SCP E94 Mobility as a Service to rival private car ownership, with Sampo Hietanen

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In this episode of the Smart Community Podcast, Zoe speaks with Sampo Hietanen, the Founder and CEO at Maas Global, the world’s first Mobility-as-a-Service company. Zoe and Sampo discuss his background in transport planning and what sparked his interest in the Smart Community space, as well as how Finland is embracing Smart Concepts, including working towards a life where citizens don’t actually NEED a car. Sampo explains what “Mobility as a Service” is, and how his company MaaS Global came to be. He also shares a bit about its success in a relatively short period of time in Finland, and the plans to go live in other cities in the world, including Sydney. Zoe and Sampo explore why Mobility as a Service can only work when there is integration across different suppliers and systems and the importance of building trust with both the end user and mobility providers in order to facilitate that integration. They finish the conversation talking about the question we really should be asking about mobility in our communities, and how cities can be a part of that. As always, we hope you enjoy listening to this episode as much as we enjoyed making it.

Listen here:

What we cover in this episode:

  • Sampo’s background in transport planning and civil engineering, and what sparked his interest in this Smart Mobility space
  • What a Smart Community means to him and why it’s so important
  • How Finland is embracing these Smart Concepts, and in particular moving towards a life where you don’t need a car
  • What Mobility as a Service is and how it competes with car ownership
  • How MaaS Global came to be, their success so far in Finland and the plans to go live in several other cities in the world
  • Why Mobility as a Service can only work when there is integration across different suppliers and systems
  • The importance of building trust with both the end user and mobility providers in order to facilitate that integration
  • The question we really should be asking about mobility in our communities
  • The second chance cities have now to create places that are good for people, business and the environment

Quotes:

“If you have a car you have access to everywhere. This is great for the individual but the infrastructure needed if everybody wants and needs to pursue the same dream just becomes quite, the whole city outlook and the way that it’s constructed after that, does not fulfil our dream of the city. You like to connect, you like your car, but you don’t like all those motorways next to your house.”

“We treat the traffic in the same format as we do waste water: we put people and these cars in the pipes and we think that’s how it works, but people are much harder to manage than water.”

“The whole idea [of Mobility as a Service] is to be able to have enough fall-backs, have enough supply, enough density in the supply and then enough versatile supply to be able to guarantee the end user that yes, we can take care of all your journeys.”

“When you go and buy your car you’re not thinking about your next drive, you’re not thinking about your next week’s ride, you’re thinking a year ahead. So unless we as MaaS operators can guarantee that we can take care of all your rides for a year, we’re not really there, we’re not as big in the minds of people as owning a car.”

“[Building trust] is a much tougher game because we have to be really good for the end user, focus on them, but at the same time…only by the [other mobility providers] trusting us enough to allow us to integrate them can we actually even have a product.”

“I think that the biggest question for Smart Cities but also for world economic growth for the next decades is ‘What will be big enough to compare with car ownership?’ I don’t think we’re yet there.”

Connect:

Find the full show notes as: www.mysmart.community

Connect with Sampo www.maas.global or email sampo.hietanen@maas.global or on Twitter and LinkedIn

Connect with me via email: hello@mysmart.community

Connect via LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook @smartcommpod

The Smart Community Podcast is produced by Ellen Ronalds Keene.

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