Issue 8: January 2014


By Dr George McLean Hazel OBE, Smart Mobility Network Integrator, Scottish Enterprise

Global trends, market intelligence and expert opinion indicate the future of mobility will be very different from the way it is delivered at present. For example, the Megacities Challenges report commissioned by Siemens* clearly showed that mobility is the number one issue for cities across the world – both developed and developing – and that in the future it needs to be user focused, seamless and valued by those who use it. This means that mobility suppliers need to think in a retailing and service design framework rather than the traditional operations framework. If they want to take advantage of the opportunities they will need to move from providing schedules to providing services. This change creates significant future business opportunities arising from the need to move people and goods efficiently and sustainably within a growing demand driven by lifestyle needs and user satisfaction.

In addition to moving people and goods, “things” being moved will also be able to speak to each other. There will be around 50 billion moving, smart devices in 2020, of which around 5 % will be connected vehicles. This means that an  “Internet of Moving Things” will emerge. Thus the emerging market in moving things, people and freight in a smart way is huge. It is estimated that the smart city markets will reach $6.5 trillion by 2020 (global public sector procurement) and $13 trillion by 2020 (global urban logistics, rural logistics and supply chain). This also means that the energy, information and communications technology (ICT), and transportation worlds need to be integrated leading to new partnerships and non-traditional players delivering future mobility services.

Life is getting ever more complex and people want their mobility to meet their needs not the other way round. This change is made possible by smart technology and the application of retailing, service design and traditional transportation skills.

Global trends show that people and businesses want value, more personalised services and companies that provide products and services that meet their lifestyle needs. Retailers are already responding to these market trends moving from selling products to selling lifestyle, developing service packages tailored to customers needs. Life is getting ever more complex and people want their mobility to meet their needs not the other way round. This change is made possible by smart technology and the application of retailing, service design and traditional transportation skills.

Future mobility systems therefore open up significant new business opportunities for Scottish based companies. These opportunities include products and services related to vehicles, transportation systems and the movement of “things”. A key element is the mobility management systems that can sit at the core or take effect in a local domain to manage and monitor these three areas. These services deliver seamless, valued products and services to the user. They are the USP of smart mobility.

“A Day in the Life of Val” - An example of future intelligent mobility provision

To illustrate what such a system might look like I have developed a user case example. It is called a “Day in the Life of Val “. The user case shows how a range of value added services can be clustered around a basic mobility management service creating added value and generating new revenue streams.

It’s 7.00 am and Val gets ready for another day at work. First thing she does is ask her smartphone to check if her Mobility Manager (MM) has sent any messages about transport delays. She has a busy day today and needs the cities’ mobility systems to work for her. They are supposed to operate as one system but it’s as well to check. There is one message that says that all systems are working well. She has been sent a few offers as well where she can redeem the carbon credits she has accumulated by using public transport and the car and cycle clubs. She’ll look at these later.

She logs on to the Complete Mobility application on her smartphone to access her MM.

After breakfast and a read of the paper she heads off to the rail station to get the 8.00am train. She gets a message to say her train is on time. On arrival at the station she places her smartphone on the ticket machine and her presence is registered on the system. She then buys a drink and a snack, again using her mobility account on her smartphone. She uses her MM account because she gets loyalty points and carbon credits that can be used across the city for many services. She also gets a small discount in many shops.
As she boards the train the system notes her presence and adds carbon credits to her account. It also charges her for the train fare. Because she has given permission, her MM knows her profile, just like the local retailer, and knows what she needs. With that understanding of her needs and wants, the system offers Val the right services at the right time.

Future mobility up significant new business opportunities for Scottish based companies.

On the train she gets a message from her MM that there is a line problem before her usual station that is causing significant delays and she should get off at the station before. Val asks her MM what the interchange options are at that station to get her to the office on time. The MM gives her several options including when the next bus arrives, and options to order a taxi, book a car club car or book a bicycle. Val must make her meeting on time so she chooses to book her own taxi rather than share one with other MM club members on the train (she can check other member’s safety, security and trust credentials within the MM club gamification system). She trades in some loyalty points to ensure priority for her request and the system confirms her taxi will be there to meet her when she arrives. The discounted taxi rates add a little to the fare but is insignificant compared to the cost of being late for her meeting. She arrives at the office on time and uses her smartphone to access the building. Her employer pays the MM system for this security service.

At lunchtime Val looks at the offers her MM sent her that morning. She sees there is a lunch offer at a great restaurant nearby offering two meals for the price of one because she is a gold member of the MM Club. This level of membership costs more but Val considers it great value because of the privileges, offers and discounts she gets. She phones a friend and they have a great lunch together.

After lunch she needs to use one of the company’s car club cars. She books this through her MM and gets an immediate text telling her which car she has booked and the bay that it’s in. Before she sets off her smartphone automatically connects into the car system. She would normally tell the car where she wants to go and the car would take her there using the built-in autonomous driving mode. Today, however, she prefers to drive herself, still making use of the array of built-in, integrated sensory systems. As she is driving her car tells her the public car park she normally uses is almost full. However, there is a section that is bookable for MM members and there are spaces free but there will be a booking fee of £1.00 in addition to the parking fee. She agrees to the booking fee and gets a text telling her the space number that is booked.  As she drives to the car park her MM system tells her that there is congestion ahead and suggests a quicker route. She accepts this and the car’s built-in GPS guides her around the congestion. As she arrives at the car park her car communicates with the car park system that notes when she arrived. Her account will be charged based on the time she leaves the car park. In off peak she can get free parking using her loyalty points.

At the end of the working day she returns the car and goes to the health club for a work out and some relaxation. Because she is a member of the MM “social network” she gets free health insurance and a discounted membership fee for the Health Club. One of the other offers that she was sent in the morning was for a 50% discount on a spa and massage session if she used her MM account that day. That seemed like a great idea!

On the way home she buys some food using her MM account through her smartphone. At home, as dinner is cooking, she checks her MM account to make sure all is in order.
Tomorrow is Saturday and she is going out on her new bicycle for the first time. She used her MM account carbon credits to buy it. Val thinks - “how did I ever survive in the past without a smart mobility system and my personal Mobility Manager! “

Dr George McLean Hazel OBE is Smart Mobility Network Integrator at Scottish Enterprise

* “Megacity Challenges – A Stakeholder Perspective”. Report sponsored by Siemens, 2006.

By Dr George McLean Hazel OBE, Smart Mobility Network Integrator, Scottish Enterprise

Issue 8: January 2014


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