Mobility is witnessing its share of innovation based on digital technologies. Mobility as a service, a digitally-enabled carsharing and ride-hailing service, is staking a claim to be a key driver of growth and profitability in the rising auto markets. It is poised to far outstrip the profitability potential of traditional car making.
Accenture research indicates that by the year 2030, the revenue generated by vehicle manufacturing and selling would be close to $ 2.4 billion, which means only marginally higher than they are today with the profits for car sales shrinking slightly. On the other hand, revenues generated by MaaS would touch $1.6 trillion, with profits close to $ 280 billion.
Mobility as a service refers to various forms of transportation integrated with each other and enabling access to transportation service on demand. A customer requests and then a MaaS operator can provide him/her with a wide array of transportation choices; be it a public transport, car, bike, hailing/sharing, lease or any combination of these services. It makes car maintenance, parking hassle, and route planning thing of the past. The most important value addition through MaaS is that it provides one-stop solution to solve all your mobility needs with a single payment channel.
The aim of MaaS is to provide alternative use of the private car that may be as convenient, more environment-friendly and much cheaper.
What’s Fueling Global Interest in MaaS?
Leading metros of the world like Los Angeles, Paris, Singapore, Vienna, Hanover, Denver, Barcelona have all tried and piloted different projects that range from simple peer to peer connectivity to integrated public transportation.
The wide acceptance and quick embrace that it has received can be attributed to two key trends,
- Increasingly, people no longer view the transportation through the lens of choosing one over the other. Also, adding to infrastructure capacity is becoming costly and adds problems to the already existing issues.
- Consumers have very quickly adopted and embraced new mobility options and applications such as Uber, Ola, Lyft, Zoomcar, Zipcar. Carsharing is expected to have over 26 million members by 2020 according to a report by Berg Insight and Frost and Sullivan from close to 300,000 in 2006. Even after selling its operations to DiDi in China Uber is still present in over 700 cities worldwide.
The prerequisite for a successful implementation of MaaS includes 3G/4G/5G networks and Smartphone penetration, Secure and dynamic information updates, Cashless payment systems
Challenges and the Road Ahead
The key challenge for transportation planners is to think how different modes of transportation can be linked with each other to solve the last mile issues.
An important factor in making MaaS a success would be to get both private and public players to work together. Private players might join-in in search for profits, while public players would want to join to seek public policy benefits that are produced from reduced congestion and higher productivity. MaaS is at a very nascent stage right now, but benefits are very compelling to both cities and individuals, plus the technology which can power MaaS is already here, hence entry criteria are becoming clear.
Although most of these infrastructure facilities are present in at least Tier -I cities all around the world, MaaS is yet to gain enough traction so as to become viral across users around the globe, but we do have a few successful implementations of the concept across the world Wimp App – Helinski, Finland; Qixxit – Germany, Moovel (by Daimler) – Germany; Beeline – Singapore; SMILE app – Vienna, Bridj – Boston, Kansas City and Washington D.C.
As urban density continues to grow, MaaS provides an alternative way to move more people and goods in a way that is faster, cleaner, and less expensive, creating a more convenient option for people from all the age groups than current options. By adding more variability into the supply side of transportation, MaaS could transform a relatively inflexible transportation system into one that is significantly more pliable.