The NZ Transport Agency has created the world's 1st open Mobility Marketplace using a real-time data processing platform.
Transport is on the cusp of a revolution. Technologies are not only changing the ways we travel (think ridesharing/carpool apps, autonomous vehicles and e-bikes) but also, what we expect when we travel.
People want live information about their transport choices that is connected across the network and personalised to them. They want to use their cell phones to connect with transport as easily as other choices they make and things they do, every day. However, transport information is often siloed and disconnected, making it impossible for customers, operators, providers and regulators to understand the full environment and make informed decisions.
Mobility as a Service aims to bring all modes of transport (public and private) together into one online place. A free and open mobility marketplace can enable a shift away from personally-owned modes of transport to using transport as a service when needed, both maximising the use of our existing physical infrastructure and contributing to Government objectives of providing a safe and sustainable transport network. By bringing all these different transport choices together, people will be able to view, compare, book and pay for their journey in one place – giving them the information they need to make transport decisions based on the things that are important to them.
The NZ Government has taken the lead in ensuring we are future proofing our transport network. In the same way Government leads the development of our physical infrastructure in the best interests of all New Zealanders, we also must lead the development of real-time digital infrastructure needed to connect existing and future transport services. While we cannot accurately predict what transport modes will be created in the future, we can begin to prepare for them now.
How does the technology work?
NZ Transport Agency has secured a real-time data processing platform through a partnership with Machine Zone. This platform is a stateless computer, meaning it does not store data from each interaction. As the platform is not slowed down by storing large amounts of data, it can process over 450 million pings of data, per second.
Using this platform as the backbone, we have created the world’s first open Mobility Marketplace. NZ’s Mobility Marketplace is the first time a government has provided the digital transport infrastructure needed to connect services and customers and opened it up to all legal transport providers.
Through strong partnerships and using open data principles we have brought buses, trains, taxis, shuttles and rideshare together into the Mobility Marketplace. To demonstrate the potential of this exciting technology, we developed two real-time apps, Choice (Queenstown) and RideMate (Auckland). These apps will help demonstrate the benefits of the Mobility Marketplace as we further develop the digital infrastructure for a national mobility as a service programme.
What is the future of the technology?
If we can connect the entire transport network through open, real-time data, we can create a more efficient journey for people that meet their individual needs. Imagine being able to compare, book and pay for any mode of transport, anywhere in New Zealand, through one app. We can use this system in a variety of ways, for example: real-time network optimisation, parking integration, dynamic pricing or even to incentivise active transport.
Real-time technologies are the future. For transport, it will enable us to prepare for the disruption of new and emerging technologies and, most importantly, to help people achieve the things they want to do in everyday life by creating great journeys for New Zealanders.
The Mobility Marketplace featured in the Digital Government Showcase, which was part of Digital 5 2018, the 4th annual gathering of the world's most advanced digital nations that NZ hosted in February 2018.