Travel apps, electric bicycles and connected transport systems – Scania’s new mobility service should streamline journeys to and from work as well as journeys within the Scania site at its head office in Södertälje. The service is due to be launched next year.
Traffic jams and lack of parking spaces – there are several challenges when it comes to mobility for both cities and companies. In addition to the environmental strain, traffic issues also lead to productivity losses when employees and citizens are held up in queues and looking for parking.
To make the transport system more efficient, the team behind Scania Sustainable City Solutions is currently working on the introduction of a mobility service in Södertälje that links together all modes of transport between Scania buildings and hopefully also public transport. In addition, a completely new mode of transport is being introduced at the company – electric bicycles. The hope is that a more efficient and easily planned travel system will get more people to leave their cars at home and will benefit employees, Scania as a company and the municipality of Södertälje.
“We’ve got a wonderful playing field to use in Södertälje with the in-house transport systems at Scania, both to gain knowledge about mobility services and also to improve access to public transport for employees,” says Camilla Lood, Head of Project Management. “It’s exciting that we’re also adding electric bicycles as a new mode of transport, even though we’re starting on a small scale.”
Johan Palmqvist, Head of Business Development, details the “pain points” for users when it comes to commuting: lack of information, the reliability of the transport and uncertainty regarding arrival time. “We see a trend where big companies create their own transport systems because the existing ones just aren’t good enough,” he says. “This is a business opportunity for Scania.”
Digitised transport system
To get Mobility as a Service to take off, both analysing and understanding barriers such as business models, commercial relations, data security and behavioural changes amongst the users is needed.
“In the project at Scania we’re using an app to link together Scania’s own commuter buses that run between Stockholm and Södertälje, the minibuses that traffic the Scania area, the in-house taxis, electric bikes and hopefully also public transport to make it easy for employees to get to and from work and also move around the company more efficiently,” says Lood.
The app is a way of digitising the travel system when the timetables are currently only available on the company’s intranet and there is no real-time information.
“The idea is that you should be able to use the travel app to travel all the way from Stockholm to the building you are going to in Södertälje,” Lood says. “You should be able to see the time you will arrive at your destination in roughly the same way as you do with the Stockholm Public Transport app.”
Palmqvist says, “Departure time and tickets should easily be reached on the phone and the users should be able to see the vehicle’s position to know if it will arrive on time or not. At a future second stage we hope to make transport needs-driven rather than timetable-driven.”
Partnership for smart solutions
In order for everything to fit together, cooperation with outside parties is required.
“The Royal Institute of Technology and the Integrated Transport Research Lab are working on understanding users’ needs and requirements,” Lood says. “Veridict is also involved in the project and is building the back-end system where the vehicles and also the app are linked together. The project is partly financed by Drive Sweden.”
The idea is to learn as much as possible in order to sell similar solutions in the future to other companies where lots of employees also commute.
“We see a need for mobility for many big employers and conduct this project to learn more about business relations between the stakeholders, user behaviour and travelling patterns to create a system that is attractive and more efficient than the present one,” says Palmqvist.
Lood comments: “Mobility as a Service is a hot topic now. At Scania we have a unique opportunity to test such systems since we control the operation of our own transport system.“
The mobility project will become a reality in Södertälje in spring 2018.
“We hope to be able to launch the service in April next year,” says Lood. “We are hoping to get a test group started in January.”