What does ‘Mobility as a Service’ mean for fleets?
The notion of a service that brings together multiple forms of transport to provide the best solution for any given journey has been around for more than a decade. In the fleet world it often carried the label ‘total mobility solution’, but it’s only with recent advances in technology that this concept has started to become a reality.
The terminology used most frequently today to describe these services is ‘Mobility as a Service’ or MaaS, and, if you take a look at the make-up of these services it’s easy to see why it has taken such a long time for mobility solutions of this type to find their way to market.
The most advanced MaaS solutions use a digital platform that provide all of the following:
Global journey planning across all available public and private transport types, using real-time data on availability, price and delays or congestion
Preferences for transport type, cost, speed, and environmental footprint to be factored in by both end-users and at a business level
Seamless booking of all tickets required for each leg of a journey
Destination accommodation and other service search and booking
A single payment and budget management system covering all travel expenses
The amount of information and level of data aggregation required to make this possible is quite amazing and the expertise to package it into a single, user-centric app is still cutting-edge.
For the private individual the benefit of end-to-end travel planning is appealing, but for businesses, the ability to give employees responsibility for their own travel arrangements, while retaining control over their choices, make these solutions highly compelling.
Trends driving MaaS adoption and growth
The technology to deliver MaaS isn’t developing in a vacuum, there are a number of evolving factors that are shaping its progress and accelerating its take-up.
Increasing urbanisation creates new pressures on transport systems meaning that journeys by car, or any other single method of transport, become less efficient. The ability to plan and pre-book the most efficient way of getting across a busy city, based on live traffic and public transport conditions, can mean significant improvements in productivity. The ongoing proliferation of ride-sharing programmes and ‘micro-mobility’ solutions such as shared electric bike and scooter schemes are also adding new options for the busy traveller.
Vehicles themselves are also becoming increasingly connected and emerging 5g networks will vastly enhance their ability to communicate with each other, their occupants and MaaS service providers. The data provided through this connectivity will not only turbo-charge the development of vehicle automation but will also help MaaS providers to deliver travel services much more closely aligned to business requirements and individual user preferences.
Rise of mobility managers
While the company vehicle fleet, and the expertise required to manage one, are far from obsolete, the modern organisation is now likely to take a more holistic view of business travel and demand a new set of skills from those responsible. With the help of MaaS solutions, the new breed of mobility manager escapes the administrative burden traditionally linked with business travel and is empowered to tackle the associated strategic priorities.
- Budget management and cost reduction
By setting cost parameters for business travel within the MaaS solution, mobility managers ensure that employees are only presented with appropriate options when planning a journey. And, by encouraging multi-modal travel, rather than simply relying on a company provided vehicle, the most cost-efficient choice is more likely to be made.
Employee to enterprise level reporting can be used to track and analyse the volume and type of journeys undertaken, the modes of transport used, and the types of accommodation being booked. This can give invaluable insight into the overall cost-efficiency of the business’ travel activities and help to shape future travel policy decisions.
- Enhanced employee work-life balance
Giving employees the lead in planning their own travel allows a greater degree of personal choice. This means the ability to better integrate business and personal responsibilities and to improve employees’ satisfaction in their work.
Ultimately, MaaS solutions give employers the option to entirely delegate business travel decision-making to employees, within the limits of a carefully defined policy; this means providing a monthly, or even annual, travel budget that the individual spends as they wish, be that on a company vehicle, public transport or accommodation.
- Reduced social and environmental impact
With many organisations now taking their corporate responsibilities to the broader community and the environment extremely seriously, MaaS solutions provide a great opportunity to reduce the overall impact of their business travel.
For those operating in urban areas, the ability to integrate public transport with ride-sharing and micro-mobility solutions means that the organisation’s impact on congestion and local air-pollution can be minimised. And, for businesses seeking to minimise their carbon-footprint, the ability to compare the CO2 emissions of different modes of transport for the same journey means that more informed choices can be made.
CLM will soon be introducing a MaaS service to complement its existing range of fleet management services. This uses leading-edge technology to deliver a total travel solution for clients and their employees and will allow for greater integration of the fleet with broader mobility objectives. If you’d like to learn more contact us and we’ll be happy to discuss your requirements.