Last week, MaaS Alliance’s Senior Manager Piia Karjalainen moderated the session “Enabling New Mobility Services and MaaS” at the bi-annual IT-TRANS conference in Karlsruhe. Together with MaaS Alliance members Siemens (represented by Dr Filippo Logi) and PTV Group (Ralf Frisch), in addition to representatives from Giro Inc, Daimler, Cityway, and door2door, she discussed the enablers for MaaS, what can be done to accelerate and improve existing MaaS initiatives and, in particular, the question of how to release the power of data.

The buzzwords at the session were “data” and “innovation”. Speakers showcased how we can optimise fleet management by using open data, leading to better services for end users. According to the experts, the time has come in mobility when we need to innovate, learn and adapt. This will help clarify the MaaS business model and eventually create the best possible solution for end users. Moreover, Ralf Frisch (PTV Group) urged session participants to join MaaS Alliance, where organisations can collaborate to find win-win business models. At the end of the session, Piia highlighted that MaaS has gone from being about the what and when to now concentrating on the how and who – “This session really gave clear evidence that it’s [MaaS’s] here & now, taking form of digitalised transport services and advanced integration platforms”.

Alongside the sessions, IT-TRANS also featured an exhibition area with interesting “Market Update” sessions. Fluidtime (part of MaaS Alliance member Kapsch) made use of this and showcased some exciting developments – they will soon relaunch the famous UbiGo service in Stockholm and are working with BusinessHub on a MaaS project in Helsinki. A specific highlight of the event was the Moovel on-demand shuttle service, which was available to conference participants for free and attracted a lot of positive feedback.

IT-TRANS this year coincided with International Women’s Day (8th March). To mark the day, UITP launched the #PT4ME campaign, focused on the safety and security of women in public transport. UITP used this nice coincident to discuss this issue with some prominent female experts in the field of mobility, including MaaS Alliance’s Piia Karjalainen. When asked to sum up her thoughts on how the safety of women is affected by public transport, she said:

“Mobility is how we humans define freedom. When we are free to move from A to B, then we perceive ourselves as free. Women have not been free to move as they pleased for centuries and their mobility has been restricted. This is changing in modern times but not fast enough – there are still parts of the world where women cannot travel unless their spouse approves and signs. Women and men are equal and should have equal access to mobility. Everyone should feel safe and secure at all times and in all places. By enhancing the intelligence and user perspective of transport systems, we envisage a smarter, safer world for women. In ERTICO – ITS Europe, and through its collaboration platforms, like the MaaS Alliance, we work on advancing smart mobility and Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS). We place great emphasis on engaging professional women in our activities so that all users can profit from women’s point of view on the transport system.”

Find out more about IT-TRANS in Karlsruhe here.