The way people are looking to travel is changing, with the challenges of urban accessibility and the influence of growing city populations factoring into this trend. These are some of the concerns facing businesses and municipalities as they try to cater to needs of residents, and reflects an increase in awareness of the need to adapt to changing traveler - and consumer -preferences.
Mobility as a Service provides the flexibility that today’s on-demand environment requires, and allows commuters to build their own journeys for their own convenience.
Mobility as a Service is a growing focus for both the transportation industries and customer-facing businesses. The term refers to a change in the way we travel, moving away from the traditional idea of owning a vehicle, and towards taking advantage of various other modes of public and private transport, both existing and emerging. It’s a more case-by-case way of deciding how to build a journey, choosing the right option for each trip in a more modular way.
These mobility solutions are often built for user experience and have a focus on convenience. They also have the added benefit of reducing the impact of vehicles on the environment. As urban density is set to be 66% by 2050, the strain on our existing transportation systems and the planet as a whole is only getting larger, one of the topics under discussion at the upcoming Future Urban Mobility conference April 12th, and one challenge addressed by Mobility as a Service solutions. It’s not surprising therefore that PWC estimate MaaS will be worth $156 billion by 2022.
The Sharing Economy
There is no doubt that our current methods of transportation can be made cheaper, more effective, and faster with the help of MaaS. The popularity of ride-sharing apps is just one example, set to have more than 23 million members by 2024, up from less than 2 million in 2012.
CEO of car sharing company Maven Julia Steyn believes that this is only the beginning . “We will be looking at a whole new transportation network. Technological innovations in personal, on-demand services will help get us to this future.”
At CES 2018, where we launched our HERE Mobility Marketplace, we saw some exciting innovations. From the technology behind the scenes, like the HERE Technologies sensor-ingested map, which updates HD maps in real-time with incident data or other road attributes, to updates in the latest vehicles themselves, moving towards breakthroughs in autonomy and connectivity, we were impressed by the progress in our industry.
Despite all this innovation and forward-thinking, it would be difficult to find another industry as fragmented and siloed as transportation, and it’s often the biggest players who have the loudest voices. These big names take a monopoly hold over the industry, using their influence and exercising their large budgets to obtain and develop the latest technologies, the largest share of the marketing and advertising space, and the attention of the vast majority of customers. In turn, users have less and less choice about what transportation they use. Even when a smarter option might be out there, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to see it. As it stands, smaller transportation services companies are losing out and even disappearing altogether. Moving towards a new mobility network means breaking down the barriers, and encouraging healthy competition.
Democratization of the Industry
Leveling the playing field is good for everyone, from consumers to big businesses, and the Mobility Marketplace is doing just that. Frost and Sullivan called it the “star of its show” at CES 2018.
With an open platform which allows all mobility services to shine, consumers can check out any service to find the right fit, looking at what each solution offers and comparing that with their needs all from one platform. While a businesswoman hurrying to a meeting might want the quickest solution, a father with young children might prefer to wait if he can guarantee his ride comes with car seats. As the platform is open to mobility services of all sizes and experience levels, it levels the playing field in a new and exciting way.
Rather than create a totally new third party interface, adding clutter to the customer journey, the marketplace can be seamlessly integrated into existing websites and apps using our customizable tools for ultimate flexibility. Suddenly, a wide range of mobility options are available, including taxis and limos, public transportation and bicycles, car rentals and more with no need to go to different sites or apps. Even a small business can tap into this marketplace, using the web widget to provide added value to their customers.
The Future of Mobility - Advanced Customer Experience Solutions
The ease of use for businesses and customers alike is front and center in the ability of the Mobility Marketplace to be effective as a solution. According to a recent study by Gartner, the driver for mobility is convenience, even more than cost. Think how most people would prefer to jump in a taxi rather than wait for a bus, even if the price is several times higher. Fujitsu discussed in their highlights of MWC how it all comes down to creating a “better end to end journey for passengers.”
With populations in cities growing worldwide, authorities from private and public sectors and across industries face questions of how to encourage transportation options that meet needs and fit changing mobility patterns, and how to keep cities accessible and viable. This is one of the topics under discussion by analysts and thought leaders in the industry, including at the upcoming Future Urban Mobility 2018 conference in the Netherlands, and a question we at HERE Mobility took to address as part of our mission to revolutionize the way mobility is offered and consumed.
With our API, any business can easily integrate and benefit from the HERE Mobility Marketplace. A hotel can use their concierge console to book their guests a money-saving ride-share to the airport at the same time as checking out of their rooms. A bridal store retail website can assist a customer with buying a train ticket to get to her appointment with time to spare. A bar owner can equip his venue with a self-service kiosk that can ensure everyone gets home safely from a night out. Spaces like hospitals and malls can follow suit, integrating holistic mobility for safety and convenience. This is true Mobility as a Service, allowing all businesses to integrate mobility solutions as part of their business portfolio, and providing truly holistic customer service solutions across the board.
Mobility as a Service is encouraging transportation towards cheaper, more environmentally-friendly solutions for the future of mobility. On top of that, when done right, businesses delight the user with convenience at every stage of their journey, both on and off the road. Democratizing the industry and staying up to date with the latest technological innovations is just the beginning.