Tuup, a Helsinki-based startup company, is developing a mobile solution that may make moving around urban areas a lot smoother. The solution will integrate with your calendar and provide you with an optimal plan for the day’s travel needs, including public transportation, taxis, shared car services, bicycling and your own car. It also allows you to pay for everything in one place.
Johanna Taskinen’s entire career has revolved around mobility: How to make commuting and urban travel more comfortable and cost-effective? How to reduce driving? How to combine different travel options into one smart combination?
In 2014 she was developing a mobility concept for workplaces. The initial plan was to find an organization that would bring the concept to life. Instead, Taskinen started her own company Tuup to develop the service. Now she has a team of approximately 10 partners and employees and her hands full of work. We asked her to talk about Tuup’s service.
What kinds of solutions do you offer for future smart mobility?
“Our solution makes an optimal transportation plan for the user by combining the most suitable modes of public and private transportation. It integrates with the user’s calendar and provides a plan for the day’s needs. It tells the user when to leave and revises the plan if there are traffic disruptions. Parking is also included in the solution. Our service allows the user to pay for everything in one place.”
Which practical problems does your smart mobility solution solve, and whose daily life does it facilitate?
“It makes life simpler for example for people who are busy with the combined logistics of family life and work, but really, it’s helpful for anyone who needs to move around urban areas. It could help families manage with just one car or even without a car. It’s a tool that helps users plan their daily lives and save time.”
How far are you now with the development of your smart mobility solution?
“Our collaboration network includes Finland’s national railway operator VR, Helsinki Region Transport, Turku Region Traffic, the Finnish Taxi Owners’ Federation, as well as companies providing parking solutions and shared bicycle use. We started our pilot project in August 2015 and will run it until April 2016. In addition to our collaboration network, we have four end-user companies participating in the project. They will start using our service first in Turku in October, then in other locations. We aim to launch the service in May 2016.”
What plans do you have for the future? What kinds of challenges and goals do you have regarding internationalization?
“We will first launch a business version of our solution in Turku, allowing employers to facilitate their employees’ travel. Once we have developed the ecosystem in Finland, we will start planning internationalization and global growth. We have just been presenting Tuup’s Mobility as a Service solution in ITS World Congress in Bordeaux in October. We are happy to work with the European Mobility as a Service Alliance – announced in the congress – in order to get common rules and standards to the MaaS market.”
Is Finland a good country for developing smart mobility solutions? Why?
“There is a strong general will, even among Finnish policymakers, to see this business develop. This is extremely important, as we need to combine the efforts of numerous partners. Finland has top technological expertise and sound structures and it is a well-organized society. For us, the centralization of public transportation reduces the amount of negotiations needed.”
Technology already offers lots of possibilities but the challenge often lies in getting people to use new solutions. How do you think we could encourage people to use smart mobility solutions?
“New solutions must solve a real problem or offer a simple tool that facilitates the user’s life. Plain fun without usefulness is usually not enough. User feedback is really important in making new solutions simple and attractive. Integrating different solutions into one user interface also helps people adopt new technology as it reduces the number of usernames and passwords they need to remember.”
- Internationalisation services for Finnish companies: www.exportfinland.fi
- Test and develop your product in Finland: www.tekes.fi/en/programmes-and-services/tekes-programmes/mobility-as-a-service/
- Discover business opportunities in the Helsinki region:www.helsinkibusinesshub.fi/focus/smart-mobility/.