In the past, cars were a status symbol, in the future the value will lie in getting from A to B in the best way possible.
The old model of getting commuters and other travellers where they need to be is outdated and long overdue an overhaul. The inefficient mix of private cars and disparate modes of public transport is becoming increasingly unfit for purpose as policy makers and customers grapple with the dual impacts of urban overcrowding and climate change.
The United Nations estimates that by 2050 two-thirds of the world’s 10 billion people will live in towns and cities. Given that 90% of cars are, on average, parked around 90% of the time, and that currently about a third of urban traffic is made up of people looking for parking, this means that unless viable alternatives to private cars are developed and popularised, pressure on infrastructure will be even more strained than it is now.
But switching people from their personal vehicles to other transport modes requires support and change from transport providers and policy makers.
There has been movement on this with the growing acceptance of Mobility as a Service (MaaS). MaaS moves mobility from something you own or pay for as an individual into an end-to-end managed experience.
It has at its core, large scale public transport, but also includes the wide array of transportation options, including ride sharing, e-hailing, car sharing, and scooter sharing. Public sector and private transportation services are bought through a single payment portal which works as a unified gateway, creating and managing the entire passenger trip. Currently, the different parts of the journey are treated as separate events.
A 2018 paper prepared for the UK government by Prof. Marcus Enoch of Loughborough University points out that, traditionally mobility systems are made up of fixed assets and mobile units combined together with a strict set of rules. Users have very little influence over operators which provide services according to their contractual obligations. This means that services run whether they are being used or not. At the early stages, service provision is also generally not based on extensive data and changing services in light of evolving needs can be very slow.
However, the development of digital interfaces to source and manage the provision of transport-related services, which meet the mobility requirements of the customer, turns this on its head.
Maas allows the customer to decide what they want and then tell multiple providers their preferred time, origin and destination points, levels of comfort and price. Users, providers and regulators can then track performance and demand of this customer led and tailored service.
The growing interest in MaaS is being driven by technology, politics (deciding on appropriate subsidies and giving choices), institutional and corporate, social and economic drivers.
This means that buy in from the public sector and major private sector players is crucial.
The MaaS Alliance (www.maas-alliance.eu), draws its membership from around the globe. The governments of disparate cities and territories, including Barcelona, Australian Capital Territory, Copenhagen, Madrid, and Hertfordshire are working with private sector firms such as Uber, Eurostar, Siemens, Sony, Europcar, and the European Automobile Manufacturers Association to create the foundations for a common approach. This will unlock the economies of scale needed for the successful implementation and take-up of MaaS in Europe and beyond. Its main goal is to facilitate a single, open market and full deployment of MaaS services.
Before MaaS becomes the norm, it has several key challenges to overcome.
The first is scale as it only works if it’s big; regulatory and policy hurdles; limitations to data sharing and commercial vested interests, and the need for providers to be flexible.
Customers will be the winners
Saturation of the smart phone market, artificial intelligence (AI), and a growing awareness of the way that we think about urban planning will drive MaaS’s widespread adoption.
When it becomes the standard way of organising trips across, and between, cities around the world, the benefits to customers will be enormous. It will be as easy to book a ticket from Canary Wharf to Wall Street as it is to organise your transport home after work.
MaaS will give us a range of options, allowing us to choose what is best for us based on budget, comfort and speed.
When MaaS is a reality, it will open up a whole new way for brands to deliver value to their customers, deepening the relationship they have with them and boosting their loyalty.
Car deals could become like mobile phone contracts where customers would get the device (the car) with a range of options, including parking at railway stations, train tickets, and taxis or ride shares at the other end. Manufacturers would be able to structure deals that took care of their customers’ entire mobility needs rather than just one small – albeit very pricey – element of it.
Rail operators could provide parking or get passengers to the station and then on to their final destination using other means of transport as part of their rail ticket.
Giant brands such as Amazon, eBay and Google already know an enormous amount about us and MaaS would allow them to deliver transportation in the same way as they deliver other services.
All these options are viable and are already being explored. When MaaS is broadly adopted, the future of passenger transport will be cheaper, more convenient and lot more environmentally friendly.
This offers a very valuable societal shift with potentially huge benefits for the environment, policy makers, brands and customers.
How CGA can help
Using our established roadmapping techniques to provide you with clarity on what your organisation needs to do and when, we create the disruption and long-term change that will position your brand as the first choice for customers. By providing coaching to the leaders in your organisation so they understand how changes in the way we live, work and move around will impact your business, we help them develop a deliberate plan for change and allow them to understand the role they play in transforming your business for the future.
This will ensure vertical alignment throughout your organisation to deliver the plan for the future, including aligning organisational and employee objectives with the customer experience strategy.
To find out more about how CGA can help you transform your company’s culture to ensure that you build long-term relationships with both customers and employees, visit our website www.cgaexperience.com, email us on firstname.lastname@example.org or call our offices on +44 (0) 1483 209 586.
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