3 Trends & Takeaways from TOA 2019

1. Sensors swamping mobility and beyond

Most often, IoT is associated with sensors integrated within electronic devices in our home. The IoT discourse is dominated by the same players that have been fighting for the space in our desks and pockets: Apple, Samsung, Amazon and Google. But there is another stream gaining traction led by companies using hardware to deploy software in spaces where it was not present before. A key example is bike sharing company Lime, which is integrating a number of sensors into their hardware allowing them to understand not only how users are moving, but also the environment in which they are doing so (quality of the roads, for instance). Other examples are Sensoneo (trash collection) and Pulsa Sensors (inventory control), both working on how utility enterprises can use sensors to improve efficiency and decrease time/resources spent on routine tasks.

2. From MaaS on the ground to MaaS in the sky

Airtaxi companies Lilium and Volocopter were either mentioned or themselves presenting concepts of air traveling. The main focus was on how we can introduce vertical mobility as a complement to/or exchange for horizontal mobility. We were definitely intrigued by their progress in the field (or sky). The most plausible use case for vertical rather than horizontal MaaS, and for us the most compelling one, is utilizing it as a complementary means of mobility to reach places where there is minimal infrastructure, or as a quick fix to the burning issues of airport transit — and the congestion it tends to fuel. Sidenote: listen to our podcast episode with Co-Founder Alex Zosel from Volocopter.

3. Mobility data for the greater good

Despite a common view that real-time information is needed to optimize mobility networks, there is limited access to quantitative data pools across mobility modes. Mobility providers consider location analytics to be a key differentiator and therefore have been only conservatively supporting cities with data analytics; for example to determine the best charging spots for shared vehicles. But cities need to act now and develop public-private partnerships that address digital management of mobility. The end goal is to move people from private to shared transportation, not only using incentives but also penalizing behaviour that is not green, unsafe or that compromises the livability of shared spaces.

Key takeaways

  • Inefficiencies in the physical space are catalyzing innovation that will potentially change the world. In mobility, IoT has still potential to further transform the hardware industry and the management of services and infrastructure.
  • Air travel as part of your daily life is coming closer and will remove obstacles to get to hotspots like airports, and non-spots like places with limited infrastructure.
  • In the digital mobility era, the use of data is imperative for understanding and improving mobility, and governments should be on the forefront of initiatives aimed at using data to further the public good.

About Trafi

Founded in 2013, Trafi is a Lithuanian tech start-up. Trafi is working shoulder-to-shoulder with cities, countries, and companies worldwide to create the best in class Mobility-as-a-Service alternative for congested cities. Trafi offers cities the possibility to connect all mobility services into one single platform where users can check itineraries and also book their tickets and trips. 

Trafi’s mission is to empower cities’ urban transportation with technology and know-how and encourage citizens to use more sustainable modes of transportation by accessing all services into one single platform. Trafi is currently live in 4 continents around the world and 7 cities.

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