This week I participated at the @Vienna MaaS conference
( organized by Accilium ( With over 150 participants from diverse backgrounds including the automotive industry, public transport, city planning, energy, data management and analytics and many more the panel discussions, break-out workshops and coffee break small talks were extremely insightful.

My 9 key takeaways from the first day of the conferences are (in order of appearance during the day):

  1. We lose on average up to 200 hours of our lives being stuck in traffic jam … I hope these hours are put to good use of listening to radio, being on the phone with our Mum or just thinking about life … at least we’re off our phones for a while so maybe it’s not a bad thing after all.
  2. Car possession is expected to continue growing by 4% between today and 2030 (EU average) … this is quite alarming and happening despite the multiple efforts to reduce individual transport.
  3. The only way to beat private car use is to cut costs of alternative modes significantly while making them as simple as driving your own car. A double-challenge not easy to address, but the only way to go apart from relying on over-regulation.
  4. If we want to address the mobility problem, the transport sector is not the only one in charge. Better cooperation beyond mobility is the only way to create the “Mobilitätswende” … think new ways of working, rethinking education and work environments.
  5. Shockingly, the notion of ‘client’ or even ‘user’ was largely absent from the conversation. Many panels turn around abstract concepts, the optimisation of information systems or data management etc. but there is a clear lack of use cases or simply taking on the client perspective … we need to ask better questions if we want transformation to happen: what does mobility mean to citizens? How does mobility connect with their lives? What do they value? How are their lives changing and how they engage with their friends, family and colleagues?
  6. We are used to think in trade-offs such as ‘data privacy vs. convenience’ or ‘cost vs. experience’ … but this is a too easy way out. We need to start addressing these issues not in an 'either-or' but rather in an ‘and-and’ mindset … improving convenience while ensuring data privacy, driving down costs while providing a fluid and simple experience … otherwise we will end up opposing fundamental needs such as mobility and security as if we had to choose to either die or stay home all day.
  7. Still almost nobody really understands what value the blockchain, AI and the Internet of Things are supposed to provide, both independently and even more as combined or integrated concepts … this connects with the absence of use case thinking, it would really be helpful to understand some very practical examples of how all that shiny new stuff creates value for real people.
  8. Although we have a Smart phone penetration of almost 70% in most European countries, some incumbents still use the ‘fact’ that not all citizens have smart phones as an excuse to their incapacity to obtain the data they need to provide smart services to their customers.
  9. Upstream’s @Birke Reinhard raised a really interesting question of ‘do we want that mobility is a business’? which I find in particular in the current context of the increasingly pressing impacts of the climate and the environmental crisis an interesting and very valid point. More generally, his presentation about the Public MaaS model of Upstream is a great example of how new business models based on a public integrated information platform can drive the mobility transformation.

Finally, a big thumbs-up to the moderators of the event @ @ who guided the audience in a very refreshing, informed, informal and frankly quite funny way through the day. Another proof that “Wien is really Anders”. 

I’m happy to catch up in a more detailed conversation with anyone whose interested in sharing views and insights on this highly transformative topic of Mobility as a Service, just drop me a line.

Martin Mayer
Co-founder YouMeO and Course Facilitator #DisruptedFutures Em Lyon