Did you know that Helsinki started an ambitious initiative to make private cars completely unnecessary for any city resident by 2025?Helsinki’s vision represents the next revolution in mobility: Mobility-as-a-Service (MaaS).With a number of people in public areas growing each day, this seems like the most efficient and sustainable solution that should make the entire transport and paying experience greener and more pleasant for everyone. But is turning this idea into reality feasible? What hurdles do companies need to overcome, and is technology the key enabler?Gavrilo Drljaca, Engineering Manager and Division Head of Technology at HTEC, has many years of experience in building next-generation platforms that will help build public trust in transportation and mobility space. We grabbed a chance to talk to him about whether MaaS initiatives are moving in the right direction and what are the challenges ahead. H: Gavrilo, can you tell us more about what triggered you to develop yourself professionally in this particular field? “One of the first projects I worked on as a young engineer was in the public transport domain, and I worked on it for quite some time. Initially, I stayed because of the great people I worked with. But, as time went by, I realized that I was working in a domain that can offer me a constant influx of interesting challenges and opportunities to learn new things and grow. Also, developing solutions in this domain is very rewarding since you have a chance to work on something that is going to be used by a huge number of people and hopefully improves their daily lives.”H: What is fuelling global interest in MaaS?“MaaS is seen as something that is potentially enabling a shift towards more sustainable urban mobility. Its goal is to resolve inefficient and congested transportation by offering people the ability to use a single cost-effective application that enables them to travel seamlessly from point A to point B using multiple modes of transportation. Younger generations and the fast-paced lifestyle of people living in urban areas are driving changes in public transport, unlike the traditional suburban lifestyle where people depend more on private cars as the main transport. In such an atmosphere, mobility is both a challenge and an opportunity for city dwellers — it has become a focus of innovation and will impact the lives of residents profoundly. On top of this, today’s modern citizen is environmentally aware, choosing green modes of transport, and MaaS plays a major role in building a greener future. 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 than current options. Essentially, ever-changing customer expectations may lead to either a demand for more sustainable modes of transport or mobility-as-a-service solutions.”
Source: Deloitte Review: The rise of mobility as a serviceH: We are witnessing the rise of mobility as a service, but there are still challenges that prevent it from scaling. The fundamental question is, what do we need to do in designing a MaaS offer that actually attracts people to change their travel behavior?“Modern mobility should offer a high level of flexibility and convenience. The end goal is to have a service that offers more convenience than traveling by car or navigating through many different apps for public transport, car-sharing, bike-sharing, cabs, etc. This goal can be achieved by offering travellers multiple travel options, real-time information, easy-to-use payments, and flexible and cost-effective subscription or pay-as-you-go payment models. These are all hard challenges, and truth be told, it takes more than a company’s desire to build a great mobility solution. Building MaaS is a multi-faceted challenge that involves many different stakeholders, both private and public.”H: MaaS is a data-driven, user-centered paradigm powered by the growth of smartphones. To work effectively, what kind of conditions would MaaS require?“To be able to build an efficient MaaS in an urban area, there are a few requirements that should be met:
A wide range of transport modes should exist in the cities
Transport operators should be willing to provide access to their real-time data to a third party
Most transport operators should allow a third party to sell their service
Most transport operators should offer e-ticket or e-payment services to the citizens.”
Source: Mobility as a Service (MaaS): Challenges of Implementation and Policy RequiredH: Since you have been mainly involved in building mobility solutions here at HTEC, what would you say has been the most important lesson learned so far?Never underestimate all the stakeholders involved. When we developed a solution called Telexis Sales Unit (a point of sales device that should be beside drivers so that they could sell tickets), there were many stakeholders involved, from public transport operators through the government to drivers’ syndicate. They thought they were not important at all. But then it turned out they are important as they are the ones using it, and they have the power to really influence things. H: Is the future of MaaS uncertain?While MaaS is still in a very nascent stage, there is no doubt that it does have great potential to offer convenient and comfortable travel in a city without owning a car. Instead of using this model twice a year for a big trip, imagine doing it multiple times a day with all the services bundled into a single price and paid for in just one click. The benefits for cities are enormous. The benefits for passengers are exquisite. And the technology used to make MaaS is already here. The future of MaaS is not uncertain. The future is bright.
Where to Start?
At HTEC, we are focused on building sustainable solutions that will put residents at the heart of urban mobility and be a perfect substitute for inefficient, congested, and disconnected city transport. We are helping users better understand this changing landscape and move in a smarter and faster way. Reach out to our team of experts or book a chat with our Gavrilo Drljaca to learn how we can help you drive the future of mobility and transit.
Hi there, I’m Maya – a senior content writer at HTEC. My passion is to write about the world of tech, latest digital wonders and stories about creative super-minds who have been moving the boundaries of science and making tectonic changes across industries.
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