What is Mobility on Demand: The Key to Sustainable Transportation
Transportation and mobility services are becoming increasingly important. They have a tremendous impact on several markets, particularly the healthcare industry. Their adoption means better and faster life-saving medical care for patients with urgent health issues.
Industry stakeholders are thus considering various transportation models. Mobility on demand (MOD) is quickly becoming one of the most popular innovations.
With MOD, people can access different transport options through one platform. They can choose the best mode of transportation based on convenience and cost.
But how does MOD work and what can it do for the transport industry?
What is Mobility on Demand?
MOD allows users to choose from different modes of transportation. Common options include public transport, bike-sharing, car-sharing, or ride-hailing services.
What are mobility services? Mobility services refer to transportation options that prioritize the needs of the user instead of the service provider. These services allow people to access different modes of transportation, such as public transport, bike-sharing, car-sharing, or ride-hailing services, through one platform. They can choose the best mode of transportation based on convenience and cost. Mobility services can be accessed through mobile devices and gadgets, including wearable devices. This gives users greater access to different types of transport other than public transit and provides more options to those with limited mobility or health issues. Another important factor is that mobility services focus on the user instead of the service provider which gives users the freedom to choose from a wider range of vehicles.
What are the Examples of Mobility on Demand?
Mobility on demand services are growing rapidly since more people look for flexible and convenient ways to get around. MoD services come in a variety of forms, ranging from ride-hailing apps to bike-sharing systems. Here are some examples of mobility on demand services:
- Ride-hailing services: allow users to request a ride from a driver through a mobile app. The driver arrives at the user’s location and takes them to their destination.
- Car-sharing services: allow users to rent a car on demand for short periods of time, usually by the hour. Users can reserve the car through a mobile app and then pick it up from a designated location.
- Bike or scooter-sharing services: provide users with access to bicycles that can be rented for short periods of time. Users can pick up a bike or scooter from a designated location and then return it to another location when they’re done, it’s extremely popular in big cities where people commute a lot.
- Microtransit services: provide on-demand transportation in small vehicles, such as vans or shuttles. Users can request a ride through a mobile app and then be picked up at their location and taken to their destination. I wrote a separate blog post that covered what is microtransit.
Why is MOD Important?
MOD is now seen as a possible solution to certain issues in the transport industry. One of its main selling points is the wide array of choices it gives commuters who need to go from point A to point B. This reduces the reliance on modes of transportation which may be congested and not as convenient.
Also, it can reduce congestion on the road, fuel consumption, and carbon footprint. With the addition of electronic and hybrid vehicles, sustainability becomes an even more significant and relevant theme for MOD.
On-demand mobility is also important because it gives passengers equity on the road. People have greater access to different types of transport other than public transit. This becomes all the more important for those with limited mobility or health issues, especially post-COVID.
Role of Technology in Enabling Mobility Services
Technology, its implementation, and use are vital for the development and widespread distribution of MOD. Various types of solutions can be used to encourage its adoption. These include:
Internet of Things (IoT)
The internet is vital for MOD platforms to function. Connectivity is necessary to ensure that the platform can connect users wherever they may be. It also enables them to use the technology on any device regardless of their location.
Mobile App Technology
The rapid growth of the mobile app industry has made MOD available to all kinds of users. These apps can help MOD transport providers book rides, track vehicles, and passengers, or use the app to accept payments.
GPS Tracking and Mapping Technology
Using global positioning systems (GPS) to track vehicles and map out routes can help MOD provide real-time information about road and traffic conditions. GPS also provides visibility when it comes to rider and driver locations as well as vehicle availability.
Combining MOD with data analytics can improve transport operations. It can also improve customer services and marketing campaigns. Data from analytics helps operators identify areas of improvement and make data-driven decisions.
Challenges and Opportunities for Mobility on Demand in the Post-Pandemic Era
MOD has become a viable and relevant option in the post-pandemic era. But it presents many challenges and opportunities that need to be addressed. Transport providers are using opportunities like iSI Technology and challenges to continuously roll out relevant features and improvements in their services.
Declining Demand for Travel
Since the pandemic, more companies have been offering remote work arrangements for their staff. This has reduced public transport demands compared to previous years.
Demand for Added Hygiene and Health Protocols
Social distancing and lockdowns have also made people more careful when it comes to traveling. They prefer transport vehicles that have established safety protocols for passengers and drivers.
MODs thus have to introduce additional equipment and health safety measures. These include personal protective equipment (PPEs), and social distancing measures. These additional protocols can increase the financial burden on transport providers.
Saturation of the MOD Market
The rising popularity and demand of the mobile app industry have saturated the market. One of the challenges that MODs face is the sheer number of apps offering MODs. Even transport providers that offer superior MOD services can find it hard to compete in such a market.
Demand for Better Patient Care
Another challenge for MOD is the rising demand for better patient care in facilities and transport vehicles offering urban mobility. Transport providers will have to add new guidelines and measures so their vehicles cater to the needs of patients.
MOD can be an expensive option for some passengers. Transport providers have to find ways to offer competitive rates that passengers find affordable. They are also challenged to find more options that can satisfy their target market.
Different Modes of Transport are Now Accepted as Part of Healthcare Transport
More healthcare facilities are opening different types of mobility as a service (MaaS). Many transport providers are seeing more patients considering various kinds of transport modes for their treatment post-pandemic.
Prioritization of Public Health and Safety
Governments are now prioritizing public health and safety post-pandemic. They are focusing on sustainability and accessibility which allows MODs to offer their services to more healthcare facilities.
AI-driven Technology To Improve Mobility Options
Artificial intelligence (AI) makes MOD faster and more efficient. Facilities and transport operators can leverage technology to plan routes for their on-demand transportation services. It can also be used to improve the maintenance of vehicles and offer a selection of transportation options.
Focusing on Sustainability Steers Stakeholder Efforts Toward Mobility
Transport operators, healthcare organizations, facilities, and governments are exploring sustainable methods to provide transport. MODs are the most popular option as they produce lower carbon footprints while being cost-effective.
Future of Mobility on Demand: Trends and Predictions
These opportunities reveal that MOD can make a considerable impact in the post-COVID era. But it must address the challenges and provide solutions. Using the latest technologies and the cooperation of all stakeholders in the non-emergency medical transport industry (NEMT) has the potential to make MOD the future of transportation.
Here are some rising trends and predictions for the future of MOD:
Adoption of Sustainable Vehicles
Hybrid and electronic vehicles (EVs) have become very popular for those who are committed to sustainability. MOD can make EVs more affordable and more widely used, especially along specific routes. This could lead to lower operating costs, less fuel use, and improved efficiency.
Integration With Public Transport Options
MODs can also be used to provide more public transport options. This gives passengers more choices on how to reach their destination. It also offers easy transfers for passengers who may combine other modes of transport with public transit. This can reduce congestion on roads as they do not need to use private vehicles to reach their destination.
Growth of NEMT Industry
Alongside popular apps like Uber, Lyft, and Curb, we’re seeing more specialized services like NEMT software emerging. This will continue to happen because ridesharing services cannot provide mobility as a service substitution for NEMT services that have specialized equipment, wheelchair-accessible vehicles that can transport wheelchair or stretcher passengers, can add an attendant when needed.
More Efficient Routes and Trips
MODs with real-time GPS tracking and route planning will be more efficient on the road. Passengers will find that their trips are faster while drivers will find it easier to plan and schedule trips.
More Customized Trips and Schedules
Passengers and drivers will have the ability to choose their schedules and routes. This customization can improve the working conditions for drivers and make transportation more convenient for riders since they can order vehicles on demand. Additionally, drivers can also select areas that they prefer to drive in.
Because riders have more choices, they have various modes of transportation to choose from at different price points. Companies and passengers will feel the effects of this trend sooner than others. The variety of travel options can also pull rates down as more travel modes become available.
Mobility on Demand: The Future of Transport is Happening
The MOD revolution is already taking place, but it is still in its initial stages. With the rise of apps offering ride-sharing, hailing, dispatching, and other transport services, more passengers are seeing better options, especially those who don’t have their own vehicles.
For now, these apps can only be accessed through individual software. MOD can make them all available in one program. This allows users to more conveniently explore their transportation options in a convenient way.
MOD’s focus on the user makes it the most adaptable form of transport technology. It can suit a large organization or the preferences of an individual. They also have the option of combining private transport modes with public transport, creating a seamless transportation experience.