Mobility-as-a-service has been defined as :
use services for transportation, rather than using personal vehicles such as cars.
After looking for about 20 minutes for a more rigorous definition, I failed. So let me strike out at defining it.
Mobility-as-a-Service, or MaaS, is service marketplace that may replace traditional means of transportation. It may include personal cars, taxis, and some public transportation as we now know it. Instead of owning a personal vehicle, mobility is provided on an as needed basis. Some (including Uber’s CEO) believe that the autonomous car is required for, and will then drive, MaaS.
Christian Fritz wrote a very good article on MaaS a year ago. He has an interesting focus on the software aspects, and includes some of the things we’ve covered here before. What he talks about that I find intriguing is how MaaS may affect public transportation. With MaaS, software companies will have access to enormous amounts of data that will permit the optimization of their service offerings. This data is likely to be used to create a simple option to share rides, instead of have single rider trips. This ride sharing may well approach what public transportation looks like today. If the cost of a MaaS trip is competitive with a public bus, it is probable that Mobility Services will win out.
I will explore the merging of MaaS and public transportation in a later post.