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December 04, 2019

What Is Mobility as a Service?

There has been an ongoing conversation within our cities. A revolution that some think is long overdue; that some think is imminent.  The transport industry, as a service in itself, is a sector that has seen minimal shifts and advancements since its advent. It would be difficult to imagine how different our cultures would have turned out without the movement of people and goods along social and economic lines. It, hence, comes surprisingly that the industry has only evolved infrastructure-wise while remaining rudimentary as a service. Herein comes Mobility as a Service, usually abbreviated as MaaS.

MaaS is a new-age thinking approach towards mobility that finally puts users at the heart of transport services. Ideally, it is meant to provide options and solutions to existing mobility challenges tailored to individual needs. Therefore, it creates a reduced need to own a mode of transportation personally. Alternatively, users consume mobility as a service, as they would equally for other aspects of life, such as mobile plans or internet provision.

As the experts speculate, this would present the most pivotal innovation seen in the transport sector after the automobile invention. While it takes the practical application to comprehend its ambit fully, the projections and potentials are remarkably promising. With the disruptive nature of our world today, this will be undoubtedly a necessary and great leap. Our lives are further moving to technological realms, as our inclinations are leading more people to urban setups, a convenient and efficient solution to moving people and goods around. All factors and existing challenges considered, it is about to transform our lives, once again.

How Does Mobility as a Service Work

Mobility as a Service integrates various modes of transport available at a particular location. They are combined into a single transport service that is accessible to users on demand. The service provides options, usually in bundles, that are flexible and seamless to the end-users. Thus the shift from privately owned modes of transport and multiple transport apps as well. The service combines public transport, car-hailing, car, and bike-sharing in a single platform. The coming together of private and public transportation creates a unified platform that the users can access at the convenience of a smartphone.

Consequently, users only have to make a single payment from their accounts for each and any of their trips. This is irrespective of the various modes they employ. Besides, the payments could be made per trip, or a monthly subscription to the multiple bundles’ options offered. Ergo, accessibility on demand ensures that each provision meets the specific needs of an individual user.

Analogous to case study help from Helsinki, MaaS is further opening myriad possibilities. Trip planning appears to be the most significant, as of yet. Whereby, users can see available combinations from a location to the other. Preferences in time, cost, and ease then dictate what the user ultimately chooses. Should the service allow roaming, then move in and around different cities transitions from a gruesome inconvenience to an irreproachable and effortless click on your phone.

What Are the Necessities of Mobility as a Service

Moving forward, Mobility as a Service will require three essential components to achieve its core objectives. Like any software, the service requires efficient hardware to operate smoothly. In this case, modern infrastructure that incorporates mobility services is pivotal.  Public transit and cycling lanes, present and functional, present the best approach. Reduced congestion on these roads opens the doors for autonomous vehicles that are crucial to MaaS’es progression and development in the future.

Data, in copious amounts, is equally an integral element. This allows analysts to break down the data and draw insights on the patterns and means of movement. Hence, mobility is optimized continually, relative to people, traffic, and time. Data, succinctly, provide the basis for strategies to be applied both short –term and long-term.

MaaS’es user-centric approach creates the need for incentives. After all, the success of the service is measured by the number of users adopting it. As such, governments will need to enact policies that entice and endorse all stakeholders: People, public, and private entities. Only when the service is accessible and affordable to all, including fair competition, does it meet all its goals and pertinent objectives?

Urban transport is about to undergo a drastic transformation imminently. There are undoubtedly several snugs that will be encountered on the way. Working together, nonetheless, we stand to be part of the biggest revolution, yet to be seen in the 21st century.

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