Autonomous cars might sound revolutionary but will only solve transport issues if they integrate with public transport and other vehicles.
The real transport revolution looks to optimising the links between public and private transport, and Australians are all for it. Mobility as a service (MaaS) taps into the digital age by integrating planning, booking and payment and allowing users to personalise their trip. First trialed in Gothenburg, Sweden in 2013, MaaS has now spread to a handful of cities around the world.
New research by iMOVE, a new CRC for transport systems, has indicated that 46% of Australians would use a MaaS service. The 2018 report surveyed community attitudes of 4000 Australians, as well as industry experts and the status of MaaS around the world.
“We hope to look at the international experience and leapfrog over it,” said Stacey Ryan, policy manager of Intelligent Transport Systems Australia, an iMOVE CRC partner.
The benefit of MaaS platforms is their potential to improve the efficiency of existing systems without building new transport infrastructure, which is extremely expensive.
“Some people see MaaS as the holy grail of transport – it’s seamless,” said Stacey.
So how long do Australians have to wait?
“Some suggest six months – just add a ticketing and booking overlay to Google, while others say it will take five to 10 years because you need ticketing integration. The reality is probably somewhere in between,” said Stacey.
The initial focus of MaaS might be to serve niche markets such as tourists or the visually impaired, Stacey added. iMOVE is a collection of 44 partners, in a 10-year project for R&D of innovative transport solutions and technologies for Australia.
– Rebecca Blackburn
This article was published in KnowHow Issue 9.