Mobility as a Service (MaaS) is seeing growth in research and experimentation in the transport industry across the globe as governments and communities try to manage increasing populations and transportation in an effective, affordable way.

In its simplest form, MaaS is a digital system whereby mobility solutions are provided as a service based on individual travel needs. The goal is to integrate an end to end system that allows users to plan, book and pay for their journey via an app and using multiple options to reach their destination such as ride sharing, bike sharing, public transport, and more. This service, in theory, will make more efficient use of existing private and public transportation services infrastructure.

Although such a system suggests that in future the requirement and desire for private car ownership will fall, this Deloitte report suggests there are a range of industries that can capitalise on the rise of MaaS, including the parking industry.

Currently, the industry seeks to balance the supply of parking to cater to a city’s resident and visitor needs, the effective utilisation of prime real estate and the need to manage road congestion. The use of sensor technology and parking guidance solutions to comprehensively understand utilisation in real time, track and manage peak periods, provide real-time wayfinding plus optimise availability, is largely creating an efficient, positive consumer experience.

With the rise of MaaS, the theory expects the demand for parking solutions may fall, and that the services the industry provides will both improve and evolve. For example, a shift to fleets of shared (or self-driving) cars may well see demand move away from personal vehicles, yet those fleets will still require space for idol periods. New types of spaces such as pick up/drop off zones and electric vehicle charging stations will increasingly appear and the ability of the parking industry to adapt, innovate and provide value will be critical.

Until this occurs, opportunities in the parking industry are slated to be around value-add services, space management, flexible facilities, payments and pricing , customer experience, partnerships and much more.

The benefits of using technology to create more user-friendly, valuable and efficient parking experiences are many, as are the challenges. The changes that MaaS forecasts will require coordination across a large variety of stakeholders – operators, governments, payment providers and software and technology companies.

As a provider in the parking industry, Park Agility keeps a close eye on information about trials of MaaS locally and in other countries and has developed and continues to evolve open APIs to its core management system. Doing so ensures that we can assist our clients with adapting to the changes that will inevitably occur.

For as the Deloitte report aptly ends, “for those willing to not only look at today’s needs but anticipate tomorrow’s challenges, they may find that parking can be an important enabler – rather than a victim – of the future of mobility.”

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