The Future of Mobility: what's next?

Article

The rise of mobility as a service

Reshaping how urbanites get around

Hate gridlock? Can’t find parking? Want cleaner alternatives? Mobility-as-a-service programs with pilots in select locations already may be coming soon to a city near you. Their potential? To solve urban density problems and make getting around easier and more efficient.

What if people move around by using an app?

If Netflix’s business model were applied to urban transportation, how might that change the way city dwellers get around? That’s the question at the heart of an ambitious initiative taking shape in Finland’s capital, which aims to make it unnecessary for any city resident to own a private car by 2025.

Since 2016, Helsinki residents have been able to use an app called Whim to plan and pay for all modes of public and private transportation within the city, be it by train, taxi, bus, carshare, or bikeshare. Anyone with the app can enter a destination, select his or her preferred mode of getting there or, in cases where no single mode covers the door-to-door journey, a combination thereof and go. Users can either pre-pay for the service as part of a monthly mobility subscription, or pay as they go using a payment account linked to the service.

The goal is to make it so convenient for users to get around that they opt to give up their personal vehicles for city commuting, not because they’re forced to, but because the alternative is more appealing. According to Sampo Hietanen, the visionary behind Whim, “We want to prove that we can beat the service level of a car. Or at least be comparable to it. We want to show that people want it, not just that we can do it."

Helsinki’s vision represents the next revolution in mobility: mobility as a service (MaaS). At its core, 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. It’s a marked departure from where most cities are today, and from how mobility has been delivered until now.

Rather than having to locate, book, and pay for each mode of transportation separately, MaaS platforms let users plan and book door-to-door trips using a single app. By answering the question of how best to get individual users where they’re going based on real-time conditions throughout the network, taking account of all the possible options and each user’s own preferences (for example, time and convenience vs. cost), and facilitating seamless mobile payment, MaaS starts to move us toward a more user-centered mobility paradigm.

The report 'the rise of mobility as a service' examines what’s driving interest and experimentation in MaaS in cities around the world, outlines the core elements of MaaS and how this concept could evolve, and describes the role of government and the private sector in realizing the benefits MaaS brings.

The rise of mobility as a service

Want to know more on the Future of Mobility?

More information on how developments within the mobility landscape affects your business, please contact Frank de Bont at +31 (0)88 288 1572 and via mail FdeBont@deloitte.nl. Interested in our latest reports on the Future of Mobility, visit our Future of Mobility platform where we will publish new research, reports and interviews with thought leaders.

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