SINGAPORE: Singapore will be the first country in Asia to try out Finnish transportation app Whim - a service that shows users the best way to get from one point to another using public transport.
The app will be launched by 2018, the creators said on the first day of the Singapore Week of Innovation and Technology (SWITCH) on Monday (Sep 18).
The app aims to turn transport into a service on demand, the way Netflix has done for entertainment and Spotify for music. Different modes of transport, including buses, taxis and possibly even bicycles can be aggregated on the app.
Users can pay a monthly subscription fee that covers payments for all rides on any mode of transport, or they can pay as they go.
The company behind the app, Mobility-as-a-Service or MaaS Global, said the aim of the app is to turn cities into car-free zones.
“What we offer is a true alternative to car ownership because if every mode of transportation is readily and easily available to you, you don't have to buy a car”, said MaaS Global’s co-founder Kaj Pyyhtia.
Singapore was deemed as a “the perfect place to enter the Asian market” because the country is seen to be a "tech and business hub ... and its infrastructure is one of the most developed in the world”, according to Mr Pyyhtia.
The company also hopes that local companies will be transparent with their interface, payment systems and database in order to allow a smooth integration of the app.
"We want to be the best possible platform for all transportation providers. But that means we have to negotiate and work together with them, and integrate their services into our app," Mr Pyyhtia added.
SHARING TECHNOLOGIES BETWEEN SINGAPORE AND FINLAND
The app is among many smart living solutions from the Finnish capital of Helsinki on showcase at a seminar held during the Singapore Week of Innovation and Technology.
Both the Finnish and Singaporean governments are making use of the seminar to share their innovations and technologies across various sectors.
Additionally, Singapore’s Transport Ministry and Land Transport Authority (LTA) hosted Finland's Minister of Transport and Communications Ms Anne Berner to a live demonstration of LTA’s use of drones to inspect rail infrastructure at a completed portion of the new Thomson-East Coast Line, between Orchard and Orchard Boulevard stations.