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Mobility on Demand

Mobility on Demand

Friday, February 2, 2018


Source: Smart Cities, Smart mobility, by Luckas Nekermann with Tim Smedley  - p.99 2017


In The Mobility Revolution, I reported on an “on-demand sharing economy project in progress in the Finnish capital Helsinki, where a plan to transform the public transport system” would work so seamlessly that “people would naturally prefer the new mobility system rather than owning a car.”

This Mobility on demand system will prove to be the difference between an adequate city and a truly smart one.

And just as software is no longer purchased, but subscribed to (Software as a Service, or SaaS), so too will we subscribe to mobility-as-a-service (MaaS).

In smart cities, residents do not get from A to B in an electric car. Rather, they get from A to B by using a variety of different transport modes, get some exercise along the way, and arrive quicker – and wealthier – than if they’d just jumped in a car.

Jennie Martin, Secretary General of Intelligent Transport Systems UK, explains, “A MaaS package could include taxi journeys, bike hire, car hire and even flights, alongside buses and trains. Perhaps the most exciting thing about the MaaS proposition is not the technology that makes it possible or the step-change in providing convenience and access to the travelling public; rather it is the new approach to ownership of means of transport. The MaaS subscriber has little need to own cars, bicycles or traditional season tickets.”

This transforms the very notion of getting around a city. A report by the US Department of Transportation summarised in 2016 that, “Whether one’s mobility service is provided by a car company, a rail or transit operator, airline, or bikeshare, seamless multimodality means on-demand access to the most immediately appropriate combination of transportation options as and when one chooses.”


*The author, Lukas Neckermann is a thought-leader with whom the Corporate Vehicle Observatory shares the same interest in the evolution of cities and mobility by focusing on the specific interconnection between smart mobility and smart cities, and how this leads to a different, new, smart way of living, commuting, and working.

Find the full version of the ebook here