Department of Industrial Engineering and Management

Scalable platform solutions are not created in the mobility sector → Common rules and preconditions should be created for scalable solutions

The business objectives and incentives of operators in the mobility sector (public funding and market-based incentives) are difficult to reconcile when building platform-based mobility service solutions. Consequently, the operators strive to develop cooperation from their own technical and financial perspectives (e.g. service obligation, revenue models, interfaces). This restricts the scalability of the platform services and solutions to be developed.

Challenge: Scalable platform solutions are not created in the mobility sector

  • Public transport operators focus on their statutory obligations and the tasks assigned to them. This strongly influences their willingness to participate in the development of shared platforms.
  • Lack of scalable and profitable business models. The difficulties of finding a business model have a negative effect on operators’ willingness to participate in the joint development of platform-based solutions. Transport operators develop platform-based solutions responding to existing customer needs (e.g. VR, Matkahuolto). Customers have established mobility habits, and they are not prepared to pay for new services. MaaS platforms, which integrate different modes of mobility, have not yet fulfilled their market potential. Public transport subvention models complicate the creation of market-based platforms.
  • A fragmented field of operators does not add up to a critical number of users and producers for the platforms. The cost benefits and network impacts achieved through platform-type solutions require major initial investments. Finland’s small and fragmented market reduces the profitability of initial investments. There is a large number of minor operators (companies and municipalities) with limited resources for investing and organising services in the mobility sector. The public procurements of the central government and municipalities are often based on municipal and urban structures and consequently fragmented.

Recommendation: Common rules and preconditions should be created for scalable solutions

  • Common rules should be created. A neutral operator (such as Fintraffic, the Ministry of Transport and Communications or ITS Finland) is needed to facilitate the discussion between operators to establish common rules. In this discussion, we recommend results-based thinking in which the operators’ different needs and capabilities are taken into account (e.g. concrete benefits for business and the consumer). The aim of common rules and a shared understanding of the benefits is transitioning to new operating models (e.g. investments, cooperation projects). Cooperation can, for instance, take place through joint model interfaces and collaboration agreements concerning integration, data and digital infrastructure.
  • Co-development should be based on international market conditions. For example, cooperation projects should aim at accessing a mobility market that is common to all Europeans. National advocacy is needed to ensure fair market conditions at a European level (e.g. ITS Directive, AFi Directive; Gaia-x project; market requirements, VAT practices).
  • Preconditions should be created for developing scalable regional, national and international mobility service platforms. In this respect, it would be essential to create incentives that promote the involvement of an increasing number of parties in the development of platforms and services, making it possible to reach the necessary number of users and producers. We recommend that public procurements aim for the scaling of services across municipal and urban boundaries to achieve the critical level of demand and supply for the operation of platforms in cities and rural mobility services. We encourage public operators to engage in joint procurements, for example for service applications. We also recommend that public transport should be developed towards a model where all operators have the opportunity to participate in the innovation of services and the development of platform solutions on different levels of mobility (such as infrastructure, operation and service provision). However, the exact conditions for participation, such as decisions to finance public transport, are the domain of the competent authorities (e.g. the regulation on public passenger transport services).

Other challenges and recommendations

3D Lattice_research Luc Saint-Pierre_photo Valeria Azovskaya_Original.jpg

Data are unavailable or unsuitable for use cases → Common standards should be created, and customer needs should be made transparent

In the mobility sector, the data required for the development of platforms and concrete use cases are not yet shared sufficiently, or based on a common agreement.

Department of Industrial Engineering and Management
3D Lattice research Luc Saint-Pierre

There are a limited number of digital goods for common use → Ecosystem growth should be accelerated through initial investments and functional interfaces

There are not enough digital goods necessary for the development of new solutions and growth on mobility platforms.

Department of Industrial Engineering and Management

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Liikenne / kuva: Adolfo Vera

How should the platform economy be promoted in the mobility sector?

Can Finland take its place in the global growth market of smart mobility? The platform economy offers mobility sector companies a significant new opportunity for growth, internationalisation and finding solutions to the societal and environmental challenges of mobility. In this policy brief we present three recommendations related to innovation policy that support the development and growth of the platform economy in the mobility sector.

Department of Industrial Engineering and Management
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