Can MaaS offer legally what Uber set out to do illegally?
Uber is shedding senior execs like a snowman on a sun diet. Even the CEO is gone now. Its company culture may be beyond repair due to the business model being based on illegality. Is there still something good about the product? Sure — the ease and cost-effiency of personal transport that Uber set out solve […]
Uber is shedding senior execs like a snowman on a sun diet. Even the CEO is gone now. Its company culture may be beyond repair due to the business model being based on illegality. Is there still something good about the product? Sure — the ease and cost-effiency of personal transport that Uber set out solve is still a formidable goal.
If we filter out the unfair advantages (i.e. those gained through illegal means), Uber is good at offering you a ride that’s typically well available and maybe more convenient to order than most taxis. Although, for instance in Finland this is just the other way around. Uber availablity is bad or non-existent and there are decent taxi apps such as Valopilkku, Kovanen and Kyyti. If you still prefer driving yourself, OP Kulku will lease you an electric vehicle. Even washing the car and changing tires can be included in the price. Or if your transportation needs can be counted in minutes and not hours per week, DriveNow’s business model will probably appease you more.
The best way of getting there (and back)?
Overall, we’re talking about a trend towards Mobility as a Service (or MaaS). Often times you mostly care about getting from place A to place B, only defining the level of comfort and style. Autonomous car fleets are one attempt at getting closer to this goal. Even the likes of BMW are getting in the game, and Google-backed Waymo will most likely beat troubled Uber to it anyways.
Aggregation of the different services has already started. Whim, by the company MaaS Global, is one of the apps offering ubiquitous travel options for a fixed monthly fee. Whim is currently live both in Finland and the UK. Qixxit is a well-backed attempt in Germany, yet doesn’t seem to offer the same level of convenience yet.
It’s not a small feat to offer real mobility as a service. Most of today’s transportation companies need to be tied in, one way or the other. It’s a question of coming up with perfect routing and a credits-based, Spotify-like business model where the middleman can actually make a buck and not eat too much into the earnings of the companies actually handling the transportation. If the price is right, a subscription model will work well with consumers anyways. Combined, these developments make Uber’s future look rather gloomy on all fronts.