Kapsch looks to future MaaS market with 75% acquisition of Fluidtime

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Vienna-based provider of end-to-end traffic and tolling systems Kapsch TrafficCom has acquired a 75% stake in fellow Austrian company Fluidtime Data Services (Fluidtime), in order for the two companies to join forces in the area of integrated mobility systems and services.

Since 2004, Fluidtime has developed and operated software systems and user-friendly mobile services, enabling intermodal urban travel. The company’s mobility software platform acts as the marketplace for intermodal ticket purchases, as well as for booking of all integrated modes of transport. With the acquisition, Kapsch expands its range of capabilities, and also strengthens its position to act as a platform- and services provider for upcoming Mobility-as-a-Service (MaaS) schemes for cities, corporations, and transport agencies.

The Fluidtime mobility platform provides urban travelers with real-time information about transport options and multimodal route alternatives, including booking and payment services. This includes information about train, underground, bus and tram services, as well as car or bike sharing services, taxi and on-demand vehicle fleets. The integrated mobility platform accesses various sources of real-time information, such as public transport timetables, movement data of car sharing providers or tariff information, and aggregates this data, creates intermodal routes, and offers the possibility to optimize these journeys according to several dimensions using user profiles in a single smartphone or PC application.

One of the most noteworthy research projects in the field of MaaS applications was the recent ‘smi)e’ (smile) project managed by the Wiener Stadtwerke (Vienna public utilities) and the Austrian federal railways, which is now offered as a commercial service under the brand ‘WienMobil Lab’. Fluidtime was responsible for the project’s technical management, the implementation of the mobility platform, and the smartphone app development. The smile / WienMobil Lab program is considered an international flagship project for integrated mobility, as it is one of the few projects to completely integrate mobility services for route planning, booking and payment. The ‘smile’ program was recognized as one of the most innovative projects by the international management consultancy, Arthur D Little, in its ‘The Future of Urban Mobility 2.0’ market study, as well as by the UITP (Union Internationale des Transports Publics).

Fluidtime is also a technology partner in various European Horizon 2020 research projects, including ‘Bonvoyage’ and ‘Optimum’, which Kapsch are also participating in. Fluidtime’s main focus and responsibility within these projects is on the mobility platform development, as well on the interface and app design. The company has also developed the ‘qando’ app, which is the most used urban mobility app available in the five biggest cities of Austria. The app is offered to consumers by the cities’ public transport companies, and calculates the fastest connection from A to B based on real-time data. More than 1.5 million users have downloaded the ‘qando’ app since its launch in Vienna 2009, and its usage exceeds 35 million per month.

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Tom has edited Traffic Technology International magazine and the Traffic Technology Today website since he joined the company in May 2014. Prior to this he worked on some of the UK's leading consumer magazine titles including Men's Health and Glamour, beginning his career in journalism in 1997 after graduating with a law degree from the London School of Economics (LSE).

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