Mobility as a service: Is the UK’s Transport Policy ready?

The Mobility as a Service (MaaS) market is predicted to reach $500 billion by 2030, offering door-to-door integrated, seamless mobility and improved travel experience.

The success of MaaS is largely dependent on public and private organisations working together to share data and systems

The evolution of technology is driving the future of MaaS and integrated cities. Single apps and platforms that allow us to plan, book and buy sustainable journeys across multiple transport modes allow us to get from A to B with greater ease, efficiency and in a way that is kinder to our increasingly fragile air quality. But what does this mean for how we live our lives in the increasingly urbanised world today? What needs to change? And what are the opportunities and challenges? 

HSBC and DLA Piper hosted a thought-provoking event focused on MaaS, and its role in the fast changing transport and infrastructure sectors in UK cities, on Monday, 11 November. Topics covered included:

Is it time to say to farewell to the private car?

Given the minimal dip in the demand for the private car - and the cultural, social and economic motives of UK private car users, it seems the private car is here to stay, despite 95% of its lifetime on average spent idle. Our first challenge!

Maas in Greater Manchester 

A fascinating case study outlined the progress made in Greater Manchester and how MaaS is central to economic and climate targets, as well as to improving the quality of life for residents. This gave an optimistic outlook on a city already making good progress on its integrated transport strategy. Buses in Brighton and Hove also came under the spotlight in the context of inner city congestion, the increasing number of cities removing cars from city centres and the demand for a national bus strategy.

Smart cities and Maas

DG Cities, the urban innovation company specialising in the integration of ‘smart city’ technologies, shared how they have taken MaaS to the next level in the London Borough of Greenwich. Here they are trialling door-to-door integrated transport solutions for targeted segments of the community. Significantly their work brings together both the practical and logistical challenges of MaaS solutions with human behaviour, so that through trials the end product can be shaped by true end user testing.     

Electric cargo bikes in London  

The final topic was the growing use of the electric cargo bike that is revolutionising the delivery of goods to households and businesses in parts of London. With zero emissions and the ability to match efficiency of delivery vans in a single shift, this modern take on a traditional mode of transport is living up to the aspirations of MaaS, focusing on low carbon and increasingly efficient journeys. 

It was clear that there are many significant opportunities for MaaS in UK cities, but what about the challenges? Finding the right regulatory balance will be essential for the sake of safety. The risk of tightening regulation will certainly deter investors. So, what will be the right regulatory balance and how can investors navigate this? And what about collaboration? The success of MaaS is largely dependent on public and private organisations working together to share data and systems, including the sharing of personal data. These are sticky issues for first movers leading the way in a burgeoning industry. 

With thanks to all of our guest speakers, who made for an insightful and informative morning with great views of London from level 41 of 8 Canada Square at HSBC. Speakers: Thierry Roland, Head of HSBC Global Banking and Markets, Europe, and Co-Chair HSBC Climate Business Council; Colin Wilson, Transport Sector Lead Partner, DLA Piper; Graham Smith, Head of Sustainable Finance Unit, Global Banking, HSBC; Steve Gooding, Director, RAC Foundation; Simon Warburton, Transport Strategy Director, Transport for Greater Manchester; Kieran Harte, Head of Cities for UKI, Uber; Patrick Warner, Head of Innovation Strategy, Brighton & Hove Buses, Go-Ahead Group; Helen Steiger, Project Manager, DG Cities; James Fitzgerald, Managing Director, e-cargobikes.com; and Alan Braithwaite, Director, e-cargobikes.com

To speak to HSBC or DLA Piper about MaaS, please contact Natalya Tueva at HSBC and Colin Wilson at DLA Piper.

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