MaaS technologies & services today
Digitalization, technology innovations, sharing economy and the need to be more sustainable due to the climate crisis have boosted the explosion of new innovative mobility services with the aim of covering people’s mobility daily needs in the best possible way. However, there is no single transportation mode that can meet all the diverse and dynamic travel requirements of today citizens. Hence, Mobility as a Service (MaaS) is seen as the solution to improve intermodal access to public and private mobility aligning with the sustainable cities approach
MaaS is a platform that integrates a variety of transportation modes, either traditional (e.g., bus, metro, and taxis) or innovative (e.g., car sharing, bike sharing, and ride sharing), in combination with other transport-related services (e.g., ticketing, booking, and payment systems). It has emerged as an innovative concept expected to offer the best transportation experience for users. It allows the users to plan, book and pay for the services selected as well as other transport related services such as parking. In fact, users are the main actors in the MaaS ecosystem and the market segmentation to address the needs of the different kinds of users, with tailored mobility packages, is one of the main challenges ahead.
It is widely claimed that MaaS could bring considerable societal benefits, such as an improve air quality, reduce the energy requirements, improvement of road safety and the efficiency in the transport system. Additionally, advocates of MaaS argue that it could reduce social exclusion and bring new opportunities for economic growth. However, its successful implementation depends not only on the public acceptance (which can be considered as a precondition), but also, on three factors: Disruptive Technologies, New Business Models, and Regulations.
The speed of innovation in technology makes that technological changes are not dynamic anymore, but disruptive. The internet of Things is a disruptive technology that has a broad number of applications in the transportation sector, including Intelligent Transport Systems. This disruptive technology is supported by:
- An infrastructure of sensors: the autonomous/connected vehicles offer a new set of sensors which allow the gather updated information from any place where there is, at least, a vehicle.
- The connectivity to networks: The 5G technology satisfies the needs of efficient communication in the Intelligent transport Systems, since the current technologies, such as 4G, don’t allow this interchange of the data generated by the transport infrastructure and the new connected vehicles.
- The ability to rapidly compute incoming data. As a consequence of the huge amount of data gathered, new ways to process and analyse data in real-time is required to optimise the use of infrastructures, as well as to enhance the user experience. Big Data Analytics allows to carry out this task.
In the last years, new business models in the mobility sector have changed the transportation sector from a traditional and static model, to a flexible and innovative scenario with new interrelated players. Indeed, the mobility sector has grown in app-based on-demand shared transport initiatives. There are two types of shared Mobility Business Models: ride-sourcing, which include all on-demand and pre-book services which offer a ride (e.g., ride-hailing and ride-sharing), and vehicle sharing, which is based in renting vehicles for short periods of time and where different users can use them during the day (e.g., car-sharing, scooter-sharing, and bike-sharing).
Nowadays, some cities are almost full of local, global, public and private providers that offer similar services with the aim of covering people’s mobility daily needs in the best possible way. So, they are facing tough competition, and many of these transport services are unprofitable. That makes that many companies have to close down and/or move to other cities, or even, change their business model.
The report shows a comparative analysis of business models of the most relevant ride-hailing, carsharing and aggregator services in Amsterdam, Budapest, Barcelona and Madrid. The results show few differences among them, which does not distinguish any sustainable advantage. On the other hand, the report shows that differences in the deployment of some new mobility services do not depend on the national regulations, but the city ones, such as the case of carsharing between Barcelona and Madrid.
One of the success factors in the deployment of MaaS is related to the national, regional, and city regulations of MaaS, but also the regulations related to access mobility market and the regulations and polices for promoting the use of MaaS (both citizens and companies). On the other hand, the lack of consistency among them is detrimental to its launch. For example, Finland resolved this situation creating a national law integrating them.
Please contact the leader of this activity for more information:
lmma Ribas Vila, PhD
Associate Professor of Operations Management
TechTalent-Lab, Department of Management
Universitat Politécnica de Catalunya-BarcelonaTech
email: imma.ribas @ upc.edu