After saying goodbye Sonila Metushi and the subsequent silence around the MaaS lab, Royal Dutch Transport (KNV) now presents its new initiative: KNV Connected Mobility. According to the trade association, this marks the next step in shaping our digital mobility. Yet there is a feeling in journalistic circles that we are dealing with 'old wine in new bottles'.
Sonila Metushi left KNV to continue her career at ABN AMRO as Public Affairs Manager EU. This departure seemed to create a vacuum and the association did not know how to fill this gap. Instead of filling the gap, KNV is opting for a new approach to mobility.
KNV states that mobility is changing. Smart digital connections are becoming the norm and travelers will increasingly expect them. But is this line of thinking really so innovative? After all, the MaaS Lab had the same starting point when it was founded in 2019. There, the forces of various market parties were joined to set up a mobility transition, which led to a appointment system with the national government.
The new association, KNV Connected Mobility, which will officially start on January 1, 2024, aims to stimulate the transition to a 'healthy ecosystem for digital mobility'. The association focuses on shared interests such as changing legislation and regulations, data management and privacy legislation.
fair playing field
On paper, the goals seem noble and well-considered. KNV Connected Mobility wants to create a fair playing field and a clear legal framework. Yet these ambitions cannot be seen separately from the previous MaaS lab initiative, which pursued similar objectives but ultimately came to a standstill. One may wonder whether a new name and a new look are enough to meet the complex challenges of digital mobility.
KNV, which has been active in the sector for 140 years, has a history of involvement in various forms of transport, from public and healthcare transport to taxis and coaches. The association was also one of the five founding members of the Mobility Alliance. However, with the new initiative, KNV seems to offer more of a repackaging than a real step forward.
To fully utilize the potential of digital mobility, more than good intentions are needed. It requires a robust strategy, constant innovation and a transparent approach that involves all stakeholders. Whether KNV Connected Mobility can deliver this remains to be seen. For now, the skeptical attitude in the journalistic corridors remains a sign of the future.