Driving Forward in the Nordics

Language: English | Swedish

It has been three months since our arrival in Copenhagen, Oslo and Helsinki and we’ve been overwhelmed with the embrace we’ve received, with riders downloading the app in thousands across the region.

But even more encouraging has been the progressive and forward thinking momentum that has been growing quietly in the Nordics.

Last week, the Finnish government announced its initiative to lead the concept of Mobility As A Service (MaaS), a forward-thinking approach to urban transportation. With MaaS, different means of transportation are combined so individuals can access “mobility-on-demand” rather than using their own vehicles. With initiatives like this, the government of Finland is taking the necessary leadership to drastically decrease car ownership, a form of transport which some argue will be obsolete by 2025.

“Mobility as a Service (MaaS) re-conceptualises the way we think of transportation, combining different means of transportation as a full service. It’s the emergence of a forward-thinking partnership among public infrastructure; public and private transportation providers, like Uber; and new integrator companies that will foster the modern transit ecosystem. The result is a new means of transport for today’s consumers who are demanding a more intelligent way to move around their cities.”

– Sonja Heikkilä, Senior Advisor at Tekes and Visionary of MaaS in Finland

This kind of innovative thinking reflects Uber’s goal to complement existing transport systems, and we’re excited to participate in the initiative.  For growing cities like Helsinki, this means reduced car ownership, more efficient use of urban land and a safe and affordable way for citizens, families and tourists to move around the city.

“With the MaaS concept, the user may buy transport from the place of departure to the destination. An essential part of the concept is thinking in terms of service level and providing alternatives that are based on time, price or comfort level. This new service offers freedom of choice for consumers, combining mass transport, demand based traffic and private vehicle transport through a partnership with companies like Uber.”

– Sampo Hietanen, CEO of ITS Finland

This is an exciting time in the Nordics as leaders think about what kind of legislation will help create the smart cities of the future. How can we make the most of technology to reduce pollution, increase job opportunities and ensure that every community is served by some form of affordable transportation?

As we begin the new year, we remain committed to partnering with political leaders across Europe to ensure innovation and harness economic opportunities. Uber is keen to contribute to these conversations and to this end, we have commissioned a study by Copenhagen Economics, a leading local consultancy, to analyze the impact of services like Uber in Stockholm, our most mature market in the Nordic region.

We are excited to be operating in the Nordics, home to some of the world’s most forward-thinking digital innovations, and we look forward to sharing the results of our partnerships there.

Stay tuned!


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