Urban Movement Labs
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Urban Movement Labs

Hyundai’s MoceanLab and Urban Movement Labs First Anniversary: A Year Full of Innovation with a Community Approach

Mocean Carshare expansion to Warner Center event. From left to right: Dave Gallon, COO at MoceanLab; Councilmember Bob Blumenfield; Sam Morrissey, ED at Urban Movement Labs, and Marcel porras, Chief Sustainability Officer at Los Angeles Department of Transportation, Bureau of Transportation Technology

This past August, Urban Movement Labs celebrated a year of partnership with MoceanLab, the LA-based mobility innovation laboratory established in 2019 by Hyundai Motor Group. With support from Urban Movement Labs and Hyundai, MoceanLab has successfully expanded its free-floating carshare service in Los Angeles. Also, MoceanLab has recently launched its second mobility service, EnableLA, a wheelchair-accessible rideshare service offered in conjunction with partner ButterFLi to provide safe, affordable, and convenient transportation to people with disabilities seniors, or anyone facing mobility challenges. And this is just the tip of the proverbial iceberg. In addition, Urban Movement Labs has spearheaded a community-guided strategy for incorporating Urban Air Mobility into the transportation network. A technology that MoceanLab may someday integrate into the service offering.

Hyundai’s MoceanLab is a mobility innovation laboratory created in Los Angeles for Los Angeles. They have the mission to explore, curate, and improve a range of mobility options for safe, clean, reliable, and equitably accessible transportation across the region. Urban Movement Labs partnered with MoceanLab to facilitate the expansion of their first project in Los Angeles, the free-floating Mocean Carshare, and to help develop and launch other mobility solutions explicitly crafted for the challenges of Los Angeles.

Car sharing supports multimodal trips and provides an alternative for households with limited access to or without a car. Gas, insurance, unlimited miles, and free parking at any LA City parking meter are included in Mocean Carshare’s hourly rate, comparable with the current pricing of shared e-scooters. In addition, Mocean Carshare distinguishes itself as the only free-floating carsharing service in Los Angeles, meaning drivers can return their vehicles to any parking space within the home zones located across Los Angeles. Today, Mocean Carshare operates in Downtown Los Angeles, Eagle Rock/Highland Park, West Los Angeles, and the Warner Center neighborhood.

MoceanLab has also partnered with several programs serving our local communities during the pandemic. One such group is the Keck-USC School of Medicine’s Street Medicine Team, which is providing medical attention to unhoused people in Los Angeles. The Mocean Carshare fleet was made available to medical staff to facilitate travel and the provision of medical assistance to provide regular medical care and address the ongoing COVID-19 concerns for people living on the streets. Further, as a sign of appreciation during the pandemic, Mocean Carshare vehicles have been available to every first responder at half-price.

Since UML is eager to support current and future-oriented mobility innovations, it has also been working with another of Hyundai’s affiliates on the broad topic of Urban Air Mobility (UAM), representing the next generation aeronautics. UAM is a future mode of transportation that uses lighter, quieter, and more affordable aircraft to increase access to air mobility for travel within a city. In December 2020, Mayor Garcetti announced the first-in-the-nation Urban Air Mobility Partnership to develop the policies and guidelines that would prepare Los Angeles for a future where new and innovative transportation solutions are available to the public and used to improve mobility options overall. Learn more here.

UAM vehicles address critical community concerns associated with aviation, including safety, emissions, and noise. As UML partners with MoceanLab and the UAM Division of Hyundai, our objective is to develop UAM as a new mobility opportunity to reduce vehicle miles traveled and increase travel options by linking these services to innovative ground-based mobility services. For instance, MoceanLab’s Mocean Carshare service provides end-to-end multimodal solutions that are clean, safe, and convenient for all Angelenos. In addition, Hyundai’s affiliates are working closely with UML as part of the UAM Partnership to ensure that these innovative new mobility solutions integrate into both the existing and emerging transportation networks equitably and sustainably.

What can we expect for the next year? Urban Movement Labs and Hyundai’s MoceanLab look forward to exploring new opportunities to facilitate pilot projects to help improve mobility in Los Angeles. Projects currently being explored include:

All in all, it will be an exciting second year working together and engaging stakeholders with whom we can partner to help inform and guide our approach. ***