The state of Mobility as a Service

Over the course of this summer, we have embarked on a roadshow to get in touch with leaders and innovators in mobility across two different continents, three different countries, and four different cities. Gathering people in San Jose, USA, Berlin and Hannover, Germany, as well as Paris, France (with the help of the awesome team of Five by Five), has given us the opportunity to gain insights from very different markets and further specify our vision of the future of Mobility as a Service.

Seamless transportation is the customer’s ideal

Multimodal forms of transport—a combination of car rides, the use of public transport, and other offerings like last-mile solutions (electric scooters)—is the current mobility standard for people living in urban areas. These offerings are being provided by a multitude of different operators, which means that the user is confronted with dozens of different points of interaction when booking, scheduling, and using mobility services. The ideal experience for customers, who are currently turning into a mobility services consumers, are seamless transportation offering. This means a simple, streamlined offering of integrated services, getting an individual from A to B without putting too much thinking (or barely any thinking and planning at all) into it. The consumer wants to push a button and get to their destination, as quickly and effortlessly as possible.

A multitude of players need to get involved

In order to make this vision a reality, a multitude of players have to work together in a completely new ecosystem of transportation and mobility offerings. On the one side there are traditional players who are currently shifting into new modes of transportation offerings like automotive OEMs offering new mobility services in urban areas (think of Daimler and BMW’s car2go/DriveNow services). At the same time new companies have been establishing disruptive mobility solutions, either focused on longer urban trips (like UBER and Lyft) or shorter individual trips (think of scooter services of the likes of Lime and Bird or bike hire services like Ford’s GoBike). In addition to that, there are traditional public transportation systems—and most importantly there are also cities and communities that serve as the context of those new combinations of transportation models.

MaaS challenges—and how to solve them

All of these players have to integrate with each other, but also with adjacent services, to make the future of mobility, a seamless transportation offering for individuals, happen. We can already see first signs of such an integration and collaboration happening: For example, Daimler and BMW joined forces to strengthen their carsharing services, and riders in California’s Bay Area can use their public transportation card to use Ford’s GoBike bikes to get from A to B. Riders in Paris can do something similar. But this is only the beginning: We’re just about to experience a significant shift to ever-increasing integrations in the greater mobility ecosystem, heavily driven by digital developments. The shift towards this goal brings about a variety of challenges that have to be solved in order to make this happen. A multitude of players have to communicate and exchange data with each other, while that data is being sourced from even more different sources. In addition to that, it features different standards and protocols. MaaS calls for data and API orchestration. APIs are regarded as a major trend in mobility, facilitating the exchange of data and access to digital interfaces for partner collaboration.

The majority of mobility players sees the need to act

Talking to a variety of different players in mobility it becomes clear that these companies and organizations do not want a “Mobility Google” to happen—meaning that they want to prevent a monopoly in the digital mobility market to become reality. Understandably so: The market for MaaS, currently (2017) the size of $38.76bn, is set to grow to $358.35bn in 2025. The opportunity for additional revenue is huge, and every player wants to be part of that growth. Focus areas are digitizing vehicle ops services, making better use of the rider’s time (especially in the context of autonomous vehicles), facilitating interaction of mobility services with transport and city infrastructure, as well as ensuring interoperability of telematics for OEMs.

Xapix—facilitating the development of MaaS projects

Xapix is the leading tool for data and API orchestration in mobility. The simple and easy-to-use, software is targeted at enterprise developers within the transportation sector. Xapix is a an easy to use orchestration tool for APIs that makes it easy to combine data from different sources in order to boost partner collaboration and to easily provide external interfaces for the development of digital mobility services. Learn more about Xapix on our product page or check out our technical walkthrough video.

A special thanks

We’d also like to thank Five by Five for supporting us with the conduction of a part of our roadshow by co-hosting a workshop with us at their awesome workspace in Paris, France. Five by Five is an innovation consultancy with great ideas and an even greater team. Check out their amazing work here: www.fivebyfive.io