The tech view: Best-in-class technology for mobility apps

April 6, 2023
4 min
Die Corona-Pandemie hat sich auf fast alle Bereiche des öffentlichen und privaten Lebens ausgewirkt. Auch mit Blick auf die Mobilität hat die Krise für noch nie da gewesene Verhältnisse gesorgt und Entwicklungen beschleunigt, die sich sonst wahrscheinlich erst in einigen Jahren realisiert hätten. Mobility-as-a-Service (MaaS) kann eine Lösung für Mobilitätsanbieter sein, um mit den Folgen der Pandemie umzugehen.
Mobimeo is developing a Mobility-as-a-Service (MaaS) platform for everyday mobility. Our goal is to make getting around easier and cities greener – throughout Germany. To this end, we support public transport companies and associations as partners in digitalising their services. To accelerate this process and not leave the digital customer interface to tech companies from outside the sector, we believe it is crucial to establish standards for the key aspects of a MaaS platform. In a series of blog articles, the Mobimeo teams reveal how important standards are for a nationwide MaaS platform. This time we speak to Grace Yan, Head of Product Line Engineering at Mobimeo.

Hello Grace. Thank you for taking some time out for this interview. To start, we’ll ask you our introductory question: As a tech expert, what three hashtags come to mind when you think of a “standard mobility platform”?

I think I speak for my whole team when I name these three hashtags:





Delivered without any doubt or hesitation! So please tell us, what do you mean when you speak of #Scalability?

Scalability is tremendously important for a standard mobility platform. For us, the ability to scale the platform is the ability to grow quickly. That goes for the number of partners that join the platform as well as the quantity of users who can access it at the same time. By providing our partners with a standardised API (application programming interface), we can easily integrate them into our platform. The same applies to the formats of the data sources used. For example, we can combine the timetables of the individual public transport providers on our platform and present them to users in a uniform manner. Finally, the technological architecture, the quality of our code and the performance of the infrastructure used enable large numbers of users to access the platform simultaneously. As a result, we are able to provide optimum service to everyone.


The second hashtag you mention is #Security. Can you explain that to us?

Especially in Europe, privacy is an important matter and is strictly regulated. At Mobimeo, we not only comply with the usual requirements such as the General Data Protection Regulation (DSGVO). Our aim is to ensure the best possible protection for our backend system and our users’ mobile devices. Among other things, this means having a stable infrastructure. We also have to comply with the data protection guidelines of our partners in the industry. One example is Deutsche Bahn’s corporate guidelines on data protection. If neither provides sufficient guidance, for example in the event of changes to the technical framework conditions, we follow the established standards of ISO 27001 and other best practices in the industry. Privacy and data security are among Mobimeo’s top priorities – we want to be best-in-class here, too!


And what does #Reliability mean to you?

For most people, a system is considered reliable if it simply works and is free of bugs. At Mobimeo, we understand reliability as an interplay of availability, robustness, stability and resilience. That’s why we have drawn up our own Service Level Agreement (SLA) with our customers to guarantee the reliability of our system. In addition, we work towards a specific Security Level Objective (SLO), which guarantees our users 99 to 99.5 percent system availability. We ensure this through measures such as our 24-hour in-house monitoring.


And how exactly do you go about avoiding bugs?

This is another area where we have established firm standards. We apply the four-eyes principle in the development process. Every change, however small or large, whether it’s a problem fix or a new feature, has to be cross-checked by another developer. The changes then go through a series of tests, which we call unit testing, integration testing, crowd testing and automation testing. These are all standardised processes at Mobimeo to guarantee the reliability of our platform.


What is special about a standard mobility platform, from your perspective?

Germany has never had a Mobility-as-a-Service platform for everyday mobility like this before. With Mobimeo, we have created a uniform and scalable platform that makes it easy for public transport companies as well as sharing and on-demand providers to join and integrate their services. We want to motivate more and more people to change their mobility behaviour – by providing them with uniform digital access to mobility that is perfectly simple to use.


And from your team’s point of view, what else is important for a standard mobility platform to be successful?

To establish and further develop a standard mobility platform, we need time and the commitment of the mobility industry. Then we can join forces to grow the platform to a size that makes it a genuine alternative to the private car. 

Internally, it’s vital that we consistently apply the principles of digital product development to the platform and the apps based on it. One central element is the systematic collection of user feedback by our user research team. It’s on this basis that we are able to keep on improving our products all the time.


Could you share an important figure from the mobility industry from your team’s perspective?

12 percent! That’s the number of people in Germany who discovered public transport as a result of the 9-euro ticket, according to market research from the Association of German Transport Companies (VDV). And 30 percent of those people have remained regular public transport users in the ensuing months. 

From my point of view, this is a great opportunity: many people are basically willing to change their behaviour – so long as the right conditions are in place, such as easy access, price and quality of service. Together with the public transport companies and private mobility providers, we can leverage a standard mobility platform to make public transport so attractive that it leads to lasting change in mobility habits. 

The Deutschland-Ticket can be a game-changer in this respect, because people will realise that life without their own car is cheaper and they gain time to spend on other activities.


Last question, Grace: What is your personal future vision for a standard mobility platform?

We need a platform that’s simple to scale and recognised by the industry as secure and effective. We want to set the absolute gold standard in the MaaS world – with a single app that covers all regions in Germany and is easy and intuitive for anyone to use. 


Thank you very much for the interview, Grace.