Globally, the role of mobility is evolving, and Japan is at the forefront of innovative transport solutions for a more sustainable future.
Age – both young and old – is one of the key drivers for the shift in mobility models. As people get older, they need new ways to get around, particularly alternatives to driving. While public transport is an option, it’s not always reliable and can be particularly scarce in rural areas. At the other end of the scale, the younger generation have grown up in a mobile-first environment. They want mobility solutions instantly, when they need them.
Mobility as a service (MaaS) originated in Finland, and is growing in popularity in many parts of the world. Growing demand for efficient transportation and rapid urbanization boost the market growth globally. Why its popularity? It can reduce travel times, costs, and emissions. It can even give individuals a stream of income, in the case of car-lending services.
Transportation in Japan has been recognized as the most precise, safe, and optimized with broad coverage. Taking urgent action for more eco-friendly driving is a primary focus for auto insurers, fleets, and mobility services in Japan, and MaaS models are addressing this demand. MaaS is also fulfilling a shift in consumer attitudes, as many Asian consumers seek alternatives to traditional vehicle ownership.
With so much demand for MaaS models, there are emerging opportunities for automotive companies and insurers to support mobility platforms. For example, Toyota’s new mobility arm KINTO Japan developed the Warikan KINTO app, a car-sharing service, using Greater Than’s artificial intelligence (AI) technology. Warikan KINTO is a free service for all KINTO One customers and offers an easy way for users to share their car between friends and family.
Other automotive companies are seeking to capitalize on new mobility. This might result in them establishing business relationships with mobility providers or launching their own car subscription services include insurance and maintenance. This will address consumers’ desires to use, not own, vehicles.
The EU and Japan have the shared ambition of net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. MaaS is supporting this drive to a “green society”. In 2022, Sompo Japan Insurance Inc, one of Japan’s leading insurance providers, announced they will use Greater Than’s AI to develop new services integrated with mobility and CO2 analysis to reinforce their position at the forefront of developing customer-centric products that support a more sustainable future.
Mobility providers can use this same AI technology to understand crash probability and climate impact. AI enables mobility companies to identify the impact every driver has on the environment, price the driver accordingly and actively reduce emissions.
Fixed prices are incompatible with the new mobility model of the future, and this is where AI comes in. Traditionally, insurance pricing is connected to a particular car and its owner. In today’s new mobility environment, fixed prices are an outdated method of payment. Customers don’t want to pay for something when they’re not using it. By recognizing this insurers can boost their profitability. Similarly, if mobility providers can change their insurance fees internally, they can save money.
Thanks to AI machine learning, mobility providers can link prices to usage rather than ownership. This is important in pricing new mobility insurance because one vehicle can be used by multiple drivers at different times, each potentially managing and operating the car differently. One driver, for example, may drive fewer miles, but be at higher risk of a crash than another driver.
MaaS is changing the consumer relationship with brands. In the new mobility environment, customers have less loyalty to auto manufacturers, and more to mobility providers. Therefore, user experience is particularly important in new mobility. A seamless customer experience can attract and retain customers. This is where loyalty programs based on rewards and bonuses come into their own.
Gamification, scoring, and in-app feedback functions are all important features for mobility providers. The latest AI technology that enables customer-centric solutions is proving appealing to MaaS providers, particularly those in Japan who want to reward safe, eco-friendly driving.
As MaaS competition grows in new markets, it will become more important to provide hassle-free customer solutions.
Those that adopt AI technology will have the upper hand in offering fair, competitive, engaging solutions. AI gives MaaS providers a new level of understanding for dynamic pricing and greater control over risk and insurance costs. At the same time, it enables customer-centric solutions that reward safer, cleaner driving.
MaaS is already transforming the way people travel, and Japan is demonstrating how innovation is meeting consumer needs. With AI, MaaS providers the world over can join the drive.