The bus market has evolved less than other, but we will see radical changes. At least that’s how Eduardo Torres, CEO of Lowbus, see the market. When we speak about modern mobility, we rarely think of buses but the truth is that it’s one of the most efficient and responsible collective transport that exists.
Thanks to artificial intelligente, this startup has find the way to optimise the use of buses for travel agencies and, ultimately to offer the best price to the user.
Hello Eduardo, very briefly, tell the community who you are and what is your proyect about:
Lowbus is a bus company -which owns no buses- that offers lower prices and more control to travel agencies. We use artificial intelligence to optimise the use of buses, by minimising the empty journeys and wasted times.
What differential value do you contribute in the sector that doesn’t do your competitors?
On the one hand, we do not own any bus, which make us have more flexibility and scalability: we work with local partners that operate the service, while we do the planning, selling and post-sales service.
Moreover, we use Artificial Intelligence to optimise the use of buses (minimise empty journeys and wasted times), and transfer the optimisation to the price we give to our clients.
Who is your product or service aimed to?
Our current customers are the travel agencies, initially located in Valencia, Madrid, Barcelona and Sevilla. The occasional/renting bus transport in Spain represents 570 million € every year, where most of the operations are made by intermediaries (travel agencies), and not by the end-user: this one hires a trip where the bus is included and hired by the agency.
Tell us about your team, what motivates you and how is your journey so far:
After working during 10 years in the tourism industry, we realised bus transport needed to face a digitalisation, in a market that is rapidly changing. That was the reason we decided to create Lowbus, in order to apply the current technology to the daily operations in the industry. Our goal was to interconnect all the services, so we could optimise the use of resources: not just isolate one travel agency, and give it a quote, but combine all our clients’ needs and see the big picture. So, applying the Artificial Intelligence, we take and combine services from different travel agencies and minimize the waste, to be able to give the best price in the market.
As any other startup that is trying to modernize an industry, the journey is tough but full of learnings. It is very enriching to see that we can contribute to make a change in this market, and having a good acceptance have made things easier.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Our mission is to modernize and digitize the road passenger transport in Europe. We want to be a benchmark in the hiring of buses, focusing in the use of technologies that allow us to be more cost-efficient, and transfer that efficiency in a better service and prices to our clients.
How do you see the mobility sector (in the specific sub-vertical in which you work) in both Spain and Portugal? And internationally?
I think mobility is a trend. In the road passenger transport are emerging new initiatives that have made steps to modernize the industry. In Spain and Portugal there’s a lot to do be done, since the market is atomized and the use of new technologies is very rare. In general, the bus market has evolved less than other means of transportation, but I think that in the following years we will see radical changes.
How do you think your project can contribute to changing the way we move or interact with transportation?
To modernise an industry is a slow and gradual process. Being more price-competitive and offering a better service allows us to be more attractive and encourage the use of bus. Nevertheless, we do not just want to increase the demand of hiring a bus –it would reduce the carbon emissions and traffic congestion-, but make the whole process digital. We want the hiring process to be more intuitive and simple, where every travel agency or group of passengers can make it in a few minutes; without asking for quotes and availability of the vehicle.
Name 1 or 2 startups or corporates who inspire you and why:
I’d say Flixbus. They were born only a few years ago and, nowadays, they are the leaders of the regular bus transport in Europe. They are doing a great job, by rising as the “low cost” solution in regular journeys, in those countries where the market has recently being liberalised. I think it is always positive that new solutions come up to boost the industry, with a new vision of how it should be modernized.
Why did you decided to join the Connected Mobility HUB?
In my opinion, one of the most relevant aspects that determine the success of startups is the ecosystem of which they are a part. The financing and team are very important, but being surrounded by the right agents is crucial. That is why we decided to be part of the HUB; it gives us networking, visibility and allows us to share experiences with other companies that are in similar stages than us.
Thanks, a lot Eduardo, and all the luck with your proyect Lowbus!