Shared Mobility Thoughts

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mobility as a service

Integrated Mobility and Achieving True MaaS

Nov 21, 2016

If there were a ‘Google search’ for transportation, we’d really be doing society a huge liberty, wouldn’t we? We had the honour of reviewing Josep Laborda’s article on LinkedIN, and here’s what we’ve summarized to be the most critical and thought-provoking points in achieving true MaaS (mobility as a service).

Integrated Mobility

True integrated mobility is achieved when the current carsharing companies like ReachNow, Moovel, Car2Go, and BlaBlaCar are integrated with public transit, car-pooling and ride-sharing services like Lyft and Uber, rental cars, taxi, and parking. In today’s busy world, a combination of all of these services is often needed to achieve an optimal, convenient lifestyle.

According to the author, “That is why I find the idea of “Mobility as a Service” (MaaS) so appealing: a single app that includes pay-as-you-go or monthly subscription multi-modal packages that bundle monthly travel requirements at a single price (for instance, get unlimited public transport + 8 hours / month of bike share + 50 Km / month of taxi + 4 hours / month of car share at X €).”

The User

Today, more than half of the world’s population lives in urban centres, which means that the need for mobility is huge. Therefore, if you offer mobility as a service, in principle you should expect to have virtually endless users willing to pay for this service.

According to the author, “MaaS presumes a change in our mindsets, where owning a car would not be indispensable (especially when there would be other cheaper and equally convenient alternatives). Millenials and young urbanites are likely to be early adopters of “many-things-as-a-service” (music, movies, …, mobility, probably).” 

The Technology

The IT infrastructure needed to support an MaaS implementation is robust and critical for the functionality of such. It needs to manage every single transaction, exchange data to and from connected back-end systems, it needs to have the business intelligence to tailor the service to the specific users’ needs, and it also needs to have the user interface to ensure it works seamlessly.

According to our founder, Sandra Phillips, in her Move Forward article:

“The increase in choice in shared mobility services is great for the consumer. Or is it? More options also mean more decisions that need to be made and it is becoming overwhelming. A meta mobility app could address this.”

The Options Available

UbiGo, a successful MaaS pilot run in Gothenburg, now planning for expansion to rest of Sweden, and other countries;

– Daimler’s Moovel, available in beta mode in Helsinki, Kiev, Lviv, Boston and Portland;

– Deutsche Bahn’s Qixxit in Germany;

– Xerox’s GoLA in Los Angeles;

– GoDenver in Denver;

– GVH’s Hannovermobil in Hannover;

– Smile pilot in Vienna

While not a MaaS per se, ReachNow‘s new mobility platform is a step in the right direction. ReachNow’s mobility ecosystem provides a solution to one of the major challenges for MaaS, which is to get partners to buy into the platform and become integrated.

We are optimistic and excited about the future of MaaS and what’s to come in the shared mobility industry as a whole. Are you interested in discussing MaaS or shared mobility? Get in touch with us here

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