The mobility landscape is in the midst of a technological revolution where Mobility as a Service (MaaS) applications are changing the fundamental ways in which people travel. Autonomous vehicles are looking to become a new normal, Elon Musk’s Hyperloop may offer an alternative to rail travel, and talks of futuristic air taxi services no longer seem so far-fetched.  Meanwhile, the transportation industry is witnessing a substantial and consistent increase in car-sharing and ride-hailing applications. The digital revolution is finally becoming embedded in the world of transportation and this also has significant effect on areas such as corporate mobility, employee travel and fleet management services.

Smart technology is forever transforming the ways in which average consumers expect to engage with retailers for goods and services, and this transformation is only beginning. As smartphone and other Internet-connected technologies continue to evolve and advance, travelers will become more reliant on mobile applications to enhance their quality of life.

Today, millions of people make their travel arrangements online, creating an enormous amount of data which can be useful in the development or innovation of new or existing transport solutions.  For young people, mobile technology has become the de facto method for socialising with family and friends, acquiring directions, and engaging with ride-sharing companies like Uber or car-sharing services offered by DriveNow or Sixt.

With each succeeding generation, both the desire and the demand to own personal vehicles diminish exponentially.  Vehicle ownership typically involves high monthly car payments, insurance premiums, annual property taxes, and regular maintenance costs, but there are other growing concerns, as well.

Cities today are becoming increasingly more expansive and congested, which means that even locating a parking space can be terribly frustrating. For big-city dwellers, automobile owners often pay additional out-of-pocket expenses for monthly parking permits either near home, at work, or perhaps both. Why own a personal vehicle when a car-sharing service like ZipCar is just a few taps-of-the-screen away?

Corporate mobility: Fleet ownership versus on-demand transport

Thanks to advancements in MaaS technology, many corporations are now following the lead of this younger generation.  Instead of hiring a fleet manager to buy, sell, and maintain multiple company vehicles for employee use, businesses are hiring mobility managers who move beyond traditional asset management and focus on a broader selection of transport and mobility options.

As individual businesses continue to expand and grow – perhaps even internationally – the monumental expenses of developing, maintaining, and managing a new fleet of company vehicles is far less of concern. Mobile applications can adapt quickly as the employee travels from one metropolitan area to the next.  For example, London-based travelers might use a MaaS application that offers travel options covered by the city’s Oyster pre-payment system.  As they travel to Washington, DC, the opportunity to catch a self-driving Ollie Bus might appear on-screen.

Meanwhile, different travelers will choose different modes of travel based on differing criteria. In some cases, traveling from Point A to Point B in the least amount of time is the primary objective.  For others, the least expensive option might be the most appealing instead. For environmentally-conscious employees and corporations, mobile apps like GoOptus by SkedGo even provide comparable transport options based on related carbon footprints and real-time data.  By taking advantage of mobility transport specialists, corporations experience numerous benefits and advantages.

GoOptus integrates Optus’s bus services with public transport, so it means our people can find the best way to get to work in a matter of seconds. It’s a great way to encourage them to travel to work sustainably, as the app shows the cost of driving vs other forms of transport.

Penny Dillon

Sustainable Transport Manager Optus

Improve employees’ quality of life

Transport applications not only make business travel faster, easier, and cheaper for corporations, they also make getting back and forth to work by the individual employees more efficient and enjoyable.  Apps can display timetables and real-time transit information while also allowing comparable options based on price, time, and environmental impact.

Save on travel expenses company-wide

Companies can also pre-define monthly travel budgets for individual employees or entire departments.  Apps can collect data and provide an admin backend which allows to create itemized expense reports with a few clicks of the mouse.  Fleet managers always know which employees are traveling at any given moment, how much they are spending, and in which geographical locations.

Encourage alternative modes of transportation

Many people no longer rely on only a single mode of transport. Some may not even be aware of the many alternatives available at specific times of day.  Mobile apps allow employees to engage with and coordinate between the broadest range of multi-modal transport options, including eco-friendly ones, too.

Reduce company reliance on fleet management

Replacing those fleets of company vehicles with car-sharing and ride-sharing services saves corporations money in parking fees, real estate for parking structures, automobile maintenance costs, insurance premiums, annual property taxes etc.

Encourage sustainable travel behaviours

Many municipalities offer tax-saving opportunities and other financial incentives to corporations which encourage sustainable travel behaviors by its employees.  City officials are facing growing concerns over diminishing air quality, increased traffic congestion, and inefficient lighting systems, just to name a few.  MaaS apps can allow for more efficient cooperation between corporate leaders and local authorities.

Track and analyse employee transportation use and cost-efficiency

Transitioning to mobile-based technologies for multi-modal transport allows fleet managers to know instantly which employees are traveling and where.  They can also determine quite easily each employee’s preferred modes of transportation and the associated costs.  And with the unique analytics, metrics, and expense reporting features of Mobility as a Service apps evaluating travel patterns and mentoring employees has never been easier.

Looking ahead, corporate fleet managers will be growing increasingly more dependent on mobile and web applications to manage multi-modal transportation for employees, car-sharing programs within the organisation, and even the sharing of vehicles with other organisations. As air taxis and driverless fleets become more cost-effective and readily available, this dependence will only escalate.  This revolutionary stage of the mobility movement will even allow smaller companies without a fleet of company-owned vehicles to compete with the larger corporations on an even playing field.   The cost-saving opportunities for corporate fleet management in the next decade and beyond are substantial.

 

Photo by Torsten Dettlaff from Pexels
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