Sustainable mobility with AI: How to create sustainable business models for travel and transport

Artificial Intelligence (AI) can help to intelligently network transport systems, making them more flexible, economical and sustainable. This is accompanied by completely new business models. For an intelligently networked transport area to succeed, AI-based mobility platforms must connect companies of all sizes and sectors. This is the central result of a current white paper of Plattform Lernende Systeme. The authors show how travel and transport companies can adapt their business to the digital age and present possible AI-based solutions - from intelligent ports to last mile delivery robots and valet parking. They outline the framework conditions to be created in order to realise sustainable AI business models in the mobility sector.

Download the white paper (executive summary)

With the help of AI systems, people will in future be able to move from one place to another in a more resource-efficient way without having to sacrifice flexibility or speed. Artificial Intelligence makes it possible, for example, to plan a trip with different forms of mobility such as bus, train and ridesharing on one platform in just one booking step. This makes public transport more attractive and relieves the burden on transport systems and the environment. Freight transport can also be made sustainable in an intelligently networked transport area. Through more precise and better coordinated supply chains, suppliers can save costs, improve their services and reduce their ecological footprint. How exactly AI can improve travel and transport in the future is illustrated by Plattform Lernende Systeme in its application scenario (in German). The scenario is the starting point for the analysis of the current white paper.

"When Artificial Intelligence takes me from A to B: The future of mobility is networked, individualised and intermodal. AI systems will change the mobility sector and, with it, the value creation of economic actors in the long term. Along the mobility chain from A to B, from supplier to customer, companies will cooperate in new, economically sustainable ecosystems. Networking and intelligent data use will become a key driver for new business models," says the white paper's co-author, Susanne Boll-Westermann, Professor of Media Informatics and Multimedia Systems at the University of Oldenburg and head of the Business Model Innovations working group of Plattform Lernende Systeme.

Creating framework conditions

For AI-based business models to become reality, the players in the transport system must have the right framework conditions in place. The AI systems must be able to access the necessary data of appropriate quality, which is rarely available from one provider alone. The authors therefore consider intelligent and AI-based mobility platforms, on which providers of different forms of mobility can share data and competencies, to be particularly important. These platforms would have to involve traditional players such as public transport providers, car manufacturers and car sharing companies as well as traffic flow monitoring companies, mobile phone providers or payment service providers.

By cooperating on the mobility platforms, companies can expand their offerings and serve entirely new target groups and markets. The important thing is that the platforms must represent economic added value for all participants. To achieve this, all participants must abandon the assumption that data is always available and free of charge, says the white paper. The authors also suggest tax incentives that motivate participation, and possibly a legal obligation for certain providers to participate. Furthermore, the experts cite the expansion of the digital infrastructure, the establishment of a mobility data cloud and better financing of growth for new players as prerequisites for an intelligent transport system.

About the white paper

The current white paper was written by members of the working groups Business Model Innovations and Mobility and Intelligent Transport Systems of Plattform Lernende Systeme. The white paper is available for download. The executive summary (in English) can be found here.  

Further information:

Linda Treugut / Birgit Obermeier
Press and Public Relations

Lernende Systeme – Germany's Platform for Artificial Intelligence
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