Moovel, the navigation platform from Daimler Financial Services, will launch a “marketplace” allowing transit authorities to bundle their transportation services with third-party mobility offerings and integrate them into single-price passes.
Moovel users will be able to book and pay for services through the app. Transport modes covered include buses and rail as well as privately-owned car-sharing, ride-hailing and bike-sharing services.
Speaking at the InnoTrans 2018 trade conference in Berlin, Moovel chief executive officer Daniela Gerd tom Markotten said: “As a mobility-as-a-service [MaaS] pioneer, we are proud to be launching another digital innovation into the marketplace. The digital marketplace offers a range of advantages to cities and transit authorities, helping with the transformation into a mobility provider across all modes of transport.”
The offer will start out in Berlin, Amsterdam and Barcelona. Moovel currently has 5.4m users, according to Daimler, an increase of 67% over the past 12 months. The app is not yet available in the UK, where rival app Citymapper has already a substantial presence and has also been trying to position itself as a mobility-as-a-service platform.
The launch of a marketplace for bundles has the potential to make Moovel the main point of access for the plethora on mobility services on the market. It marks a step-up in Daimler’s strategy to become an integrated mobility providers, beyond its core business as a carmaker. The company’s captive finance unit, which is spearheading the company’s reinvention, will rebrand to Daimler Mobility next year.
Daimler is also looking to set up a joint venture with BMW’s own mobility unit by next year. If approved by relevant competition authorities, the team-up would mark a turning point for a sector that has seen high competition, little consolidation, and is for most players still unprofitable.
The bundle marketplace would work not unlike Finnish government-backed Whim, which operates in Helsinki government and also has a presence in the UK in Birmingham. Societe Generale’s ALD Automotive, one of the fleet and leasing providers most adamant in its shift to MaaS company, has partnered with Whim to include its car-sharing network on the platform.
In addition to its potential among consumers, mobility-as-a-service is being looked at with interest by fleet and business rental providers looking for alternatives to company cars. Rental group Sixt launched a bundled mobility offer for corporate clients, giving employees access to both rented vehicles and a budget for alternative mobility.