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The History of Mobility as a Service

Published on
November 16, 2018
Matt Lenton
Marketing Director
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1996 – The Conception

Mobility as a Service (MaaS) is a concept that has only recently gained widespread interest however it has been in development for many more years than it seems. Technically, it was brought into consideration during 1996 when the idea of an intelligent information assistant integrating into travel services. This idea would eventually formulate into the MaaS system we are moving towards implementing in the near future.

2014 – Swedish Test

It wouldn’t be until 2014 that the term Mobility as a Service would be created within Sweden where a trial ran using a monthly subscription service named W in Gothenburg. Despite it having a high satisfaction rate and overall being very well received, the service was quickly discontinued within the same year after a lack of support from the government involving the third-party selling of transport tickets. Meanwhile, in Helsinki a congress discussing the possibility of a MaaS orientated city lead to the idea being rebirthed and brought back into development. Within this year, the concept for Mobilleo was created which aspired to take MaaS services, improve them and then introduce it to the UK.

2015 – MaaS Alliance

2015 saw MaaS rise and become a popular topic discussed over a number of events, an incredibly significant event being the ITS Congress in Bordeaux where the MaaS alliance was formed. This alliance was made to create the foundations for Mobility as a Service’s development and assist in the deployment of it into city infrastructures. However, amongst other people scepticism began to arise, raising questions such as “how could it work?” and whether or not it was a “complete overhaul or simply changes to integrate into the current business travel model”. Furthermore, in 2015 Mobilleo entered it’s development stage, setting the foundations for its release in 2018.

2016 – Development

Developments within smartphone technology during 2016 assisted in allowing Mobility as a Service to become a concept holding promise and allowed it to become more than simply an integration into the current travel industry model, but to essentially reconstruct it using data provided by platforms such as smartphones, desktops and other data sharing devices. This birthed the idea that MaaS could help bring into existence a new city infrastructure, it could help create Smart Cities.

2017 – Introduction to the UK

2017 saw the introduction of the concept to the UK, particular areas of interest being London, Manchester and the West Midlands. These densely populated areas would benefit heavily from having a more optimised travel industry for both businesses and individuals, creating more convenience and introducing a more practical solution to travel congestion amongst other issues.

2018 – Release of Platforms

2018 can be considered as one of the most important years for Mobility as a Service to date, with the release of MaaS platforms in the UK such as Mobilleo, cities are taking steps towards changing into Smart Cities. Becoming a huge topic within business-related news, MaaS holds the potential to be a multi-billion-dollar industry and research teams have begun predicting when cities will have fully integrated Mobility as a Service into their infrastructure. Expected integration is currently 2020-2022 and once these changes arrive we will continue to see travel being changed drastically. Companies have begun to develop autonomous cars that work alongside the MaaS platforms and some early forms of these vehicles are in testing.

We are only at the early stages of Mobility as a Service’s development and already we have seen major changes in what it stands for and the impact it is predicted to have on the way we live. We should expect to see even more changes come into play within the next few years as we take the steps towards revolutionising travel and integrating MaaS into our lives.