Matching mobility demand and supply does not only require to have full visibility on the offered mobility services – but also on a complete and machine-readable description of a travelers demand. This post adds some thoughts to the discussion about a “Trip DNA” or “Mobility Fingerprint”.

Every passenger’s needs may be different – and even different in certain situations or use cases. Common mobility patterns can be described as a combination of these categories, e.g.

  • Commute to work
  • Dropping kids at school
  • Shopping / transactions
  • Leisure mobility (sports, meeting friends, …)
  • Business trip
  • Vacation
  • Freight / transport (out of scope)

You can imagine that each of these use cases require very different transportation modes, associated services and quality criteria along several dimensions, such as:

  • Distance: short / long distance
  • Frequency: daily / occasional
  • Flexibility: on the minute / multiple days
  • Price sensitivity: budget travel / price agnostic
  • Environment: urban / rural
  • Purpose: leisure / business
  • Customization: individual / mass transit
  • Convenience: economy class / first class
  • Special requirements: none / barrier-free
  • Number of passengers: single passenger / group travel
  • Means of transport: on foot, cycling, car, bus, train, plane, …
  • Modal split: unimodal (always one mode) / multimodal (choice between multiple modes) / intermodal (combination of multiple modes of transport)

When a journey got booked already, the booked the resulting services such can be listed. In the airline industry this is usually documented using a Passenger Name Record (PNR). This PNR contains information such as the passenger’s name(s), the origin, destination, the travel itinerary and more. But there does not seem to exist any common format for describing customers travel needs without a booking. Such a description of a traveler’s requirements, their “mobility fingerprint” or “trip DNA”, would be needed to match demand and supply in a Mobility as a Service orchestration.

I am curious where we will see the first steps in this direction.

Mobility Fingerprint – The Transportation DNA
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