Mobility as a Service, Solution for Urban Mobility?By Alejandro Enríquez | Fri, 04/24/2020 - 14:51
According to the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, in 2018, 55 percent of the global population lived in urban areas. As of 2018, there are 33 megacities in the world. These are urban areas with more than 10 million people living in them. As more developing countries go through an urbanization process, mobility policies will gain importance as they are closely related to quality of life in the city.
Mobility as a Service (MaaS) is a concept that encompasses all transportation options, public and private, under a single scheme that helps people to move easier from one point to another. According to Deloitte: "MaaS relies on a digital platform that integrates end-to-end trip planning, booking, electronic ticketing and payment services across all modes of transportation, public or private."
MaaS is closely intertwined with shared mobility in all its variants: bikes, cars or ride-hailing apps. Just in 2019, the car sharing market accounted for US$2.5 billion globally, according to Global Market insights. MaaS players develop local expertise in transportation options and most of them are startup companies integrating different services into a single offer for the final user. SkedGo and Moovel are two relevant players in this segment. SkedGo is an Australian company founded in 2009 with offices in Australia, Argentina, Germany, Finland and the UK. The company serves as a "MaaS technology and allows public transit authorities, corporations and startups to create their own tailored MaaS applications," says the company official brochure. The company integrates 4,000 transport service providers globally.
Moovel is also an exceptional case since it will be transformed into Reach Now, a company that will be part of the mobility joint venture between Daimler AG and BMW Group. The Germany-based company is a MaaS service company with more than 6.7 million users across 20 cities worldwide. "Our vision is a world without traffic jams," said CEO of Reach Now, John David Von Oertzen.
What is game changing about the MaaS market is the ability to solve all problems a user can face when moving from one point to another within or between cities. According two Deloitte, two trends are behind the emergence of MaaS services. First, cities are not betting on costly vehicle infrastructure that will eventually be surpassed in capacity. Second, consumers have embraced new mobility schemes over the last decade.
MaaS, however, is not only about transportation. Data and telecommunications play a crucial role in the development of the MaaS' market, enabling 5G networks across the world with higher internet speed, nodes and a greater capacity for C-V2X or V2X schemes to function adequately. With an adequate telecommunications infrastructure, data will be generated in real-time so real-time solutions can be provided to the final user.