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19 January 2018

Europe’s number one leading Mobility as a Service conference says the future of transport lies in delivering change

First publishedPublishedon www.ITSInternational.com

First hand reports on the rapid progress being made, as well as the obstacles being faced, by Mobility as a Service projects across Europe dominate the agenda of the second “MaaS Market Concept to Delivery” conference taking place in London next month. Speakers will cover the political and regulatory implications, open data, technology and common standards, demand responsive transport and future business models.

This is Europe’s number one leading MaaS event and it includes presentations from Portugal, Finland, Sweden and Germany plus Birmingham, Manchester and Dundee in the UK. The speed with which MaaS is moving into the political and business mainstream is surprising even its most ardent advocates. It will take place on February 20 and 21 at the Inmarsat Conference Centre on the so-called “Silicon Roundabout”, in the heart of London’s booming digital technology district.

One paper, for instance, will look at how work testing MaaS projects and approaches has been underway in Sweden for some time and the conference will draw on experiences to date of attempts to develop services in Stockholm and Gothenburg.

The conference will also get the inside track on a major project in Hamburg, Germany. Sascha Westermann, head of the city’s management office for ITS Projects will present the latest news on their plans to reform their transport systems and networks. Hamburg is working with MOIA, the mobility company in the Volkswagen Group. As part of this project, an on-demand shuttle service with electric vehicles is set to go into operation in 2018.  This service will supplement the public transport network and – the promoters hope – will represent an attractive alternative to travelling by car.

In the UK, the Whim mobility app has been recently launched in the West Midlands region offering National Express bus and metro tickets, routes and timetables as well as Gett taxi services. Delegates to the “MaaS Market Concept to Delivery” conference will hear how Whim is available on a pay per ride basis to consumers who have signed up The next steps are to make the service available to all West Midlands commuters and to introduce monthly packages and new transport modes, such as coaches, rental cars and city bikes. Whim has been available in the Helsinki area, Finland, from 2016. This is the home of Whim’s developer MaaS Global.

In Manchester, Transport for Greater Manchester has launched a MaaS research project with the engineering consultancy Atkins and the project will use smart technology to study how people could, in the future, plan and pay for their door-to-door journey - trams, buses, bike hire and even ride-sharing - in one transaction, with the aim of reducing congestion and pollution. Come to the event, and find out more.

Finland has long been regarded as being at the cutting edge of MaaS developments, and the latest industry figures to join the list of speakers are smart city and mobility expert Minna Honkanen from the City of Vantaa who will presenting alongside Michael Kieslinger of Fluidtime Data Services.

For some in the technology sector, MaaS is simply about developing an app that allows the user to plan, book and pay for travel across different platforms – whether that be road, rail, metro, taxi, car, bike or driverless pod. What could be more straightforward? The trouble is, such a development has the power to completely disrupt the existing transport companies and raises major questions about the role of the state authorities. For example, how will MaaS work in a free market?

The conference will also discuss questions regarding the impact of autonomous vehicles and the long term future of the car manufacturing sector if we no longer need so many of their products. Already some vertical transport companies have declined to be involved in MaaS experiments, fearful that it will destroy their existing business models before they have had a chance to rethink their strategies.

Then there is the perennial issue of the first and last mile. How will MaaS transport models work for the disabled or a parent carrying two toddlers and the week’s shopping?

One thing is clear, however. Our current transport businesses and systems will not remain as they are for long.

MaaS Market has been created by ITS International. It is a two-day, international conference for all organisations committed to exploring new ways of getting people to their destination and new ways for them to pay for transport services.

Confirmed speakers include:

  • Claire Depré, Head of Unit, Sustainable & Intelligent Transport, DG MOVE, European Commission.
  • Steven Norris, Former UK Transport Minister and public transport expert, Commissioner with the Independent Transport Commission and Chairman, National Infrastructure Planning Association, UK.
  • Sascha Westermann, Head of the Project Management Office, ITS Projects, City of Hamburg.
  • Chris Lane, Head of Smart Travel, Transport for West Midlands, UK.
  • George Hazel, Consultant and Programme Manager, MaaS Scotland.
  • Raphael Gindrat, CEO and Co-founder, BestMile.
  • Torben Andersen, CEO, GreenMobility, Denmark.
  • Hans Arby, CEO, UbiGo, Sweden.
  • Andy Taylor, Strategy Director, Cubic Transportation Systems.
  • Giles Bailey, CEO, TravelSpirit.

It will take place on February 20 and 21 at the Inmarsat Conference Centre on the so-called “Silicon Roundabout”, in the heart of London’s booming tech district.

To book your place NOW, please go to www.maas-market.com or contact Kelly Thompson at officemanager@ropl.com or on 0044 1322 612055.

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