Decentralising journey planning for MaaS solutions

Posted: 26 November 2018 | | No comments yet

Mobility-as-a-Service (MaaS) is a vision for how transport can be orchestrated to meet a user’s travel needs. Caution Your Blast have developed a technology, Smart Routing, that underpins this vision placing users at the centre of MaaS.

Smart Routing is a technology for door-to-door journey planning, designed to be an underpinning component of MaaS. Our approach shifts the work of transport journey planning by resolving multi-modal routes on a user’s device – not on server infrastructure (cloud or otherwise). This allows the user to orchestrate transport options around their needs.

And, it provides a missing piece of the puzzle for MaaS. Rather than being shoehorned into a travel agent/broker model with up-front obligations around data-sharing and inherent constraints of geographical reach, or commercial license, the user is in control of their planning and subsequent provider choices and relationships.

In contrast, the current server-based approach to route planning presents barriers for MaaS as it is costly, it is difficult to scale reliably, it only offers limited geographical reach, it requires data protection for the users’ travel data, and it adds a further layer between the service provider and the end user.

 Smart Routing supports MaaS: 

  • It is cost-effective
    Smart Routing has very low (~zero) infrastructure overheads; 100,000 queries per day and above would have infrastructure overheads of less than £1,000 per annum.

This compares to our estimate that for 100,000 queries per day, the infrastructure operating overheads for a centralised approach would exceed £1 million per annum. 

  • Scales easily and reliably
    Smart Routing offers massive performance scaling by design; every new query is resolved using the power of the users own device.

The traditional centralised approach requires demand forecasting. In times of transport disruption demand will spike, meaning that all aspects of the service infrastructure need to be designed and maintained for extreme failure scenarios, again at significant cost and business risk.

  • Delivers geographic reach
    With Smart Routing increasing geographic reach does not compound costs, complexity or risks; geographic reach is limited only by transport data availability.

With the traditional approach the costs, scaling issues, as well as risks of complexity, compound together when journey distances increase; as a result, MaaS providers must currently limit their offering by geographical reach.

  • Guarantees data security and privacy
    With Smart Routing personal data is not processed outside of the users own device; as a result data security risks are almost entirely eliminated.

With the traditional approach technology providers must process personal travel data; as a result, secure data protection practises and policies are required, driving up overheads and business risks. 

  • Directly supports Operator-Customer relationships
    Smart Routing easily supports direct-to-consumer relationships between the user and multiple different transport operators.

With the traditional approach a planning technology provider is in a centralised broker role which allows them to exploit customer and industry relationships if and when commercially advantageous over that of transport operators.

In summary, Smart Routing is a low-cost commodity transport journey planning technology to meet the vision of MaaS.

We make this available as an OEM software library for any operating system. Our approach puts the user at the heart of transport, connecting them directly to services that meet their needs, while maintaining their data privacy.