Announcing the launch of the Fetch.ai Mobility Framework

Dec 17, 2020

Our focus on mobility

Decentralized solutions built with autonomous economic agents could return 20–30% of mobility’s revenue directly to the local economy, delivering a hyper-local service through a common user-focused experience. This, alongside combining all forms of delivery and mobility (regulated or not) into new business opportunities forms the heart of Fetch.ai’s exciting new Mobility Framework. Today, we’re launching the delivery part of this framework and showing how this can be done — right now.

Today’s launch is the first part of releasing documentation, code and working examples that allow everyone to take part in the new, decentralized mobility future; with it, combining our previous work in trains, delivery solutions and self-driving vehicles.

Cambridge Field Trials

With the first of our real-world field-trials firmly behind us, the mobility solutions are now being deployed, tested and refined. Autonomous agents now run 24/7, simulating deliveries of people, food and packages, and increasingly being attached to real human beings testing how the framework behaves in live scenarios.

The core objective of these field trials is to determine how effective our solution is at delivering highly-tailored delivery experiences and more importantly address the issue of how you can deliver mobility-as-a-service without compromising safety, security and user friendliness. Demonstrating its effectiveness shows how global intermediary platforms such as Lyft and Uber can have their influence, and revenue share, significantly reduced, returning local value to local communities.

The question it comes down to at the end of the day are simple facts on how pervasive big corporations like Uber are in our day-to-day lives.

Fact #1 — London, UK is the biggest European Uber market, with 3.5 million users. (Source — Link)

Fact #2 — Uber’s annual net revenue in 2019 was $14.1 Billion. (Source — Link)

Fact #3 — Uber claims that on average drivers could make around £565 for a 35–45-hour week, and that’s after it takes its 20% ‘service fee’ (Source — Link). Compare that to its annual revenue generated in 2019.

With the working hours at 35 to 40 hours constant a week and at that given pay scale, an Uber driver stands to earn after working 12 months a year approx. £27,000 a year. That pay scale does not include a minimum wage and holiday pay along with other rights we often take for granted and expect from an employer. If anything, Uber is quite well known for how much it takes workers’ rights seriously as outlined earlier this year in a recent ruling by the highest court in the UK — the Supreme Court. The case is still ongoing as Uber has appealed against the ruling. Nonetheless it doesn’t change the equation that an organization based out of Silicon Valley is in charge of 45,000 plus Uber drivers in the U.K. capital (link) since launching there in 2012.

Fact #4 — Current mobility-as-a-service providers like Uber do not pay VAT in the UK. Because the company says it is just a middleman between its self-employed drivers and passengers. (Link). In fact, back in 2016, they only paid £411,000 in taxes that year (Link). Let that sink in for a minute. When tax officials talk about capital flight out of a country or in this case the UK, this is what they mean.

What if you were to remove these intermediaries and if people could connect directly with drivers who are willing to transport them? Granted there would be a whole spectrum of questions which could come up regarding the full adoption and implementation of blockchain to facilitate these frameworks, you cannot deny though that the potential is certainly there.

The market thrives on choice and in today’s world where privacy is another added layer of concern, there is no model largely in part due to the underlying frameworks of a gig economy where the driver is incentivized to offer you a quality experience. While Uber uses its star ratings to reward drivers with positive track records, it doesn’t necessarily help build a client base. The odds of you having the same driver twice are slim. But if you are keen on a particular driver there is no reason why you shouldn’t be able to continually use their services.

The Mobility Framework field trials currently ongoing in Cambridge takes advantage of a number of the benefits offered by Fetch.ai:

  • the mechanism for individuals to transact with one another is not controlled by Fetch.ai. The agent lives on your device and your device alone. Fetch.ai does not function as aggregators.
  • our autonomous economic agents and our collective and individual AI.
  • our fast ledger and powerful smart-contract system to be rolled out in Mainnet v2,
  • our network’s staking capabilities for dispute resolution and agreement on truth

There are substantial advantages to Fetch.ai’s agent-based approach, including:

  • all components are open source: no license needed, no forced subscription model. Download, build, take part.
  • the platform can be used by all mobility providers and services: it’s nondiscriminatory, it’s free for anyone to engage in.
  • local money stays local: many aggregators take 20–30% out of the local economy and ship it abroad, the decentralized approach almost entirely solves this
  • local knowledge delivered locally: small companies, already regulated, with local knowledge are able to take part without a non-standard app and compete with the global ride-hailing and delivery companies
  • staking services (overall or to individual companies) solves both dispute and trust issues, as well as providing another opportunity to participate: be a staker, earn for delivering trust services
  • combinable businesses: all forms of delivery can be tightly integrated (food, packages, people, as individual or chained operations)
  • scalable, auditable and robust: non-centralized, operations take place locally, blockchain provides audit-trail and trust, scales easily, bottom-up philosophy leads to robust network
  • no single company shall be able to dominate the platform rather the onus is on the user to make those decisions using autonomous agents
  • users manage, own and store their own data: everything that’s private to you, such as your preferences, your history and your private data are personal to you. They live with your agent, on your mobile device. They don’t live on the cloud, they are not on someone else’s server, they’re yours. Always.

In the words of Don Tapscott — “Why do you need a $70-billion corporation to do what Uber does? It could be done by a distributed ledger with some smart contracts and autonomous agents”. Those very words sum up the Mobility Framework by Fetch.ai quite well.