Analysis
27 Jul 21

The smart mobility ecosystem calls for collaboration

The global mobility ecosystem doesn’t yet exist but is forming from a complex network of players, fluctuating partners and an even more labyrinthine set of interdependent actors, services and functionality.

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Customers are moving away from public transport to personal mobility and from owning vehicles, bicycles and scooters to subscribing. From a purely practical point of view, users of mobility services would like to plan, book and pay for all their travel and transport options using a single, unified app, rather than logging in and out of several to book train, taxi and e-scooter, for example, or taxi, airline and car rental.

For that to happen, mobility providers, service operators, platform builders, tech companies, data aggregators, automotive OEMs, digital disruptors, municipalities, local governments all have to work together, opening up their platforms and sharing data, while adhering to privacy, transparency and regulations. All these elements have to be combined and work profitably.

In addition to connecting services and customers, vehicles themselves are being connected in various ways to each other (V2V), to the transport infrastructure (V2I) and the wider environment (V2X). The primary reasons for this are to increase road safety, pave the way for automation, optimise traffic flows, reduce congestion and ultimately lessen the environmental impact of transportation.

In a paper, entitled Automotive Data Sharing, published by KPMG in October 2020, the commercial use cases for sharing data are driven by two key purposes: generating income or reducing costs. MaaS players, insurance providers and platform owners may utilise connectivity and data to generate income, fleet operators may use it to reduce costs.

Who owns the data and who owns the customer?

It’s all very well owning the customer when there’s profit in it, but what about when things go wrong? There’s a data breach or the end user suffers a loss as a result of something not working as it should somewhere in the ecosystem? What then? Who’s responsible? Will the customer be passed from pillar to post or will all stakeholders take proper responsibility?

Who are the key players in the mobility ecosystem so far?

Some brands are participating in the Data Task Force and sharing data through marketplaces such as Otonomo. Here Technologies, owned by Audi, BMW, Daimler, Mitsubishi, Bosch, Continental and others, is one such brand. TomTom is actively working to promote sharing of vehicle generated location data and providing safety-related traffic information (SRTI) and real-time traffic information (RTTI) through the National Access Points set up by EU Member States.

Data initiatives from National Road Authorities National Road Authorities (NRAs) are looking to utilise vehicle generated data. They are legally required, under the ITS Delegated Act 2010/40/EU, to share data through National Access Points.

A unique combination of capabilities is required to build solutions that will stay the distance and move people around. Collaboration is not an option, it’s a necessity. Perhaps the next few years will herald a number of mergers, acquisitions, partnerships and strategic alliances, to address issues like speed to market, scalability, flexibility, risk appetite, long-term vision and Intellectual Property (IP).

Authored by: Alison Pittaway