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Mobility-as-a-Service: How IoT Technology Is Transforming Transportation

  • March 07, 2018
  • Kristy Cartier
  • Reading Time: 2 minutes
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As the shift continues to an on-demand economy, travel and commuting are becoming more personal in nature. It’s about creating your own system, using various modes, to reach your destination. For example, when a train’s track repair affects your commuting route, do you turn to Uber, ZipCar, bikeshare or even a combination of transportation modes to get to work? Those options are all elements of personal, on-demand travel that relies on technology, including vehicle and asset telematics, to keep consumers, transportation managers and transport modes connected.

In Europe, many countries are openly embracing this idea of mobility-as-a-service (MaaS), which expands the vehicle-as-a-service platform across more modes of transportation. An ABI Research report states that MaaS will have a “disruptive impact on traditional transportation modes like car ownership, buses, trains, aviation, taxis and rental cars.” By connecting vehicles, transit and infrastructure, people have the ability to travel the way that suits them best while doing it safely.

What is supporting this platform? IoT technology. It provides the connectivity, automated intelligence and, even, improved peace of mind. Travelers can access schedules by smartphone to plan their trip based on real-time information from the transportation systems. Scheduled vehicle and asset maintenance is based on actual utilization, which reduces disruptions from unexpected breakdowns. When accidents do occur, insurance telematics make for faster recovery often at a reduced cost.

While a MaaS platform includes traditional services such as public transit and taxis, it now offers vehicle-as-a-service option:

  • Rideshare (Carpools, Uber, Lyft, etc.)
  • Long-term, short and micro rentals (traditional and car sharing)
  • Peer-to-peer rentals (e.g. Getaround)
  • Bikeshare

Other concepts are starting to come online as the connected transportation system grows. They could take mobility to the next level. Examples include self-driving cars, autonomous shuttles and trucks, and even Elon Musk’s Hyperloop.

The on-demand and personalized transportation disruption has its hurdles of course. One is imperfect information. IoT transportation technology, like CalAmp’s telematics solutions, connects data from transportation, cargo, cities and people to help close these information gaps and reduce risk for consumer and system manager alike. Mobility-as-a-Service improves the accessibility of travel through the integration of often-isolated transportation modes. IoT technology – consumer and industrial – enables connectivity and communication with intelligent devices, software applications and scalable cloud services that creates opportunities to reinvent transportation for a better future.

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