Actually I didn’t. It’s a great feeling to work in an organisation where the money stays in the company and decisions are largely transparent. Besides, I think it's fantastic to devote yourself to an idea where more is less and less is more.
Gladly! The more car sharing there is, the fewer privately owned cars there are and the less traffic congestion there is on the roads. Which in turn means better quality of life for each and every one of us.
In 1992 I introduced telephone reservations via a central mobile phone. This was a quantum leap at the time: before, our customers had to go and reserve the cars in advance at the relevant station – on paper lists which we collected and copied out by hand. There weren’t enough staff to answer the calls every day from 8 am to 10 pm, so I often got stuck with this job – sometimes even in my free time or during business meetings. In this particular instance I was attending a business drinks party on a steamer on Lake Lucerne.
That’s right. Fortunately, we got involved early on because that was the only way to make car sharing viable for the masses. As early as 1997, we installed our first on-board computers for touch keys and later RFID cards in the cars. In conjunction with this access medium, we were able to control vehicle access and systematically record journey data; this in turn provided the basis for all further developments such as bookings via the internet and smartphone.
Self-driving vehicles will have a key role to play. But ultimately, city centres need to be given back to pedestrians and cyclists. So we need to rethink car sharing: it should go back to being part of a sustainable lifestyle.
I’m very pleased because I believe it’s a good idea. Nonetheless, every vehicle needs roads, space and energy – even if it’s electric or self-driving. So I think that what we need as a society are new ways of living, new spatial structures and stable systems. The 15-minute city, for instance: here you have everything you need within a very short distance.
You might say so (laughs). As a managing director, I went straight ahead and included a clause in my own employment contract giving me two weeks of paternity leave for each child – without even asking permission.
A mixture of the two. I can't wait to find out what it feels like never to have a holiday again. Mind you, corona and working from home has given me a good transition period in which to get used to it.
I have nothing major that I feel I missed out on before. My goal is not to get stressed out by hobbies but to pursue those things that have always given me distraction and relaxation: the medieval market in Lucerne, yoga, roasting coffee, working with clay, travel abroad, cycle tours – there are quite a few options. Always depending on my health, of course.
The same to you. Stay tuned: maybe one day my dream will come true and one in ten cars will be a red one.
Joe Willi (65) was one of the very first car sharers. He was the first salaried managing director at Mobility’s predecessor organisation ATG, and then joined the Executive Board of ShareCom before holding various management positions at Mobility in the areas of customer service, back office and operating software. After 27 years of service he is due to retire at the end of March 2021.