35 service providers and other ITS stakeholders attended the MOBiNET webinar “MOBiNET e-marketplace offers business opportunities for service providers”.
The MOBiNET concept and marketplace: an opportunity for service providers
Webinar moderator and presenter Rasmus Lindholm, ERTICO – ITS Europe, kicked off the webinar by explaining MOBiNET, the Europe-wide e-marketplace for mobility services for businesses and end users. MOBiNET provides a comprehensive Europe-wide directory of mobility and transport-related data and services. As an e-marketplace it links content providers, service providers and end users. MOBiNET provides traveller assistance tools for service roaming and virtual ticketing.
Third-party services can discover and add content and services to existing products. The MOBiNET platform architecture provides the required infrastructure functionality to let service providers easily compose their services based on available data or other B2B services, and to deliver their services to end users. This is provided by core components for service management, identity management, billing support, communication support, data quality assessment and the TSP Manager. MOBiNET offers an “App Directory” and smart Communication Manager for end-user devices, and a Service Development Kit to enable easy creation of new user services.
In parallel with the MOBiNET platform development, MOBiNET designed and developed a number of reference applications “services” for trialling in pilot sites in 8 countries. Examples of these services are B2BTS – B2B, and Demand Responsive Transit or Dial-a-Ride. The 8 MOBiNET pilot sites verify and validate the MOBiNET platform releases with continuous upgrading of platform core components and services.
Not being just another R&D project and platform, the development of MOBiNET is driven by business motivation and commercial exploitation. MOBiNET will put forward a clear business model and define the governance, contractual, legal, safety and security aspects of such a commercial platform.
Mobility-as- a-Service (MaaS) would benefit tremendously from a platform like MOBiNET
On the question whether MaaS is MOBiNET 2.0, Rasmus Lindholm clarified that it is in fact the other way around. What MOBiNET can offer to MaaS is looking at solving the roaming issues. On a local level, MOBiNET could provide a platform where different transport operators can publish their services and data in the MOBiNET Service Directory from where the MaaS service provider or operator (instead of having to go all the different operators) can find all the services and data through MOBiNET.
In terms of roaming issues, MaaS operators can see each other’s service offering through the MOBiNET platform. Whenever a MaaS operator for example in Brussels is linked to MOBiNET and finds the transport service he/she need; another MaaS operator in for example London can also see the service offering of the first MaaS operator. By linking and using some of the components and the billing and the clearing developed in MOBiNET, the customers of the MaaS operator in Brussels would be able to use the same app or services when they are in London.
A poll asking whether attendees considered using such a platform, 35% of attendees confirmed they would, 66% would certainly consider it and 9% believed they would not.
B2BTS -B2B traffic related services enhanced by MOBiNET
The MOBiNET platform provides a potential boost for the gps market both on the vendor and purchaser side
Alessandro Taddei of Infoblu presented the B2B TS use case. In the early days of the MOBiNET project, some partners including fleet managers, gps users and research labs, focused on gps market evolution from a business to business perspective. Traditionally when a company in traffic information distilling its products from gps positions wants to expends it business from country a to country b, it must start a complex process. The said company needs to look for gps providers, evaluate each individual provider’s coverage in space & time as well as its quality. MOBiNET however provides a point of aggregation e.g for gps sellers; it allows services users to browse/search for services; and service providers and gps vendors to register their services/data.
MOBiNET presents a real cost saving for Traffic Service providers using gps data to produce traffic services
In addition currently Traffic Service providers (like Infoblu) are, somehow, requested to develop their own tools for evaluation of gps features (e.g coverage in space and time of a single gps provider, gps overall quality indicators) but would prefer to buy them and focus on producing the services. The MOBiNET platform could represent a real cost saver for Traffic Service providers because organisations (e.g research labs) can register their own tools for gps evaluation. In this respect MOBiNET can provide support to B2B. The MOBiNET platform provides a potential boost for the gps market both on the vendor and purchaser side. It can improve competition among gps sellers and service providers. New players can enter the area by adding enhanced quality (e.g. better algorithms, improved indicators, improved presentation of results) and/or coverage services and new evaluation services.
Via a poll, attendees were asked to express their level of interest in the topic. 9% of the attendees were very interested, 16% had a high interest, 40% were interested, 31% had a moderate interest and 4% were not interested at all.
Improving the efficiency of Demand Responsive Transit or Dial-a-Ride through an EU-wide service platform
The dial-a-ride use case, presented by Daniela Vasari of Pluservice, was developed for a dial-a-ride service for elderly and disabled passengers in London provided by Transport for London (TfL). MOBiNET allows the combination of real-time bus arrival with traffic information (to estimate arrival times), tracking and user identification. It helps to connect the passengers, the bus driver and the operations centre through a single back office. A user app is available from the MOBiNET app store, and could be used by service providers elsewhere than London via the Service Directory. The service needs multiple online elements discovered and brought together, and would allow TfL to market the B2B and B2C application to end users.
Dial-a-Ride uses different MOBiNET platform components, for example the Identity Manager for a single sign-on. The estimated time of arrival (ETA) APIs provided by a third party is published in the MOBiNET Service Directory. DaR system in the background can take this data from the web service to calculate the ETA directly considering the traffic data detected in real time and this kind of data is matching the booking system data provided by another provider. This matching can create this ETA calculation component to give real information to all users. This ETA third-party service is useful not only for operators like TfL for a Demand Responsive Transit type of service, but also in other domains, e.g. taxis and logistics.
MOBiNET improves the efficiency of the London fleet thanks to the development of a generic Automatic Vehicle Location solution, as well as thanks to its trial across minibuses in different areas, weather and traffic condition in London and use of the data feed from these vehicles for modelling, alerts and scheduling purposes. Thanks to MOBINET, other cities can find ideas on the use for such technology and allows third party developers to implement innovative applications from the published data feeds and services.
To conclude, a poll indicated that 55% of the webinar attendees believed the topic should be further expanded, 8% believed it should not, 25% believed it should partly, 4% did not know and 8% of the attendees voted for “absolutely yes”. The poll suggests that this service is quite interesting and could be potentially further explored and expanded to other MOBiNET pilot sites or beyond the project’s lifetime.
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