The National Road Safety Partnership Program (NRSPP) continues to innovate and lead in the workplace road safety space with the launch of the social enterprise Empowr Mobility (Empowr).

Empowr’s Philosophy

Everyone deserves access to safe, affordable vehicles. It’s safer for the driver, and safer for everyone on our roads.

That’s why we put aspiring young people suffering transport disadvantage in newer, safer and more affordable cars. It’s greater access to work opportunities, and greater safety for everyone.

The Co-Founders

Jerome Carslake Director of the NRSPP is co-founder of Empowr with Tristan King who together over the past 18 months has helped build and design Empowr. A key goal is to provide an unrealised CSR avenue to corporates that can have a lasting impact beyond just road safety but socially.

The Problem

More than 250,000 young people living in Australia’s outer suburbs and regions suffer from transport disadvantage leading directly to income and education inequality. If you are under 21, traditional car sharing services are not an option and if you can afford a car, it’s not likely to be a very good or safe car which is how 14,000 young people a year end up in intensive care after car crashes. Younger drivers are inexperience and more likely to make mistake which is why they are 4 times more likely to be killed when driving.

Looking at Victoria, more than 300 young drivers aged 18 – 25 have lost their lives in the last 10 years – representing just less than one in four or 23% of drivers lives lost in Victoria in this period.

How will Empowr make safer, newer cars more affordable?

Empowr will provide an online marketplace that connects corporate fleet owners and lease finance companies to ambitious, motivated young people to help them get into safe vehicles. Fleet owners and leasing companies turn over their fleet vehicles every 2-4 years. With Empowr, they can now create a ‘2nd life’ lease, instead of sending their vehicles to auction, they can on-lease or write-off the residual value as a donor tax deduction

For ambitious, motivated young drivers, we’re able to change the experience of car ownership, to an affordable, predictable weekly subscription cost.

We’re partnering with non-profits working directly with these young people, and they nominate the young drivers.

Once accepted, we select a suitable fit-for-purpose safe vehicle, facilitate payment, deliver the vehicle and provide customer support.

Each vehicle is fitted with CARA, a smart IoT device which collects driving data, and coaches drivers, positively changing behaviour and providing valuable insights. CARA also influences the insurance premium which is the variable for the user and is based on how safe they drive.

“The idea of Empowr originated from the past CEO of ANCAP James Goodwin when he gave NRSPP a challenge, you have all of these corporates with major 5-star ANCAP fleets how can you get them to people suffering transport disadvantaged. NRSPP accepted the challenge.”

Empowr Pilots

Empowr Mobility has secured a pilot project with the Victorian Department of Transport with four vehicles supplied by Coffey Ford, two are allocated to individuals and two to the TAC L2P Programs located in Mildura and Bendigo in collaboration with Sunraysia Assist and Salivation Army, respectively.

The NRSPP has been working with Swinburne University Communications Design Student 3rd year Bureau to develop video narratives of the use cases. The individual vehicles have been provided to two young people who were nominated through the L2P program associated not-for-profits.

The pilots formerly commence 17 November.

Soon you will be able to meet our first individual users, video case studies:

• Binyam

• Cody

“Growing up in the bush in WA, death on the road was sadly accepted and normalised. But I have learned over the last decade this is so wrong. These areas, a car is a must have. There is no choice but what you get reflects what you can afford, and safety is a nice to have. Empowr changes the equation, engaging aspiring young people who are suffering from transport disadvantage to get them safely and affordably mobile.”

Empowr features as part of 2020 Monash Generator

With the recent shift of NRSPP to Monash University Accident Research Centre (MUARC), Empowr was accepted to be part of the 2020 Monash Generator in The Accelerator. The whirlwind eight-week ride has assisted in refining Empowr Mobility’s pitch, business model and momentum in establishing a sustainable social enterprise.

If you want to learn more about Empowr Mobility come along and join the 2020 Monash Generator Showcase which takes place on the 11 November at 5.30pm.

Translating the complexity of Empowr Mobility into an easy understandable 3-minute pitch is just one of the outcomes. A hard task when you have so much passion you want to communicate.

Acknowledgments

Empowr has evolved over the past 18 months through workshops and discussions with many different people and organisations. NRSPP and Empowr would like to thank Mercurian Group, TAC and Victorian Department of Transport and recognise the input of ANCAP, APA Group, Coffey Ford, Ganbina, GROW, MUARC, Nestle, Transport for NSW, Transurban, Viva Energy, and Zurich plus many more.

Empowr is a working example of the application the social model to road safety.

If you’d like to make a difference in this space, or want to find out how you can support the flow of safer, newer vehicles to young people, get in touch.

Contact

To find out more, visit empowrmobility.com

Connect with Tristan at tristan@empowrmobility.com or Jerome at jerome.carslake@monash.edu