Development of “Mobility as a Service”
Efficient urban mobility becomes an increasingly pressing issue in line with the ever-growing proportion of the population that lives in large cities. As a response, a new paradigm of resource management comes in place, the so-called sharing economy. It is based on the idea of sharing goods and services which allows to accommodate unprecedented levels of demand. “Mobility as a Service” (MaaS) is an example of the application of this new framework in the transportation industry. As described by Josep Maria Salanova, Senior Researcher at the Hellenic Institute of Transport (HIT), MaaS will be a mobility credit based system, where “you will pay an amount per month, and you will have access to a variety of mobility options, buses, taxis, car sharing, and so on.”
A pilot study in Thessaloniki was organised by the HIT to test these theoretical concepts in real-life conditions. The focus of the experiment is on a taxi sharing service aimed at providing a more convenient commute for local citizens. With the help of a mobile application, consumers can find all sorts of relevant information to make an informed decision on when and how to use the service. Similar testing but with other modes of transport is being conducted in other European cities such as Paris and Barcelona.
At the core of the whole undertaking is the GALILEO 4 MOBILITY project. It is difficult to overestimate the importance of precise location identification for ensuring smooth and efficient operation of MaaS. On the one hand, a customer needs to be able to track the location of the requested car to know the time until boarding. On the other hand, a driver should know exactly where the customer wants to be picked up. Even in dense cities, Galileo should be able to provide sufficiently accurate location information for both uses, especially when combined with other GNSS constellations.