Sustainable mobility: How cities and businesses can maximize the impact of MaaS



In a digital collaboration initiative announced today, Arcadis and Fujitsu have developed digital solutions for municipalities and businesses aimed at optimizing the deployment of multimodality to achieve low-emissions and accessible mobility.

Meeting the Paris Agreement climate goals requires aggressive electrification of transport. However, with passenger mobility demand set to increase, electrification alone will not suffice and must be coupled with increasing transport efficiency. Furthermore, increasing restrictions on the circulation of ICE vehicles in urban centers, new mobility solutions enabled by emerging technologies and new commuting patterns are setting the stage for a new mobility paradigm.

Urban transport planners, mobility providers and businesses with sustainable employee mobility strategies are striving to promote sustainable new mobility solutions. How can they facilitate commuter’s shift to sustainable transport modes (modal shift)? And what infrastructure and policies should they prioritize for maximum impact?

Mobility-as-a-service (MaaS) is an emerging digital mobility solution that can radically improve transport efficiency by integrating multiple transport modes into a more efficient and user-centered mobility offer. The real environmental impact of MaaS will depend on its ability to motivate modal shift and commuter choices at a large scale.

In a new digital collaboration initiative announced today by the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) Transport & Mobility Pathway, Arcadis and Fujitsu have developed digital solutions for municipalities and businesses to optimize the deployment of multimodality and new mobility solutions with regards to modal shift and sustainable mobility.

The use cases will apply Arcadis’ Mobility Hubs module and Fujitsu’s Social Digital Twin technology. They will test how different transport planning scenarios promote multimodal and sustainable commuting. The scenarios under study are adjusted parking fees and the creation of mobility hubs, to be evaluated based on their effect on modal shift and associated cost and time of travel and transport-related emissions. The simulation will be carried out in the Greater London Region with data from Transport for the South-East (TfSE) and Michelin Mobility Intelligence. Results from an initial simulation by Fujitsu demonstrated potential for 12% CO2 reduction through commuters’ shift to more sustainable transport modes.

Data sharing and digital collaboration to maximize the impact of MaaS

Digital collaboration among all MaaS stakeholders will ensure that cities and MaaS operators can expand the scope of mobility services to facilitate traveler access and maximize transport efficiency and decarbonization benefits.

With extensive access to disaggregated data from across the spectrum of MaaS stakeholders, cities and mobility providers can design MaaS based on more accurate predictions of mobility patterns and how they are set to evolve.

Besides the basic functional blocks to facilitate route planning, MaaS operators can create valuable additional service modules by integrating assets such as user profiles for personalization or booking and payment platforms to centralize ticketing.

Although often left out of MaaS design, private car data is an essential module. Transport planners need a better understanding of the needs and preferences of drivers – particularly in more remote or underserved regions – to effectively influence modal choice and optimize infrastructure investments in the electric vehicle (EV) era. MaaS operators can significantly contribute to sustainable mobility strategies by integrating EV charging locations and pre-booking in their service offerings.

Private car data integration is a key element of the collaborative digital solutions developed by Arcadis and Fujitsu.

 “It’s been a pleasure working with Fujitsu, Michelin Mobility Intelligence and TfSE and we recognise the importance of working collaboratively with organisations to accelerate a planet positive future. Private car use data is often a missing ingredient of MaaS applications, but the reality is that many people continue to rely on their car in part for some journeys. We wanted to explore how including this data could influence peoples travel behaviour in a multimodal digital environment to optimize the environmental and social impact of these journeys,” commented Simon Swan, Global Solutions Director, New Mobility at Arcadis.

What’s next?

Thanks to seamless integration and the right digital solutions for modeling, cities and businesses can harness the full potential of MaaS as an accelerator of their respective Sustainable Urban Mobility Plans and sustainable commuting policies.

Mayors, governors and parliamentarians, business and civil society leaders will gather for COP28 in Dubai and agree on the next climate action steps, with a thematic focus on transport scheduled for December 6. They must integrate new digital and mobility solutions, such as MaaS, as powerful tools for sustainable mobility. Integrating digitalization in transport decarbonization pathways starts with the introduction of the right digital governance frameworks, and with investments in governments and businesses’ capacity to engage in data sharing and digital collaboration.

The WBCSD Transport & Mobility Pathway gathers companies to accelerate transport decarbonization and promote data sharing and digitalization as core solutions for the transition to sustainable mobility. Fifteen of our member companies are building a data-sharing coalition to bolster new digital solutions for the transition to zero-emission mobility. Earlier this year, they demonstrated how digital collaboration across the electric mobility value chain could accelerate the deployment of charging infrastructure toward transport climate goals. In early 2024, they will release a digital framework for accelerating the deployment of MaaS, promoting sustainable urban mobility. For more information about the initiative, please contact Esther Perrin (perrin@wbcsd.org).



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