How open data initiatives are fuelling mobility as a service
With rising levels of automobile traffic congestion and its environmental impact, there are now more efforts focused on finding ways to make urban travel more efficient. A catalyst for this change has been the principle of Open Data, which is where cities release as much data as possible about local transport, allowing companies to tailor services that fill gaps in coverage.
From this initiative, the concept of mobility as a service (MaaS) has evolved. This is primarily conceived as a method of increasing public transit ridership and reducing traffic on the road, thereby enhancing the quality of life for citizens.
MaaS solution market development
A new study from Juniper Research has found that revenues generated by the use of MaaS platforms, which integrate multi-modal transport services (including buses, taxis, rail and metro), will exceed $11 billion by 2023.
This is up from an estimated $100 million in 2018 and is an average annual growth of 156 percent.
The new market study found that increased regulatory pressures for integrated, environmentally sustainable and financially affordable transport options resulted in the emergence of MaaS platforms, as demonstrated by Moovel and Whim.
It found that MaaS implementation will be further driven by the emerging focus on smart city initiatives. However, the implementation of an 'open data' policy is required immediately to realize this vision.
Juniper now forecasts that the total number of MaaS users will reach 10 million by 2023, as more technology pilots become compelling service offerings.
Alongside top-down 'push factors', user adoption will be further encouraged by cost-savings acting as a 'pull factor'. Juniper analysts forecast that fuel cost savings from MaaS implementation will reach over $32 billion in 2023 -- that's up from just $210 million in 2018.
"Commuters face a compelling proposition in MaaS, which promises to reduce journey time and generate significant savings. However, service providers will require time to establish the trust needed to sustain successful challenges to traditional transport paradigms," said Nick Maynard, research analyst at Juniper Research.
Outlook for MaaS application deployments
The research also found that emergent MaaS platforms will increasingly have to compete with ridesourcing vendors -- such as Uber, Lyft and DiDi Chuxing -- which are expanding their offerings by integrating public transport options into their mobile apps.
According to the Juniper assessment, this means that in order to succeed, MaaS must offer a superior multimodal experience as well as financial incentives, which will require existing transport providers' support, alongside city co-operation and legislative backing.
Without these factors in place, MaaS will lack the elements which differentiate it from traditional transport offerings, leading to poor adoption. Therefore, now is the time for bold innovation.
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