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Momentum behind MaaS continues to build in Europe

Vulog has announced the latest update to its multi-modal, multi-city platform which has increased user engagement by a third, while Iomob and Karhoo are partnering for MaaS projects.

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Poppy is a multi-modal and multi-city scheme that operates in Belgium
Poppy is a multi-modal and multi-city scheme that operates in Belgium

The mobility-as-a-service (MaaS) momentum continues to build in Europe with key announcements this week by more players in the market.

 

Vulog has released a major update to its AiMA multi-modal platform, which supports multi-modal and multi-city operations, while smart mobility companies, Iomob and Karhoo, are partnering to help bring MaaS offerings to projects in European countries.

 

Need for multi-city options

 

French company VuLog, which provides the technology backbone for 30 shared mobility schemes on five continents, sees multi-modal and multi-city services becoming the norm within the next 12- to 18 months.

 

It carried out research linked to mobility schemes in Paris in early 2019 that revealed the average shared-mobility user had seven different apps on their phone in order to move around the city.

 

Furthermore, the majority of shared mobility schemes started up in a single city, meaning that when users travelled to other cities, they needed to sign up to a different service.

 

The world’s first multi-modal, multi-city shared mobility scheme is believed to be Poppy in Belgium. Since the summer of 2019, Poppy’s customers in Brussels and Antwerp have been able to access shared electric mopeds, kick-scooters and cars; the latter can be collected and dropped off in either city.

“If I have to use several apps, they each need my billing details and personal data, and I’ll receive multiple alerts and updates from each”

Stockholm’s Aimo has also become a multi-modal service, with 200 electric kick-scooters recently added to its 300-strong fleet of electric Renault Zoe EVs. Both operations successfully trialled Vulog’s updated AiMA platform and saw user activity increase over the trial period by up to 34 per cent.

 

“As established players and new entrants engage in an ongoing battle for customer acquisition, operators need to develop their proposition and offer flexibility to maximise their appeal,” added Gregory Ducongé, CEO of Vulog.

 

“For example, I may want a kick-scooter for the daily commute, a moped for a longer trip across the city for a meeting, and a car for out-of-town road trips with my family at the weekend. If I have to use several apps, they each need my billing details and personal data, and I’ll receive multiple alerts and updates from each. A single, seamless scheme that meets all my needs is more convenient and manageable.”

 

Joséphine Adorelle, general manager at Aimo, commented: “We decided to add kick-scooters to our fleet of Renault ZOEs to give our users some additional flexibility. For last-mile journeys scooters are perfect; you don’t have to think about parking in the same way you do with a car – it’s so easy."

 

He continued: “And being able to offer both services through one mobile application is a great way of helping to differentiate Aimo from other operators: it makes our proposition suit more users, more of the time.”

 

Iomob and Karhoo join forces

 

Iomob and Karhoo aspire to power MaaS solutions for cities, regional authorities and private transportation businesses with a pan-European open MaaS solution.

 

Iomob’s MaaS platform enables cities and transportation operators to deploy their own branded applications, which allow users to plan, book, pay for and unlock e-mobility options as part of their door-to-door journeys.

 

Karhoo, backed by Groupe Renault as part of its mobility-as-an-industry initiative, brings licensed fleets around the world together with global travel operators and local authorities to create smarter mobility solutions.

 

Its platform provides integration options (API/SDK/whitelabel) allowing partners to natively offer e-hailing and pre-booking into their applications and online channels.

 

“Karhoo is thrilled to be working with top notch innovators in the mobility space like Iomob,” said Karhoo CEO Boris Pillchowski. “Iomob’s solution marrying scooters and bicycles with taxi and private hire vehicles from Karhoo will be a game-changer for customers looking to navigate cities more efficiently.”

In Spain alone, Karhoo provides access to more than 30,000 taxis and ride-hailing vehicles that can be combined with public transit, rail and micro-mobility services

Boyd Cohen, CEO of Iomob, which stands for the Internet of Mobility and which is headquartered in Barcelona, highlights that in Spain alone, Karhoo provides access to more than 30,000 taxis and ride-hailing vehicles that can be combined with public transit, rail and micro-mobility services.

 

He added: “This combination can be a powerful force for smart cities seeking to accelerate a transition away from personal car dependence and associated congestion and air contamination.”

In addition to its arrangement with Karhoo, Iomob has also secured paid pilot projects with RENFE, Spain’s leading rail service, and with the government of Sweden, having recently won the Sweden Sustainable Mobility Challenge. Iomob is also the winner of Ford’s City of Tomorrow.

In the US this week, ride-sharing company Lyft made the first in a series of changes that makes it easier for individuals to choose the right ride for each occasion.

 

Users of the Lyft app in cities across the US and Canada will be able to see the range of ride options available in their city when they open the app’s home screen, including scooters, bikes, public transit, car rentals, shared rides, regular rides, big rides, and more.


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