The Nature and Strategy of MaaS Platforms

From a product-centric business model to an online services business model



Toyota's Mobility Service Platform (MSPF), (Source: Toyota)

  This report is a summary of a presentation entitled "The Nature and Strategy of MaaS Platforms" by Mr. Tsugio Nobe, Chief Service Architect and Director, Digital Infrastructure, Intel Corporation and Visiting Associate Professor, Institute for the Creation of Future Society, Nagoya University, given at the Automotive World Seminar 2021 in January 2021.

  Between 2001 and 2020, changes in the industrial structure occurred due to the development of ICT (Information and Communication Technology). In other words, it is now possible to build a variety of new services such as distribution, manufacturing, medical care, and agriculture on the cloud, and to browse and use the services with multiple devices such as smartphones. Such a system was connected to the transportation sector to create a MaaS platform.

  Since around 2015, ride-hailing businesses such as Uber started in earnest, and MaaS has been transporting people, goods, and services, while EVs with high-capacity batteries have been transporting energy as well.

  Smartphones, currently used by an estimated 3.7 billion people worldwide, play an important role as a tool for matching supply and demand. In addition, MaaS providers that check supply and demand and perform matchmaking in the cloud will configure the systems efficiently, which is the essence of a MaaS platform.

  MaaS providers will be able to start with mobility, such as the movement of people and goods, and then expand the scope of their coverage, gaining a broad understanding of the current situation, including general transportation, medical care, and security needs, and then develop services to meet those needs in the cloud.

  In addition, many related services, such as map information and payment, will be linked via API (Application Programming Interface).

  In addition, we expect the business and industry structure to change from a product-centric business model to an online services business model in the future. In the online business, the number of users can be expanded by continuing to develop the software after its launch and by continuously improving the service content and functions. Mr. Nobe then concluded his presentation by stating that the development of service cars for MaaS is different from that of owner cars, and that software development is the key.

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