OP invites startups to co-create smarter mobility for Finns

- Mobility is changing in various ways, states Sonja Heikkilä from OP.  She has studied how mobility - driving cars, riding on public transportation, travelling - can be turned into a service experience.

The first step is to challenge the way we feel about owning a car.

- Ownership comes with responsibilities: taxes, insurances, car maintenance and repairs, Heikkilä lists. So, what if we could acquire a car without the hassle of ownership?

Late 2016, OP walked the talk. They launched mobility as a service, OP Kulku: electric cars and plugin hybrids as a service.

- We're moving away from owning a car, towards seamlessly using multiple transportation services. We'll be sharing our cars, using our cars as taxis and switching between a car and other means of transportations. Eventually we'll have a web of transportation services resulting into mobility as a service (MaaS).

Now, in February 2017, OP runs a Smart Mobility program, where they seek for new services and technologies to build on Kulku Companion App.

"We believe connectivity will take the car driving, owning, using and seating experience to the next level. Connectivity will reshape the mobility ecosystem. Cars will become interfaces to the digital world around us. AI, bots, automation and great, predictive UX, will be critical to making these services both joyful and safe."

- op-lab.fi, Smart Mobility Startup Partnership Program

Monday the 13th February, twelve startups from around Europe gathers in OP's heaquarters for an Innovation Challenge week to bring together new technologies and services for connected cars and smarter mobility. The most potential concepts will enter OP's 3-month Smart Mobility Program with the aim to enter the Finnish market within 2017.

Follow the journey in social media using the hashtag #OPxMOBILITY.

- We at OP work with a lot of smart people and companies. Avanto is definitely one of those companies. They've helped us sharpen our strategy and services regarding mobility, says Kristian Luoma, Head of New Business Development in OP.

- Avanto has helped with figuring out which are the startups we should collaborate with for our own product development. They've set up the Innovation Challenge week program as well as scouting startups all around the world, specifically from Europe. They've helped us scale our startup activities by reaching out to the places where startups are, making new connections for us.

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