How does Vianova use MDS to help operators collaborate with municipalities?

How does Vianova use MDS to help operators collaborate with municipalities?

With the increasing demand for different mobility solutions and their increasing availability, municipalities are the first institutions to benefit from all these new ideas and service providers. Mobility Data Specification (MDS) is a digital tool created for their convenience. It helps municipalities to improve their management of public transportation. This tool is used by ATOM Mobility and many large micro-mobility operators to share ride and vehicle data. This time though the story is about Vianova, a company that goes a step further. This platform aggregates data from many operators and makes them available to municipalities in a visualized form that is easy to understand.

Every municipality should create the right mobility mix for its city. Usually, this is in order to rapidly replace individual cars. Interest from micro-mobility service providers is being regulated by cities with permits, tenders, and continually changing regulations, because, in relation to available parking places and safety, municipalities need to manage public spaces. However, fear of the potential mess resulting from free-floating micro-mobility still exists. What is the right number of vehicles that a city can afford to have? Operators are not interested in short-term collaborations, so what can they expect in the long term? They should plan their business ahead and they can even bring more added value to the city, for example, if they know that they can rely on integrating new means of transportation.

Towards better communication

Vianova is the leading mobility intelligence platform in Europe. The company provides mobility intelligence and mobility management tools to both cities and operators. It is possible for municipalities to see aggregated data from different mobility operators on dashboards so they can understand the utilization of services set up according to regulations. In addition, this data can be easily shared with operators and supervise fleet deployment in the city. “We've seen that this transparency and trust facilitates more direct communication that leads to better collaboration between operators and cities striving to deploy micro-mobility,” says Thibault Castagne, Co-Founder & CEO of Vianova.

Based on the data available, municipalities can plan new infrastructure deployments, draw up the right policies, and integrate micro-mobility into the overall mobility mix. This all can be done with the help of the appropriate analytics. “It is important to understand when, where and what vehicles are located to set up geofencing and mobility hubs, etc. Moreover, those in charge should make sure that everything works properly. In regard to safety - is the infrastructure set up in the right manner? Is there a need for new cycling lanes or speed limits? The mix of sustainability and mobility is really about understanding how these new services can be integrated into the city’s overall multimodal transport system and this is accomplished by understanding origin and destinations, interconnection with public transport, and so on. It can be achieved by sharing data,” says Thibault.

Creating regulations on the spot

The Vianova dashboard is available in a web app so it can be used on any web browser. Anyone with access can see the city view with all providers aggregated on one dashboard. If required, operators can even be contacted via the dashboard. City operators can keep track of violations. It is also possible to see fleet availability and vehicle rotation by district, sub-district, and even keep track of fleet size per provider.

“One very interesting feature is creating regulations,” explains Thibault. “It is possible to create new regulations straight on the map, for example, additional no-go zones. City representatives just have to click “plus” and indicate “I want to create a low-speed zone”. It will be possible to draw a particular zone that will be directly shared with operators. They will then receive an API. Through this API they will be able to continuously receive the city’s new regulations in a digital, machine-readable format that is easy to integrate with fleet management software.” In addition, full analytics reports are available detailing the number of trips per provider, the fleet size per provider, the device rotation and fleet availability, etc.

Operators can see their own mobility insights as well as regulations. They can obtain information about trips, helping them to identify what the most popular origins and most popular destinations are. Moreover, this data is even available for the last six months.

Here are a couple of examples of how cities took the insights provided by Vianova and turned them into very successful infrastructure changes. In Brussels, the city government uses trip telemetry to understand which routes are used by e-scooters and e-bikes the most all around the city. The new cycling lanes that were built after the investigation resulted in a five-fold increase in micro-mobility trips. A similar project that involved planning and management was implemented in Stockholm. New parking racks were built using data that helped to plan the installation, management, and availability.

Equal rights for everyone

However, even with the best data available for all parties, the question arises - is the competition between big micro-mobility players in the market like Void, Lion Bird, Spin, and small service providers fair? Is it even possible for smaller companies to enter the market? Thibault thinks that this is the toughest part of the discussion for municipalities. However, for small market players, it is not that complicated: “The truth is that the difference is not that big. I think that small operators should also show their track record or previous use cases of fleet operations, as well as demonstrate good collaboration with cities. This can provide these companies with the mandate to take part in this micro-mobility service competition. Furthermore, I think that smaller operators could be a better partner for the city because they turn out to be more focused on delivering the right service for that specific city.”

Vianova is a great partner for both operators and cities. The platform offers valuable insights that cities can then use to make their surroundings more sustainable and green by welcoming micro-mobility in a controlled manner.

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