The transportation sector is currently facing massive changes in its ways of functioning with new technologies, products and services to meet the changing and increasing demands of customers and to create new opportunities. From being just about public and private transports, the field of mobility has now become vast and complex.
Mobility as a Service (MaaS) is a concept where people shift from personally buying vehicles to adopting mobility as a true form of service. Public transports like busses, cabs, etc have been playing a major role in our lives for a very long time. But of late, modern concepts like ride-sharing have been gaining sharp attention in the market. Mobility as a Service includes all of these concepts but rather than using multiple applications to access rides, MaaS applications incorporate all of the features under a single unified platform.
The concept of MaaS is already in its early implementation stages. Ride-sharing and vehicle lending are now available in metropolitan areas. A person has to book a ride, confirm it, enter the given OTP or scan the code on the vehicle and can avail it for the specified amount of time.
MaaS market size and adoption trends
The global Mobility as a Service market was estimated to be $4.7 billion in 2020. This value is expected to reach $70.4 billion by the end of the decade with a CAGR of 31.1%. The key driving factors for the adoption of MaaS are found to be the smart city initiatives, urbanization, the adoption of 4G/5G, etc.
Asia Oceania takes the lead when it comes to the adoption of MaaS, followed by Europe and North America. The region-wise adopters have been considered based on the rate of population growth and urbanization. These two factors highly increase the need for efficient transportation.
Major companies in the field of MaaS
Moovit, based in Israel, is one of the leading Mobility as a Service (MaaS) solutions providers. Moovit also develops urban utility applications. The MaaS platform works on multiple operating systems such as iOS, Android and works on all the web browsers like Chrome, Safari and Firefox. At present, Moovit powers around a billion rides in over 3000 cities in 112 countries around the globe.
MaaS Global Oy
MaaS Global Oy, a company based in Finland, offers all city transport services in a single application. Whimapp enables users to access transportation facilities like buses, cabs, bikes, etc under a single subscription.
Citymapper, a company based in the UK, has developed a MaaS product called Citymapper pass. The pass works on a subscription basis where users can have access to all forms of transportation services. Citymapper also supports various integrated payment gateways, making them easy for users to access.
How can MaaS change the present transportation system?
There are already various customer-centric transportation services. The main advantages of adopting MaaS are that it enables easier route planning, offers simpler payment methods, is highly economical, provides transportation facilities to everyone and lesser traffic congestion results in lower pollution levels.
Depending on the needs of the customer, the mode of transportation can be chosen. For instance, if a customer wants to take the scenic route, he can fix his route in such a way that it covers the scenic area. When a large number of people adopt MaaS, the number of vehicles on the streets can be reduced and eventually, the pollution can also be reduced to great amounts. The pay-per-use module will greatly contribute to the growth of the economy. Additionally, users no longer need massive parking spaces.
Sector classification and risk factors of each sector
The concept of shared mobility initially started with ride-sharing. A few years ago, sharing a ride with a stranger was considered to be a risky thing. But today, ride-sharing has become pretty common. Especially, people who use cabs every day to travel to their offices share their rides with their co-workers from the area. With an increasing number of drivers and cabs, the need to personally own a vehicle has been greatly decreased.
In this method of transportation, the vehicle comes with GPS systems so that the user can easily tell their destination to the driver and track where your ride is before you can access it. This method also allows end-customers to rate the services and the quality of the driver and the services offered.
When it comes to ride-sharing day to car-sharing are only two main concerns that have to be properly addressed.
- Insurance coverage and the pricing structure for both the driver and the vehicle.
- If the driver is self-employed or works for a company.
Car ownership can be expensive and requires frequent services and maintenance. In this busy world, most of us do not find the time to go on frequent road trips. Hence the car is just being parked for a maximum amount of time. With car-sharing/subscription services are aimed at addressing this issue.
In car-sharing services, the end customer can hire a car for a limited amount of time under certain payment conditions. The payment model is based on the duration of how long the car is hired or based on the travel distance, exclusive of the fuel charges (in most cases). This model has great advantages as the customer gets to drive the car without the need for the driver and also there are no regular maintenance costs involved.
Usually, car-sharing services are owned by companies and will be rented out to the customers. Here, the company takes complete care of the maintenance of the vehicle. But P2P car sharing can be a little difficult which can raise liability concerns.
Vehicle subscription services offer access to a category of cars along with maintenance, insurance and assistance, all included in a single-term payment. This vehicle subscription is still at its very beginning stages but has great potential to develop at massive rates shortly. This method of service offers flexibility by reducing the long-term commitment. Many high-class automotive companies like Porsche, Volvo, Mercedes, Cadillac, etc have started offering vehicle subscription programs.
Unlike car-sharing services, vehicle-sharing services include brand new cars. Renting high-end cars comes with higher prices. Any damages to the car will require lots of money from the end customer to be repaired.
Micro mobility services include vehicles that can only carry 2 people at a time such as bikes and scooters. These vehicles are usually electric and they have certain restrictions on how much weight they can carry. These vehicles travel at very slow speeds and are limited to how much distance they can travel. Micro mobility services work pretty well for tourists who want to explore cities or certain landmarks of a place.
Micro mobility services have the same rules and challenges associated with owning a bike or a scooter. The driver has to provide legal documents like a license before they can hire micro-mobility services. The driver will also have to be liable for any damages caused, whatsoever.
The future of Mobility as a Service has a lot of interesting things to offer us. For instance, the adoption of self-driving cars and trucks. As of now, these self-driving vehicles are not completely road-legal because of legal reasons in many countries. But in few years, autonomous vehicles will be popularly adopted for intercity rides and daily commutes.