The four pillars of mobility as a service: Integrating driverless cars and mass transit

Thu, 2017-02-23 14:12 -- SCC Partner

When will we see driverless cars on our roads and streets? The estimates vary, but not by much. The consensus seems to be that autonomous vehicles will be in production within four years or so. But that brings a very big question to mind: What do we need to do to integrate them into the changing urban mobility landscape? And how do we do it in a way that provides citizens with a transportation network that ensures more convenient and efficient ways to get around town?

Our guest authors from Council Lead Partner Deloitte see mobility as a service as an all-encompassing solution that integrates all forms of transport in addition to trip planning, payment systems and more. The condensed story below hits the highlights of what mobility as a service is. It also offers valuable insights on how to plan and design the right platform for your city, including one insight we continually stress: bring everyone to the table. The more public and private stakeholders you have on board, the more likely you'll be able to say "We did it right." — Doug Peeples

By Warwick Goodall, Tiffany Fishman, Justine Bornstein and Brett Bonthron, Deloitte

If Netflix’s business model were applied to urban transportation, how might that change the way we get around? 

That’s the question at the heart of the next revolution in mobility: mobility as a service (MaaS).  MaaS relies on a digital platform that integrates end-to-end trip planning, booking, electronic ticketing, and payment services across all modes of transportation, public or private. 

By helping get individuals where they’re going based on real-time conditions throughout the network, and facilitating seamless mobile payment, MaaS starts to move us toward a more user-centered mobility paradigm.

The core elements of MaaS
MaaS is data-driven and user-centered, powered by the growth of smartphones. To work effectively, MaaS requires widespread smartphone use; connectivity; dynamic information on travel options and schedules; cashless payments, and infrastructure integrated across modes.

Data providers
Users access MaaS through a platform—either a multimodal trip-planning app or a webpage—that ideally identifies a range of transportation options and offers real-time updates. A third-party data provider manages the data exchange between service providers and end users.

Transportation operators
Essential to any MaaS offering are the public transportation operators and complementary mobility providers, such as ride-hailing and carsharing.

Trusted mobility advisor
The newest and most integral component of MaaS consists of third-party aggregators. Using an asset-light model, trusted mobility advisors link the services of various transportation operators, arranging bookings and facilitating payments through a single gateway.

Whither driverless?
Although autonomous vehicle technology is still in the pilot stage, it holds a great deal of promise for the future of MaaS. Deloitte estimates that by 2040, up to 80 percent of passenger miles travelled in urban areas in the US could be in shared autonomous vehicles, and most major car manufacturers are starting to develop driverless cars. By designing today’s MaaS systems with both personally owned and shared driverless cars in mind, planners can help ensure they remain viable and efficient for years to come.

Making MaaS materialize
Making MaaS a reality requires building a multi-stakeholder consortium of government and private-sector players.

Set the scene
Bringing everyone to the table, government should define the vision and set the metrics by which success is measured, encourage investments, and align efforts to broader public policy goals, such as reducing congestion or accidents.

Protect the public interest 
Governments should work to ensure that the new transportation environment doesn’t compromise safety or security. Safety guidelines should address the new technologies, while anticipating future developments.

Promote data accessibility
Any successful multimodal MaaS solution would require access to the public transit system’s route and real-time location data.

Participate as a good citizen
The private sector can take ownership of specific programs run on behalf of cities. This serves larger governmental aims while offering companies some branding opportunities, increased visibility, and a chance to get some business out of the association.

MaaS represents the next evolution in mobility. If it’s not there already, it’s coming to a city near you.

(To read the full version of the story, click here.)

Warwick Goodall is a senior director in Deloitte's Public Sector Technology practice. Tiffany Fishman is a senior manager with the Deloitte Center for Government Insights. Justine Bornstein is a senior manager and resource lead for automotive and industrial products on the Deloitte UK Insight team. Brett Bonthron is a managing director in the Monitor Deloitte strategy group.