The future of MaaS is Finnish
Sometimes it feels like Scandinavia held a meeting on the future of mobility, and the rest of us weren't invited. Norway is a world leader in electric mobility, Denmark exports the 'copenhagenisation' of cities into cycle paradises, and Sweden churns out vehicles that are among the safest and cleanest in the world. Finland? Perhaps less well known, but it is a world leader too: in intelligent transport and mobility. That was the crux of a seminar at the Finnish Embassy in London, a pre-event to Frost and Sullivan's Intelligent Mobility conference.
“Finland has a strong R&D tradition. And of course, with a recent history of tech companies like Nokia, they have the know-how”, said Martyn Briggs (Frost & Sullivan), host of the event, explaining Finnish world dominance in this area.
Three Finnish companies took to the floor to explain their innovative approach to mobility.
“It's been estimated that 30% of traffic in Paris is just people looking for parking space”, said Harri Mansikkamäki of Leadin UK. He explained his company's focus on user experience design and digital service production, designing intelligent transport systems and mobility as a service solutions – one of which could be a solution to parking problems like the one in Paris.
Tero Koivu of Rightware focused on Kanzi, the user interface software used by leading car manufacturers to create stunning user experiences for connected cars. “We are in the middle of an automotive revolution”, Koivu said. With Kanzi leading the crowd to a graphically enhanced future.
The most advanced solution in the field of Mobility as a Service came from a company that is called, simply MaaS Finland. “We are the world's first global provider of mobility as a service”, said Kaj Pyyhtiä (pictured). His company's ambition: “We have to make MaaS better than owning a car”.
MaaS Finland offers the world's first true MaaS solution: Whim – a monthly subscription to a wide variety of transport options, which has just debuted in Helsinki.
Whim works via a mobile app, giving people access to taxis, rental cars, public transport and shared bikes, to be used at their convenience. The idea is to free people from fixed routes, parking worries, the high costs of owning and operating a car, and other headaches of traditional transportation.
True to the Finns' reputation for technological advancement, Whim is more than just a smorgasbord of travel options. The app is dynamic and intelligent, and learns about its user's travel preferences, syncing with the user's calendar to eventually suggest routes and solutions.
If the future of mobility as a service really is Finnish, it may look a lot like MaaS Finland's Whim.
Image: Frost & Sullivan