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Mobility as a service (MaaS) is a type of service that, through a joint digital channel, enables users to plan, book, and pay for multiple types of mobility services. The concept describes a shift away from personally-owned modes of transportation and towards mobility provided as a service. This is enabled by combining transportation services from public and private transportation providers through a unified gateway that creates and manages the trip, which users can pay for with a single account. Users can pay per trip or a monthly fee for a limited distance. The key concept behind MaaS is to offer travelers mobility solutions based on their travel needs.
Travel planning typically begins in a journey planner. For example, a trip planner can show that the user can get from one destination to another by using a train/bus combination. The user can then choose their preferred trip based on cost, time, and convenience. At that point, any necessary bookings (e.g. calling a taxi, reserving a seat on a long-distance train) would be performed as a unit. It is expected that this service should allow roaming, that is, the same end-user app should work in different cities, without the user needing to become familiar with a new app or to sign up to new services. Together with other emerging vehicular technologies such as automated driving, connected cars and electric vehicles, MaaS is contributing to a new type of future mobility, which is autonomous, connected, electric and shared vehicles.