Mobility-as-a-Service (MaaS) is more than just getting a person from A to B – instead, it is an amalgamation of various forms of transportation, technology, and services creating a seamless on-demand service to make the mobility of people more convenient, safe, and multi-functional.
On the foreground, MaaS leverages on digital technology to plan a person’s journey, including everything in between – food delivery, parking spot reservations, integrated ticketing systems – the list goes on and on.
In this article, we take a look at some of the beneficial changes MaaS can contribute to the aspects of our daily lives.
Vehicles seen as a form of service
Picture source: www.securetechalliance.org
Vehicles can be designed to fulfil various services and demands of customers, instead of being manufactured only as a product. The public’s adoption of new forms of mobility such as bicycles, scooters, and mopeds should continue to rise especially in short-distance travel scenarios. Typical examples include car sharing, e-hailing, and scooter rental services that are already commonplace in Malaysia.
We can expect the government and its agencies, industry stakeholders, academia, and the Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) sector to channel manpower, investment, and R&D initiatives towards the development of the public transportation system in order to accelerate its transformation into an Intelligent Transportation System (ITS).
Transport Service Providers (TSPs) can then begin merging their services with that of MaaS operators, who can bundle their services and offer plans and payment options – acting as a centralised service, the core function of MaaS.
Down the line, we can expect to see fleets of autonomous vehicles (AVs) driving us around, equipped with features such as a mini workspace, meeting rooms, and various other customised, on-demand services that allow consumers to be productive throughout their journey.
Emergence of Smart Cities
Picture source: medium.com
The Smart City concept is based on the utilisation of various data captured through sensors, radars, and cameras from various devices to provide effective services that are backed up by data-driven decisions.
ITS is a key enabler in the formation of a Smart City. Applications of Big Data Analytics (BDA) allows the government and relevant authorities to understand the movement, purchase patterns, and trends of its citizens and can consume the analysed data in order to continuously provide improved services and products, bringing an unprecedented level of efficiency and autonomy.
Coupled with Internet of Things (IoT), city developers, and planners including data analysts and IT experts can refer to a continuously updated database of meaningful information – leading to the continuous improvement in the delivery of services to ensure customers’ demands are always fulfilled in a non-disruptive manner – a key to sustainability.
Malaysia, through collaborative initiatives between the government and the private sector has led to the development of various Smart City initiatives. The Putrajaya Smart City Blueprint, Iskandar Malaysia Smart City, and the Smart Selangor blueprint are some of the extensive Smart City transformation initiatives being run in Malaysia.
Integration of online payment systems
Picture source: www.carsifu.my
Since MaaS features the convergence of various services, a unified payment system can be implemented for the convenience of users. The usage of e-wallet is already a common scenario amongst Malaysians as MaaS-related companies such as Grab, e-commerce platforms such as Lazada, service providers such as Touch ‘n Go, and banking companies such as Maybank have already rolled our their respective payment systems and have witnessed rising popularity ever since.
Even the government has noticed its uprising and began encouraging usage of contactless transactions, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic and the government’s e-PENJANA initiative.
To further ease the planning phase of consumers, a subscription-based model might also be a common option for consumers, enabling a unique, personalised experience for each customer. The model may include the costs of e-hailing, public transport, and food deliveries all bundled into a package.
Think of data plans - Some users need loads of data while some need lots of calls. Some even opt for prepaid options, which is why telecommunication service providers offer a variety of mobile plans customised for various needs.
In a nutshell, MaaS is the convergence of various sectors into a single, integrated, unified platform, with tailormade, on-demand services for the benefit of the nation. Cross-sectoral and government-private partnerships are vital in the journey towards the realisation of MaaS.
According to a study published by Deloitte, it is forecasted that the dramatic transformation in the mobility market will occur in the next 25 years and that shared mobility will account for 80% of the mobility market by 2050. That alone is sufficient to describe the importance of the MaaS sector.
*Featured image sourced from: medium.com