on-demand services that can more efficiently move passengers to minimise car traffic. Using data, automation, and cloud-based fleet orchestration platforms, on-demand taxi, and private hire can offer these ultra-efficient services.

A Blank Slate New services may not look much like the old services. First of…

Raphael Gindrat

CEO & Cofounder at Bestmile

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