The connected smartphone is possibly the most powerful tool for behavior modification ever invented. We need to start using it for the good of the community. Kobla is a Mobility-as-a-Service app that integrates societal goals, both personal mobility habit monitor that gives its user an overview of their everyday travel habits and sustainability motivator.
If we want to reduce driving, we need to reach car drivers, not just eco-friendly cyclists. Luckily the most sustainable forms of transport are also the most affordable, and the most beneficial to your personal health. We need to take the car lover seriously and accept that the car will always have a place in their heart. But the total cost associated with ownership and use of a car is not easily grasped - or summed up. Fuel, parking, tolling, service, insurance, taxes and depreciation. It´s confusing, and increasingly expensive.
So the Kobla app automatically registers, saves and sums up the costs, time used and emissions produced from driving. The benefits you could have gottenif you instead had taken the bus, walked or cycled, are also presented. By showing how much owning a car actually costs, presenting other alternatives and how they meet your needs, and how much you might be able to save by choosing one of those alternatives, our theory is that that in itself might be enough to nudge some drivers away from their car, at least once in a while. In this way, Kobla is a comparison service for commuting options, aiming for the car driver’s wallet. To sweeten the deal, Kobla also registers all your walking, cycling, and use of public transport or even electric scooters. It registers all your travels and your mode of transport all by itself.
Rest assured, your travel logs never leave the the phone, neither identity nor location data is sent to the cloud. Even if the smartphone is a powerful tool, influencing someone is not easy. We still need old fashioned values like trust and timing. We can´t try to fool anyone, we can’t stretch the truth, and hindsight won’t cut it. Kobla is not a route planner to use when you don’t know how to get fra A to B. It’s something to use when you’re planning the upcoming week, not your next vacation. But of course, this overview may not be enough to turn car drivers into cyclists.
To increase it´s effectiveness at influencing in a sustainable direction, Kobla uses gamification. Gamification is the application of methods developed in the gaming industry to ensure people play a computer game as much as possible, on other fields than gaming. Kobla gives its user immediate positive affirmation when they do something sustainable, instead of settling for comfortable.When travelling sustainably, the user collects bonus points. More points for cycling in cold rain during Monday rush hour than on a sunny Sunday morning. These bonus points can be used for discounts on bus tickets or for example free coffee for everyone who bikes or busses to work in the city center.
In Kobla the user will be able to aim for badges, set personal goals - and be guided in their efforts, for example to personally live according to the Paris accord, or work to reach collaborative goals like doing their part to help their city go carbon neutral before a rival city. Just like a game. This is what we mean when we say Kobla uses the same mechanisms that addict us to our smartphones, to save our planet.