20 Feb 19

From shared mobility to mobility as a service

First, there was shared mobility, now there is Mobility as a Service. Will both evolve into the other?

Eventually, shared mobility will become but a part of a broader Mobility as a Service system. Or perhaps we could say that any kind of mobility will be part of a broader MaaS system in the end. This is at least what many MaaS providers are working on today. The examples below show how the mobility players are moving into the MaaS market one by one. 

Car providers to Mobility providers

Beginning with the OEMs who used to sell cars as their one and only mobility offer. Today, they are reinventing themselves in order to stay in the running. In line with the evolving mobility market, in which mobility on demand, mobility services, and shared mobility become more important, various OEMs are actually expanding their services from car producers to mobility providers. 

Just to name a few, Daimler offers its Car2go car sharing service, while the PSA group offers Free2Move. BMW offers its car sharing service DriveNow, while considering setting up a shared (two-wheeler) scooter project. Ford acquired the scooter company Spin, while deploying shared bikes under the name Ford Go Bikes in the San Francisco Bay Area. 

Shared mobility to Mobility as a Service

At the same time, the traditional shared mobility providers are expanding their portfolio towards other mobility services as well. Most significantly are big ride hailing companies who are getting involved in bike and/or scooter sharing initiatives, such as Uber (Jump bikes), and Lyft. 

They take it even further than offering their own mobility services by partnering up with other mobility providers in order to offer a complete MaaS product. Uber recently partnered with Moovit, a global leading urban mobility app provider, in order to add public transit to the Uber application. Or what about the partnerships of ride hailing company Grab with public transit agencies in various cities in order to combine a smooth trip with combined public-private transport. 

On the other hand, car rental companies are expanding their car rental services as well with mobility services in general. Avis Car rental, for instance, funded car sharing company Zipcar, while car rental company Sixt even offers a specific MaaS by Sixt mobility budget formula.

Autonomous future

The mobility landscape is clearly moving fast and the services of today might be but a precursor of the services of tomorrow, like the evolution from shared mobility to mobility as a service. Moreover, since most of the above-mentioned companies are working on autonomous mobility as well, it is obvious that we are but at the beginning of what these mobility providers might have to offer.

Image source: Car2go

Authored by: Fien Van den steen