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Integrated mobility services will contribute to fewer car journeys

Is integrating mobility services the future? Right now, many claim it, says Göran Smith, Industrial PhD student at K2, conducting research on the phenomenon.

Göran Smith has an engineering degree in industrial design from Chalmers and has previously been an industrial researcher at RISE Viktoria research institute. Now he is employed as a regional developer and industrial graduate student in Västra Götaland, in cooperation with Chalmers and K2.

Göran says that the basic idea behind integrated mobility services, also called Mobility as a Service, is about connecting the supply from several different actors.

The idea aims to tie together all possible transport services, ranging from traditional public transport to taxis, pool cars, rental cars, rental bikes, to common offers.

Göran also tells us that the hope is that integration will make it easier to access transport services.

- The idea is to complement each other so that they together provide a wider range that better can compete with privately owned cars.

Göran Smith är doktorand vid K2

Do you think that integrated mobility services are the future?

- Many hope for it. I think it will be part of the future. Ordinary public transport will definitely excist, but I think integrated mobility services can help those people where public transport is not really enough. It can then make it easier for them to use service-based travel methods instead of buying a car and then locking in the travel-like way it provides.

So far only a concept

Göran is studying the development of these services in Sweden, but also Finland, Norway and Denmark.
- What I've found so far is that it's much new at the same time. Among other things, cooperation between actors who have not cooperated previously is required for integrated mobility services to become a reality. It makes it quite difficult.

Göran says that integrated mobility services have so far been a concept and there are few good examples to strive towards or learn from. Whether there is a demand is also uncertain.

- More tests are required to prove it. We had a successful pilot in Gothenburg in 2014 and some tests are taking place in, for example, Finland, England and Germany. However, demand and effect are still very little known. It's the most speculation so far.

New perspectives and viewpoints

As an employee of the Västra Götaland region, Göran's research questions are based on the issues they have, that is, how they can support integrated mobility services, while ensuring that development contributes to society's goals.

- At the same time, I go from an innovation perspective, and I hope that more types of players can use my results. From cities to start-ups that want to enter this industry.

What Göran thinks is fun to research is the quest to actually understand the phenomenon and causal relationship, then share that knowledge to everyone, not just to a specific company.

- You are never completely impartial, but research is about evaluating things from an impartial perspective and understanding something for everyone to benefit from it. Then I think research methods and theories are useful for giving a greater perspective and new viewpoints on what is happening.