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Connectivity is a differentiator in the transportation sector

From e-scooters, e-bikes, and e-load bikes, electric scooters, and motorcycles to three- and four-wheeled small cars below the passenger car class – electric small and light vehicles (LEVs) can contribute to sustainable vehicle concepts. These resource-efficient vehicles are an important factor in reducing the climate impact of the transportation sector; it is responsible for about 20% of greenhouse gas emissions. Comodule, a mobility solutions company from Estonia, supports traffic turnaround.

For example, 6 million trips a day in Germany are shorter than 5 kilometres. LEVs offer a similar degree of flexibility and individual mobility as cars. And what’s more, they can be interesting for regions and times when public transportation is hardly available.

One company helping to create digital driving experiences is Comodule from Tallinn, the capital of Estonia. Comodule has been active in micromobility since 2014 and is a pioneer in connectivity solutions to connect light electric vehicles to the Internet. The company’s customers are e-bike manufacturers and shared mobility fleet operators. Comodule’s hardware and software products have connected 450,000 vehicles in 45 countries.

The White Label App allows a customised brand experience – for manufacturers and users alike. The latest feature is in-app insurance, embedded in the e-bike’s intelligence as a standard, and can be customised to meet riders’ needs. Photo: Comodule

Comodule promotes zero-emission transportation

“The beginnings of our company are connected to Germany,” says Teet Praks, CEO and co-founder of Comodule. “We were in Berlin for several months as part of a startup program and saw that the view of mobility was changing, and it was being expressed in new forms.” Comodule started with IoT and connectivity solutions for e-bike companies and, within four years, expanded its IoT solutions to all light electric vehicles, including e-scooters.

“Comodule’s goal is to promote zero-emission transportation. IoT is the door-opener to add value to micromobility,” Praks continues. This is not just about the Internet of Things but also battery technology, engine control, data infrastructure, software, and services. “On all of these fronts, light electric vehicle (LEV) manufacturers have an opportunity to differentiate themselves in the market and engage their end customer with their brand through IoT applications.”

For example, Praks mentions a recently developed product for Fazua, a Munich, Germany-based e-bike manufacturer with over 100 employees. It’s an in-app insurance feature embedded in the e-bike as a standard, specifically in the Rider app that’s part of the delivery package. Just as maintenance cycles, GPS tracking, locks, lighting, alarm systems, and rider and bike performance data can be activated individually and linked via IoT, it’s just as easy to customise and connect the insurance policy – with content that extends beyond homeowner’s insurance, such as comprehensive, fully comprehensive, or theft coverage.

IoT is the door-opener to add value to micromobility.
Teet Praks, CEO and co-founder of Comodule

Thus, Comodule provides mobility and enables LEV manufacturers to stay connected to their end users and their needs. “This is always about providing connectivity as a service,” Praks said. Manufacturers get insights about vehicle behaviour or necessary maintenance cycles, and bikers can personalise their riding experience. “Both sides are connected by an enhanced brand experience,” says Teet Praks.

Comodule´s co-founders (from left) are Heigo Varik, Teet Praks, and Kristjan Maruste. Photo: Comodule

IoT and Industry 4.0 applications from the world’s most digital country

Comodule was founded out of a student project, similar to many others. Estonia has a thriving IT startup culture with hundreds of companies. The 36-hectare Ülemiste City technology campus in the capital city of Tallinn alone is home to 200 companies employing 6,000 people.

With “Tiigrihüpe”, the Tiger Leap program, the administrative system was digitised in the mid-1990s as well as the educational system. From there, digitalisation was brought into the industrial environment. The term ‘e-Estonia’ represents this highly connected society and a robust ecosystem that has gained global awareness as efficient, secure, and transparent. Business delegations from all over the world visit the e-Estonia Innovation Center in Ülemiste City to derive insights from Estonia’s digital development for their own purposes. Estonia is considered the most digital country in the world.

“e-Estonia also represents the enthusiasm for modern technology,” says Leana Kammertöns, Export Advisor at the Estonian Business Development Agency in Berlin. “Every 10th student in Estonia enrolls in ICT, which means information and communication technology.” Estonia is among the leading countries in mathematics, natural sciences, and ICT. ICT solutions from Estonia are used in more than 120 countries to implement digitised processes for automation, robotics and mechatronics.

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