Developing a New Mobility As a Service Concept

Developing a New Mobility As a Service Concept


Valery Cervantes, CEA, Peter Davidson, Peter Davidson Consultancy, Helen Porter, Peter Davidson Consultancy


We developed a new mobility as a service (MaaS) concept from scratch and this is the story about how we did it, from initial research to building and testing the vehicles.


We developed a new mobility as a service (MaaS) concept from scratch and this is the story about how we did it, from initial research, through finding the funding then using market research to move the product around it its potential market to find the optimum system design and market niche. The development of the vehicles and the infrastructure was then iterated between the design considerations and the market requirements until the design was fixed and the first vehicles were built and are now being trialled.

This paper tells the story of how we went about it, research and development methodologies adopted, lessons learnt and initial results of how well it fits into its market, operational requirements and initial results from the testing. We also planned it together with its infrastructure, to fit into the rest of the transport system in 3 demonstration areas in Glasgow, Lyon and Barcelona. We also build a specialist transport model to deal with MaaS and integrate them into the demonstration areas but this is the subject of another ETC paper and won’t be covered in this one except to show some of the results. This paper does not cover the deployment which we hope to implement the first of the new services in 2018.

The initial MaaS research showed that there could be much more potential for 1-way car sharing than currently existed provided it could be made to work properly. One of the barriers was that the vehicles ended up where people did not want to travel from, which entails expensive redistribution of the vehicles. This was addressed by coupling the vehicles together so that they could be driven in a train thereby reducing the redistribution costs and possibly allowing users to drive a train rather than single vehicles which could reduce redistribution costs further. There is no precedent for a train of cars to be driven in the roads with potentially unsafe driving conditions such as the train swaying, jacknifing or overturning. This led to important vehicle design issues which affected the system design. The research identified the requirement for electric vehicles and this led to the possibility of charging the complete train and load balancing to optimise the availability of vehicles. Other issues included how many seats should the vehicle have? What voltage/ short high voltage charge for fast charging or slow low-voltage (and cheaper) charging stations, the optimum deployment of charging stations, the use of the internet within the vehicle, advertising to reduce the user cost and many other issues which we resolved. These will be covered in the paper. The research is being undertaken for the ESPRIT Horizon 2020 project.

The innovation in the paper describes developing a new mode of transport from scratch.


Association for European Transport