Ticket to RideThe PayiQ Blog
Covid has definitely been a game changer in mobility. First it brought on a disaster when people stopped moving, and while the hard times are dragging on, it is slowly also triggering changes in thinking, many of which are welcome. One of them is a strong trend towards partnering. The idea of organizing relationships among actors in a field through partnering instead of competition or subcontracting is of course nothing new. Airlines have formed and run successful partnerships for decades. But in ground transportation competition, subcontracting and monopolies have been the standard.
There’s no denying it. It’s been demanding. When you are in the mobility business and people stop moving, you are in dire straits. We are engineers and therefore reorganizing our internal workflow was quick. Making cash flow estimates that make sense, securing financing to bridge the crisis and rethinking our sales strategy to meet the new challenges of our customers has taken a while. But rough can be exhilarating too.
During my years as a research specialist in MaaS, I would very often compare ecosystem successes based on collaborations. Take the airlines for example, they were the first to go mobile and have several solution providers like car rentals and hotels integrated.
In every crisis the challenge is to work in different time spans at once. Certain things require immediate action, midterm is often about endurance and in the long run you prepare for opportunities on the other side of the ordeal. This is also the outlook at PayiQ.
What do disruptive technologies and romantic comedies have in common? In both there comes a setback after the first burst of excitement, but the low is needed to pave the way for something solid. I believe that on the smart traffic hype curve we have just passed the peak and are sliding towards a dip: some are disillusioned because the change did not arrive as promised (or as hoped) and some are making long-term investments that will bring about real change and real rewards.
When smart traffic – connecting modalities, services and data through IOT and accessing them through mobile devices – became the rage the focus was on the user interfaces, usually apps. Today everyone active in the smart traffic space understands that if the backend systems are not smart enough, they cannot deliver smart traffic.
Changing transportation isn’t about building apps. A good mobile app is of course the go-to interface of today’s digital services but when it is delivered in the physical realm, especially in a complex and capital intensive one, then much more than a digital interface is needed to bring real change. I think this is very evident in the world of transportation where both disruptive entrants and big incumbents are realizing the magnitude of the challenge.
Current transport silos and supporting information systems were not built for fluid multimodality and smooth account-based ticketing. Yet, multimodal mobile ticketing and MaaS solutions appeal to modern customers.
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