Blog | July 20, 2021

How Swiftmile goes the distance with DOOH-enabled micromobility charging stations

In many ways, digital out-of-home and transportation go hand in hand. After all, so many of our encounters with digital signage happen during daily commutes – including those on two wheels, like e-bikes and e-scooters. Swiftmile is a pioneer in this growing micromobility field, providing charging hubs that bring together urban mobility and DOOH in a whole new way. 

In cities across the world, micromobility was already gaining in popularity pre-pandemic, but COVID-19 led to increased interest in open-air, physically distanced modes of transport, and shared micromobility ridership is now off the charts. People are also buying their own micromobility vehicles at record numbers; e-bikes outsold electric cars two-to-one in the US last year.

This boom – fueled by open streets and actions that cities have taken to create safe riding environments – has created the perfect situation for California-based Swiftmile to thrive. Their solution, ad-supported micromobility charging hubs for cities, campuses, and event spaces, are part of shared programs in cities like Miami and Berlin and are also available to individuals looking to charge up their rides at no cost.

Charging ahead, one station at a time

Swiftmile Co-Founder and CEO Colin Roche was a mobility novice until he won an e-bike at a charity raffle – he was hooked after just one ride. Within a few years, the micromobility industry exploded with shared e-bike and e-scooter systems appearing in cities worldwide.  

But there were early pain points to address. Micromobility operators often used gas-guzzling vans to charge e-scooters, resulting in unnecessary congestion and emissions. Tipped scooters and sidewalk clutter were also common city concerns. For this industry to continue its rapid growth, it needed an infrastructure solution. 

So in 2015, Swiftmile was born. Their answer was to create universal, solar-powered charging hubs where users could park and charge micromobility vehicles after their ride. Their hubs are brand-agnostic, accommodating bikes and scooters of all kinds, and now even e-mopeds. This flexibility lends Swiftmile the ability to support both shared and personally-owned micromobility vehicles that are quickly becoming popular among city dwellers. 

And, to cap it off, the hubs include the option of a high-quality 55-inch display for the delivery of targeted advertising content.

Currently, Swiftmile operates in Germany and the United States and is planning a large-scale, international expansion. In the United States alone, the company has 250 stations with static branding opportunities, with many more in the planning stages, set to take advantage of the digital-centric approach to advertising and communications. 

Swiftmile recently unveiled its largest network of hubs in Miami, with stations located directly across from Miami Airlines Arena and covering an area that accounts for six million impressions a month from car and foot traffic alike. This game-changing move represents the first DOOH network that Swiftmile will manage and control entirely on its own – not to mention the company’s first network to be powered by Broadsign.

Real-time, localized content for audiences on the go

Swiftmile hubs leverage DOOH to help local businesses reach their target audiences in fun and interactive ways, like providing directions to nearby restaurants and businesses and equipping them with discounts via QR code.

Swiftmile also provides multimodal transit information through its partnership with Transit Screen, which feeds real-time arrivals data customized to each screen’s locations. The screens also share weather data and public service announcements and include space for advertisers to fill with 15-second or 30-second spots. Ad revenue from these screens will effectively mean the docking stations and the rides can more or less pay for themselves, helping cities scale up micromobility with much less up-front investment. 

Additionally, depending on Swiftmile’s market locations, audience-tracking data can be implemented to help local businesses discover more about the user demographics. 

Broadsign and Swiftmile

Swiftmile needed an intelligent, scalable DOOH solution that would allow them to deliver on their global aspirations. As a result, the company has integrated with Broadsign to power their displays and to enable programmatic transactions. 

Moving forward, each station delivered by Swiftmile will run on Broadsign Control. This will enable streamlined but powerful scheduling capabilities to maximize the effectiveness of delivered advertising, and will also enable Swiftmile to integrate with data feeds to power dynamic content and advertising. 

Broadsign Control’s scalability also ensures that no matter what size Swiftmile’s business attains, the company will be able to efficiently manage and monitor its installations without much more effort than it takes today.

The Broadsign Reach SSP will also be a standard offering, allowing cities to benefit immediately from programmatically purchased and delivered advertising across their screens. Finally, Broadsign Direct and Broadsign Publish will allow for the efficient sale and creation of advertising and other content, respectively.

As a post-pandemic world comes into view, Swiftmile’s OOH-powered micromobility stations are positioned to help bring the pulse back to cities and hard-hit industries, while also offering the growing crowd of light e-vehicle users a more convenient solution to navigate cities and park their rides. It’s an imaginative application for DOOH and can propel a future of smarter, more sustainable cities around the world. 

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