By Mehdi Essaidi, Vice-President at Capgemini, Claire Duthu, Manager at Capgemini Invent and Ross Douglas CEO & founder of Autonomy

This article contains key findings from the Point of View White Paper ‘The Future of Mobility as a Service (MaaS) : Which Model Will Win Through?’ Click here to download the full version.

The concept of MaaS is simple enough: an app with a map that connects you to a bunch of transport options to get you from point A to point B with an end-to-end seamless journey.

The first real MaaS platform, Whim, was launched by MaaS Global in 2016. Since then, numerous MaaS initiatives and companies have emerged around the world, especially in Europe. Yet, despite four years of effort since that first launch, success has been elusive. The key barrier remains how to find a sustainable technical, operating and business model that makes it possible to overcome the challenges raised by the aggregation of different mobility services, while providing a seamless user experience. The future of MaaS and the operational model remain uncertain: will one or just a few major players dominate and create a monopolistic or oligarchic market? Will several players maintain a fragmented landscape?

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At Capgemini Invent, together with Ross Douglas CEO and co-founder of Autonomy, we have analyzed the different stakeholders and dynamics shaping the as-is MaaS landscape in Europe. Based on this diagnosis we have explored what the future of MaaS might look like and which models of MaaS could win through.

Maas has been flourishing in Europe…

MaaS makes it possible to meet the transportation challenges of travelers and regions, while creating significant business opportunities for players in the sector: studies show that revenues associated with electric vehicles, autonomous and MaaS will increase tenfold by 2030. Europe is the perfect playground for developing MaaS platforms: developed countries with wealthy citizens, cities with strong local political power, developed public transport and a growing environmental mindset amongst urbanites who are looking for alternatives to car ownership. Furthermore, as car ownership costs between 350 and 700 Euros per month, MaaS could be a good economical alternative to car ownership.

A strong political will combined with changing consumer behavior has encouraged multiple companies and startups to enter the MaaS market:

  • Tech giants and scale-ups are capitalizing on their huge databases and a massive volume of users to rapidly develop more consistent and customized mobility services, such as Google, Citymapper, and Uber, but also SAP and Intel.
  • Early mobility start-ups are also learning from their first solution deployments and adapting their MaaS offers to fit a more local context, like Trafi and Kyyti proposing white label solutions, or MaaS Global and Migo pushing consumer-facing apps. In a survey conducted by Capgemini and Autonomy in 2019, among European mobility startups, 90% of respondents saw MaaS as an opportunity.
  • Transport operators and OEMs have also entered the MaaS race on the understanding that if they want to secure their core business (selling train tickets, cars, etc.) they have to keep this link with the end users and propose mobility as an end-to-end experience: Transdev, RATP, Siemens Mobility and HaCon, BMW-Daimler with Free Now.

All this emulation results in the appearance of multiple MaaS platforms in Europe: in our study, we have identified more than 40 European cities with existing MaaS platforms or pilot.

… However MaaS faces several challenges to escalation

Despite the enthusiasm of cities and companies in the sector, the various solutions launched have not yet achieved the full MaaS ambition.

Aggregating mobility service offers is one of the main challenges, especially for B2C MaaS platforms. They need to achieve a critical mass of transportation services, offering a variety of mobility options in order to be attractive for users and be able to suggest real alternatives to car ownership. But to do so, they have to negotiate with operators who fear their services will be disintermediated.

A second challenge is the standardization of data and interfaces: in order to offer the various transport services, they must interface via APIs with each operator, and these operators will potentially have different repositories and data structures from one another.

Offering a real time service is another issue. To provide a seamless end-to-end customer experience, the MaaS platform first has to suggest the trips that make up the journey. Then it must allocate which operator receives what portion of the fare before issuing a ‘ticket’ to the user that can be used across the different modes. This needs to happen in real time, which adds to the complexity.

Finally, MaaS providers are struggling to find a viable model, especially given the underestimation of the cost of car ownership, the position of MaaS platforms as an intermediary between commuters and transport operators, and in a context where urban transport is notoriously unprofitable.

What model(s) of MaaS will succeed in Europe in the future?

Considering the diversity of MaaS actors, we foresee several possible models.

Scenario 1: ‘The winner takes it all’. In a system such as MaaS, where the value lies in the ability to reach a critical mass of data (itineraries, mobility services, schedules, availability of transport modes in real time, prices, etc.), the ‘winner takes it all’ model would certainly favor players who already collect and use data on a large scale. American and Asian digital giants such as Google, Uber, Tencent (WeChat) or Yandex could become quasi-monopolistic MaaS leaders in Europe.

Scenario 2: Companies as MaaS promoters. Daily travel is mainly used for commuting to and from work, or for business trips: in 2018, European workers spent 1 hour and 24 minutes a day commuting; for French people, business trips represented 39% of their weekly time. Furthermore, Europeans expect their employers to play an increasing part in the environmental transition. A B2B model could therefore be the best solution to finance MaaS in a sustainable way. Several MaaS players have understood that, such as SkipR in Belgium and in France.

Scenario 3: Local Authorities as leaders for MaaS systems. MaaS platforms can gather a huge amount of data from mobility services, such as collecting all the itineraries of the journeys realized through the app. Hence, MaaS can become both a powerful decision-making tool and a mobility ‘control-tower’ for implementing the city’s mobility policy. Then, a co-investment between different cities and even private players could ensure the ability to develop an integrated MaaS system and to create the basis of common standards.

Scenario 4: a future made of different types of MaaS. More likely, we anticipate that different MaaS models will coexist, whether it is the consumer application, or ‘niche’ formats, enterprise applications, private or public models. Thus, they will meet the multiple needs of users. However, for this future to become a reality, platform interoperability (between platforms and with mobility operators), and data standardization are key.

We strongly believe in scenarios in which public authorities play a role both as an orchestrator of consumer and B2B MaaS in their territories and as a facilitator for their implementation. This would see them participating in investments to create the conditions for the deployment and expansion of MaaS (open data, provision of APIs, centralized information systems, open ticketing systems, etc.).  The challenge is then for decisionmakers to coordinate at the national and international level to make their investments more efficient and accelerate the achievement of the highest levels of MaaS integration.

This article contains key findings from the Point of View White Paper ‘The Future of Mobility as a Service (MaaS) : Which Model Will Win Through?’ Click here to download the full version.

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Is Multimodal MaaS Just for Big Cities?

MaaS is Blossoming to Give People the Freedom of Mobility: Transitioning to a New Paradigm