Why events like the Open Mobility Conference are key to driving the MaaS agenda

It’s great to see the topic of open mobility on the table as it is a subject we’re passionate about at SkedGo. Let’s be honest, there are some big questions that need to be answered as the mobility as a service (MaaS) sector continues to gather pace.

Hosted by TravelSpirit and MaaS Alliance, the event promises to be an interesting one, with representation from across the industry from transport authorities and infrastructure providers to technology companies and innovative thinkers. Getting everyone together at one event will make for inspiring debates.

It’s important we have those debates because it’s through open mobility that we can shape MaaS so it captures the wider business, economic, political, environmental and social benefits that are to be gained.

Supporting the development of the open mobility ecosystem is part of the DNA of the MaaS Alliance. We are very excited to raise this topic to multi-stakeholder discussion for the first time. The vision is strong but some practical questions need to be solved and this is now a great opportunity to innovate and design the future mobility ecosystem together, inspired also by examples from other industries. Discussions around open systems might sound like a conceptual or academical debate but our idea behind it is much more practical. We would like to support the development of mobility systems where end-users have high-quality services to choose from.

Piia Karjalainen, Senior Manager at the MaaS Alliance

There’s an impressive list of speakers already lined up. We’ll be hearing from Jacob Bangsgaard, president of MaaS Alliance and CEO of ERTICO – ITS Europe, along with Giles Bailey, the CEO of TravelSpirit. Jacob has more than 26 years’ experience working on transport and mobility issues in Brussels and likewise, Giles has more than two decades in the sector working with Transport for London as well as writing for the transport press.

They are joined by Oana Savu, IATA NDC & One Order Leader who will be looking at the possibility of applying the new air industry retailing standards and protocols to mixed-mode travel. Considering solutions from different areas of our industry – or even taking a step outside our industry – is key to finding answers. It can be easy to become consumed by the limitations of our own experience, instead of transforming our thinking along new paths. Discussions like this are key to determining the future of mobility and MaaS.

There will be a number of interactive sessions too, covering topics such as data governance, blockchain, how we can learn from emerging economies and how we move from the legacy systems we have today to an open mobility ecosystem. Sandra Witzel, SkedGo’s Head of Marketing and MaaS advocate, will be leading a round table on the importance of incorporating active travel into the business. It’s an important subject which should be integrated into MaaS strategies as part of the mobility experience.

There are so many questions to be answered when it comes to open mobility. It will be useful for all parties to open up the debate to start tackling the challenges ahead. By coming together and discussing how we can make mobility services integrated, how it will work with our current infrastructure and, quite frankly, what open mobility will look like, we can start to stimulate discussion. Whilst we won’t come away with all the answers, it will certainly help to challenge our thinking – and hopefully move us all towards the actions that will ultimately deliver the mobility experience that we envision.

The conference takes place on Thursday 11 April 2019, from 09:00 – 17:00 CEST at Kanal Centre Pompidou in Brussels. You can find out more about the event and the agenda here.

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