Automotive classified-ads giant announces move into MaaS

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Australian-based automotive classified ads site carsales.com has announced that is is to move into the Mobility as a Service (MaaS) space by launching a digital mobility platform, Placie – an app that helps customers combine, compare and book multiple modes of transport to get from place to place faster, cheaper and smarter.

Carsales, which has operations across Asia Pacific and South America, has spent nearly three years making Placie, a one stop (mobility) shop for consumers to save time, money and effort, using real time data for on-demand and scheduling multi modal journeys via one account.

Mega-trends are disrupting transport and Australians are constantly adapting to the ‘new normal’. Such changes have only increased during the Covid-19 pandemic and the shift to online research and shopping has further accelerated.

“With the growth of new transport options, the electrification of vehicles and the rise of shared and on-demand services, transport behaviours have been disrupted and new habits are forming – now is the time to help Australians develop these habits and reduce friction in getting from place to place. While carsales aggregates choice for car ownership, Placie aggregates mobility choices,” says carsales CEO, Cameron McIntyre. “Modern infrastructure is digital infrastructure. carsales has a strong heritage in business-to-consumer marketplaces, and innovation and investment in technology and product. With Placie, we have the ability to develop this culture and our technology competencies into a new business in a high growth market.”

Transport mega trends will continue to unfold post Covid-19 as consumers look to convenience, cost, and health and safety as key considerations in how they get from place to place.

Global transport spend is rapidly increasing (US$8.7tn in 2018, forecast to US$12.6tn in 2030) and mobility as a service (MaaS) penetration is predicted to skyrocket (<0.1% in 2018, forecast to 6.8% in 2030).5 In 2019, Australian transport spend was estimated at $28.1b6 and the MaaS market will continue to evolve nationwide.

“Placie is highly complementary to the work that local and state governments are undertaking to build smart cities – MaaS can play a meaningful role in optimising built infrastructure, boosting the liveability of our cities and regions and encouraging private sector innovation and participation,” continued McIntyre.

With Placie, consumers can select options between ‘Owner Transport’, ‘Private Transport’ and ‘Public Transport’ based on their preferences and comfort.

Placie has secured some of the best-in-class partners across public transport networks and private transport providers including 13Cabs, Ola, Silvertop Taxis, Black & White Cabs and many more.

“Placie is a compelling technology platform for consumers and a partnership model for public and private transport operators. We look forward to its initial trials in the coming months,” stated McIntyre.

Placie will enter the beta phase in the coming months and will be progressively rolled out over the next year.

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Tom has edited Traffic Technology International magazine and the Traffic Technology Today website since May 2014. During his time at the title he has interviewed some of the top transportation chiefs in charge of public agencies around the world as well as chairmen and CEOs of multinational transportation technology corporations. Tom's early career saw him working on some the UK's leading consumer magazine titles. He has a law degree from the London School of Economics (LSE).