Australian giant Carsales has just unveiled its new technology start-up called Placie, a Maas (Mobility as a Service) transport application incubated within the company over the past three years. The solution will enable consumers to plan and book trips combining several modes of transport using data, provided in real time. Through the creation of this innovative digital mobility platform, Carsales hopes to meet a dual challenge: to diversify by having an impact on a high-potential market, and to respond to the way consumers will want to travel in the future.
The genesis of the project
Founded in 1997 by Greg Roebuck and Wal Pisciotta, Carsales is Australia’s largest online automotive, motorcycle and marine classifieds company. It specializes in developing cutting-edge technology and advertising solutions that enhance the consumer experience. The company, with its expertise in Marketplace management, wants to repeat the experience with Placie. This time by bringing citizens and transport service providers together within a single application. The objective here is to enable consumers to get where they want to go effortlessly. In addition, it will promote sustainable development.
Placie, a one-stop mobility shop
More than just a route planner, Placie is Australia’s first fully integrated service mobility (MaaS) application. It enables users to seamlessly combine, compare and book more than eight modes of transport (carpooling, cabs, car hire, private and public buses, streetcars, train, ferry) within a single application and with a single user account. As a result, the solution can be seen as a one-stop shop for consumers to save time, money and effort on their multimodal trips.
The concept is simple: to use the application, consumers enter their destination and preferred modes of transportation. They are then presented with two options: the fastest or cheapest way to travel. Therefore, this specificity of the solution allows Placie to easily adapt to the different behaviors of citizens. The payment part is also managed by the application. In return, Placie earns a commission on all the trips booked.
To operate, the application uses technologies developed by SkedGo, an Australian MaaS service provider. Indeed, Placie uses APIs to integrate with public transport networks and private transport providers, including those of several cab companies such as 13Cabs, Silvertop Taxis and Black & White Cabs.
An application to meet the future challenges of mobility
By entering this segment, Carsales wants to offer a response to the new forms of mobility. Indeed, according to Cameron McIntyr, CEO of Carsales, global revenues from the mobility as a service (MaaS) market will reach $750 billion by 2030. Global transportation revenues will reach $6 trillion in 10 years. This is a high-growth market, consequently the issues and challenges of which must be addressed now.
In particular, the company has sought advice from Stanford University to develop its business model and to better understand how it could integrate its solution with smart cities and digital infrastructures, key players in this growing market.
Stephen Wong, Placie’s Chief Executive Officer, said that for the time being, the application “will cover 70% of all cabs in Australia, 90,000 carpool drivers, as well as car hire, airport shuttles, electric scooters and parking options“.
The application will be available in a beta phase on the Google Play Store and the App Store in the coming months and will be gradually released over the next year. If you would like to be among the first users of Placie, do not hesitate to visit their website.