A-to-Be and Mobility-as-a-ServiceJosé Bragança Pinheiro
While young baby boomers obtained their ultimate sense of freedom from owning their own cars, today, teenagers and young adults achieve the same through smartphones. Despite emission and air pollution reductions achieved by technology, hyper urbanization brings congestion and environmental unsustainability. Climate change and mobility have always been interrelated.
At the epicenter of these global mega-trends, a new entity may emerge – the MaaS (Mobility-as-a-Service) Provider, someone who synthesizes the needs of the environment, citizens and operators. Excelling at managing large customer bases and applying information technology intensively, mobility will no longer be an exclusive matter of equipment and infrastructure, but also a software issue.
With the smartphone — and wearables — as the universal touchpoint, combining the seamless use of journey planners with online booking and ticketing systems, more and more customers will use public mobility services, both traditional and emerging ones. Strong business models will enable MaaS Provider to create new ways how to consume mobility — as telco’s do today with bundled packages. Due to the complexity of the means involved, MaaS Providers will have to rely on broad partnership networks, assuming themselves as operators of operators.
This is a territory A-to-Be claims for itself, in a time when traditional road and tolling operators start looking into new ways to grow their businesses, evolving with the society trends. We already witness the success meta-operations experience — Uber™, Booking.com™ — where services grow without the need of having their own infrastructure or assets.
We believe to master the ability to deliver and connect central software solutions — the software side — supporting this vision, to what happens on the field — the tangible side. It is where we excel and distinguish from the crowd.
The combination that two of A-to-Be’s star products — MoveBeyond™ and LinkBeyond™ — enable is exciting, particularly applied to the theater of operations where the MaaS Provider plays.
MoveBeyond™ —our Advanced Mobility Platform — is the central brain for the MaaS Provider. It is responsible for managing and implementing all business rules, guaranteeing operational, commercial and analytical capabilities. Its channels serve, not just the MaaS Provider and mobility operators’ users, but the consumer — the traveler — by extending convenient self-service portals. For him, this is where mobility budgets gain life, where the traveler experience becomes seamless, transactions are secure and all is unified in unique consumer account. On the palm of each traveler’s hand the complete journey is supported by MoveBeyond — planning, purchase, guidance, feedback and support.
On the back office, revenue and money play a key role — customer management, enforcement, transaction management, billing, certified payments’ clearance, fraud control. But MaaS provider richness relies on the range of services it combines to offer — partners management, interface, enterprise services, e-commerce.
LinkBeyond™ is the Advanced Mobility Connector on the road side, making sure every single operator and service is part of the integrated offer the MaaS Provider delivers. It is the invitation that allows each MaaS Provider to invite everyone to the mobility party. This smart city player is responsible for offering a seamless mobility experience to the traveler, across all transportations modes — on foot, inside the car, riding a bike, sharing, on the bus, train or metro — and MoveBeyond is its tool, designed thinking all the way to the end-user experience.
If MaaS operation is to become a reality it has to go beyond the software elegance. It’s on the field that things happen or fail. The ability to use current infrastructures and optimize them is going to determine the success of the seamless mobility experience ambition. And this is what makes it one of the main distinctive factors in A-to-Be’s offer — where all others stop or enter with unease. It is through LinkBeyond that all transport operators and mobility players connect, making things happen on the field — access gantries are activated, fares enforced, barriers open. By using a range of connectivity solutions without limits, from beacons to apps, any solution the traveler interacts with is adopted. If MoveBeyond is the soft part of MaaS, LinkBeyond is the hard one — no operator is left behind; no mobility experience is interrupted.