Digital Mobility or Mobility-as-a-Service (MaaS) involves integrating existing and new mobility and transportation services into a single digital platform. This platform provides customized, seamless door-to-door transport and offers personalized trips, package planning, and payment options, including transit and vehicle parking planning. The MaaS concept enables a practical shift from a fragmented, unimodal transport to a harmonized, centralized, and multimodal one. In recent years, the market for MaaS has emerged definitively, as authorities and enterprises worldwide have prioritized electric urban mobility, sustainable modes of transport, and the growing consumer needs for a next generation and connected experience in urban mobility.
Infosys has forged partnerships with leading service providers in the MaaS segment, like SkedGo, to take a design led approach and enable citizens and governments with a state-of-the-art digital mobility platform and experiences.
Uncover the future of MaaS with Infosys & Skedgo
John Nuutinen, Co-Founder and CEO of SkedGo, and Manesh Sadasivan, AVP - Senior Principal Technology Architect and Digital IP Practice Head at Infosys uncover the future of MaaS in an interesting discussion.
While SkedGo has been around since 2009, it was not until the ITS World Congress in Bordeaux in 2016 that the term Mobility-as-a-Service emerged. Much of what we today recognize as the core building blocks of MaaS were still in a conceptual stage then.
Since then, SkedGo has established itself as a thought leader in this emerging market. The technical capabilities to deliver door-to-door, preference based, multi and mixed model journey planning and to seamlessly enable booking and payment for transportation have always been there. However, the primary change has been accepting an idea, a core value, placing the user at the center of the transport ecosystem
This concept was impossible in 2016 because MaaS requires standardized, high-quality data, which was still fledgling. Data is where we witnessed the greatest advancement in MaaS - it is no longer an obstacle; rather, it is the enabler.
SkedGo has been consistently recognized as a leading provider of smart city solutions globally. We are available in over 600 cities and have over 4000 transport service providers integrated into the platform. These can be accessed via API, SDK or our branded white label applications. Plus, we provide purpose-built solutions that deliver an unrivaled ‘localized’ user experience. Here are some key ways in which MaaS developed over the past few years and how SkedGo has led this evolution:
- Integration of different modes of transportation: One of the biggest challenges of MaaS is integrating a growing variety of transport modes operated by different companies with different payment systems. However, there has been progress in this area, with more partnerships and collaborations between transportation providers and new payment systems like mobile wallets and contactless payment cards. SkedGo has been a key player in the MaaS space from the start and has built an extensive partner ecosystem with payment providers, transport service providers and technology companies over time.
- Increased focus on sustainability: As concerns about climate change and air pollution rise, there have also been similar demands on transportation. So, MaaS platforms increasingly incorporate electric and hybrid vehicles, bike-sharing, and other transportation modes with lower carbon footprints.From the beginning, SkedGo’s focus has been reducing the need for individual car use. By integrating all locally available transport modes and offering multi and mixed modal routing, SkedGo’s products can be highly tailored to a community’s requirements. Over 4000 transport service providers have been integrated into the SkedGo algorithm, and new ones are added every week.
- Use of data and analytics: MaaS platforms collect vast amounts of data on user behavior and transportation patterns, which can be used to improve service quality and efficiency and report to transport planning and policy.Using SkedGo’s technology, clients can easily access data - like customized dashboards - and use these insights to improve their service offerings. Of course, all these adhere to GDPR and other privacy requirements.
- Diversity of business models: While MaaS initially focused on providing standard pay-as-you-go and subscription-based models, the adaptability of MaaS to local and regional requirements shows a growing diversification of products and services.With diverse clients globally, SkedGo’s MaaS offering was developed to provide the highest level of customization to create unique, adaptable solutions for private companies, local governments, nonprofits and public transport providers.
- Greater emphasis on tailored and inclusive user experience: MaaS solutions increasingly focus on creating a seamless and enjoyable user experience for everyone with easy-to-use apps and new features.SkedGo is at the forefront of making MaaS accessible and inclusive, with an extensive offering of features, such as wheelchair-friendly routing, screen reader compatibility, communication tools for people with disabilities and safety routing.
Overall, the evolution of MaaS reflects a growing recognition that transportation is not just about moving from point A to point B but about providing a range of services that are convenient, sustainable, and accessible to everyone. As MaaS continues to evolve, it can transform how we think about transportation and create more sustainable and equitable cities by putting human needs and travel requirements at the center.
Technological advances will support this development and allow companies like SkedGo and Infosys to innovate and extend their service offering. For example, SkedGo already integrates data from IoT sensors on public transport to let passengers know which carriages are crowded. This provides real-world value to people who are disabled, neurodiverse or have temporary injuries, as well as the elderly and families with children to know where best to board. Exploring these technologies from a human-centric perspective is the key to adding value to communities and their citizens.
The future of transport is at the cusp of a revolution through technological advances, personalized mobility, new mobility options and sustainable energy sources. The experience and journey of travel for business and tourism are about to be transformed with the unified view of multi modal transport that MaaS provides; the ecosystem of services is about to be expanded, and the economy will be redefined for the service providers in the ecosystem. We have an opportunity to reimagine urban spaces for enhanced mobility and improved quality of life for all. We hope to create a more connected, safer, more equitable and sustainable future by embracing these trends.
SkedGo and Infosys fit together very well thanks to SkedGo’s focus on algorithms and routing and Infosys’ experience and expertise in building platforms that offer cutting-edge digital experiences. We complement each other superbly to make a market leading offering. SkedGo’s efforts have always concentrated on the missing piece: over ten years of R&D focused on getting users from A to B optimally according to each user’s preferences. Infosys and SkedGo’s partnership is the organic, efficient and seamless union of expertise and power required to develop a never before seen platform to outperform in digital mobility.
Privately run mobility service providers offering shared, and on-demand services have transformed the mobility landscape worldwide. Through disrupting technology, new operational models and innovative business models, they have achieved the much needed servitization of mobility required to compete with the private car. However, the fierce competition to gain market share and stay one step ahead has hindered industry collaboration and standardization. This lack of standardization has become a central challenge to MaaS’ advancement because of its unique role as an aggregator of mobility services. When every mobility service has a unique set of business rules built into its technology, how scalable can we expect MaaS to be? Can we standardize the data formats required for their integration without compromising innovation?
The answers to these questions impact the future of MaaS. In our Women in MaaS article with Crissy Ditmore, then Director of Strategy at Cubic Transportation Systems, she talks about the need for a combined framework, a MaaS Operating Model, which provides ‘…a defined level of data-sharing that meets a targeted policy goal in favor of the public good.’ If the citizens and the needs of society are not placed at their core, then we cannot expect a truly user-centric experience.
As a long-standing and active member of the MaaS Alliance and MobilityData.org, SkedGo has contributed to fostering and establishing data standards for many years. Both industry associations have been campaigning globally for open data ecoystems and developing and promoting standards within the mobility and wider transport and smart city space. In this context, we are specifically excited to partner with Infosys as we are cognizant of the role of Nandan Nilekani, Chairman of Infosys, in establishing Open Standard protocols like the beckn protocol. The protocol addresses mobility and commerce in a future-proof and scalable manner in a community-led development effort. It enables the continuous evolution towards digital public good and global adoption.
The future belongs to adopters of Open Standard protocols and those who constantly innovate and contribute to the community.