A Mobility as a Service (MaaS) ecosystem should offer a set of mobility services (resources) tailored to the customer’s needs. This requires that these services can be matched, orchestrated, billed and paid as one service via MaaS applications. To make this happen, these services need to be made available to the MaaS applications using a common data format and standard procedures and the available resources need to be balanced. An Operating System (OS) does all of that that. So far so good. The only issue: such an OS does not exist yet for Mobility as a Service.
The architecture could consist of the common layers analog to computer operating systems:
- The traveler or commuter is the User demanding mobility services tailored to their needs.
- The MaaS application is the user interface provided by a MaaS platform provider. This can either be an aggregator offering multiple services or simply an app of a single service provider.
- The Operating System – the core. It aggregates and orchestrates all offered mobility services (vertical integration) and offers shared services e.g. for ticketing (pricing, billing, payment, fraud management and collections), customer service, communication, etc. (horizontal integration) and assures Duty of Care implied by governmental regulations.
- Mobility or transport service providers (TSP) provide the Resources or “hardware” of the mobility ecosystem. They actually transport the users in their cars, buses, trains, ships, drones or planes or offer shared scooters, bikes or cars for self service.
Functions of a MaaS OS
The following functions give an idea on what functions a MaaS OS could provide based on a common language, the MaaS Protocol:
- Service Management (finding, adding, removing mobility options)
- User Management
- Resource Balancing
- Matching demand and supply
- Pricing and Negotiation
Who should develop a MaaS OS?
Mobility doesn’t stop at boarders and it needs to integrate all means of the travel chain on both ends. So no company nor government will ever be able to perform this task on its own. But there are good examples where global consortiums developed global standards, such as the Internet protocol. This might be a blueprint for a global MaaS OS.
At the Future Mobility Camp in Dresden on 18/19 January 2019, we will discuss and further develop different aspects of a MaaS Operating System. Contributions welcome!