Alex Greenwood, associate programme executive at Hotwire, recently visited the Smart Transportation & Mobility show in London. A lot of the event conversation revolved around MaaS, so in the following post Alex asks why MaaS matters, what trends are forming, and what’s next for Mobility as a Service?

Mobility as a Service: Where we are and what we can expect

The take home message from this year’s Smart Transportation & Mobility was Mobility as a Service (MaaS) is not only here to stay, but very much on the rise.

A combination of socio-environmental factors are driving the uptake of MaaS, while the economic benefits of ditching your car and hiring one on an ad-hoc basis are obvious. TFL plans to introduce the Ultra Low Emission Zone in April 2019, so now might be a better time than ever to consider how you incorporate alternative transport routes into your weekly routine. Lars Klawitter of InMotion Ventures noted that the only method of transport in London that has decreased over the past year are personally owned vehicles, while nearly every other mode – bicycles, train, buses – have all increased; a trend that indicates a widespread shift away from car ownership is already taking place.

However, the uptake of vehicle hiring can also be explained by the changing expectations that have come with wider advances in technology. James Taylor of DriveNow hypothesises that technological accessibility offers one such reason behind the move away from car ownership. Online streaming platforms such as Netflix and Spotify have revolutionised our ability to access entertainment and consumers have become used to this standard of accessibility, while Powell Kinney of Toyota Connected also highlights that a consistent and reliable experience is key to success. Cycle hire schemes are now widespread in Europe and apps such as City Mapper have made locating your nearest access point stress-free.

The tools are already in place for a smart, mobile future and in order to realise its full potential, Mobility as a Service has to move forward in a way that continues to be versatile, reliable and accessible. Flexibility in a capricious and unpredictable world can provide tangible benefits to the way we travel and optimising the visibility of MaaS will also become more important as legislative changes and socio-environmental best practises continue to develop.