If you want to go from A to B, you have a number of options. You can go by foot, bike, car or public transport. Of course, there are other modes of transportation like boats and planes but let’s imagine that you want to travel from Amsterdam to Rotterdam. You can go online to see what the possibilities for public transport are, times the trains go, if there might be a bus, taxi, flight or rideshare to get you on your journey. Just go to Google Maps and there you have it. But what if you actually want to get a bus, taxi or rideshare?
Mobility as a Service
Here Mobility has come up with the solution to that question. The Mobility marketplace where all stakeholders can sign up and offer their services. Many markets are dominated by big players like Uber and Lyft with little room for others. In their marketplace, Here Mobility let big and small mobility players sign up to be a partner and connect to people who want or need a mobility solution. Taxi and rideshare apps can offer their services to the marketplace where they can be found and used by organizations who want to offer a one stop shop. Imagine that your next flight out of Schiphol using your favorite airline suddenly offers a service to get you from your hotel, office or house, all the way to your end destination, using a multimodality of transport. The airline does the flying part but the ecosystem partners do the rest. That is what they call Mobility as a Service. But it is also Hotels, Retail, Restaurants and Stadiums that can be partners since that can offer services to the users. These services can be sleeping, shopping, eating or going to a concert.
Using the capabilities of the internet and APIs, you can build a seamless experience from one central place. Any delays on a flight can be communicated with the driver of the taxi to inform him or her about the new arrival time. Since they are now chain partners, this is possible to do and with less work than in separate engagements. It also offers choice between mobility modalities. Take a look at this video to get an idea of what it could look like.
Driven by APIs
Whenever you develop something like a marketplace, regardless of a purely intra company market place or one, like Here Mobility’s market place, you will need integration technology. I am talking about Enterprise Service Bus capabilities to connect systems that are perhaps less state of the art and use for instance SOAP rather than rest or where some mediation or transformation is needed to make the connection and transactions possible. But I am also talking, of course about APIs. Just look at the Here Mobility Platform overview on Github. A quick glance will show you that they are building an extensive API library that will support all stakeholders.
This sort of services makes me smile, big time. Because it shows that we can improve on mobility using technology, making it more sustainable, easier to use and more comfortable and safe.
Managed, Monitored and Monetized
When you read the API documentation you will see that there are restrictions like the number of invocations and so on. Of course, for a platform like this (but really for any use of APIs) you need security that only the REAL user can access the APIs and the information it provides.
So, what we need is a top-notch API management solution to make sure that only those people are allowed to have access to the API actually do have access. Allow a specific number of calls to make sure systems are able to keep up (circuit breakers), manage access to services including revoking of access and so on.
Do you want to read how transit agencies become a transit agency of the future and how APIs plays an important role in that? Download the white paper below. We explain how you can deploy sensors, streaming data, data-analytics, APIs and smartphones to provide you and your riders with the information needed to provide optimal rider experience. We tell you about helpful tools, the role of the transit data platform and we share integration tips.