Introducing Task Forces for MDS 2.0 Development

February 7, 2022

The Open Mobility Foundation kicked off 2022 strong, leading development of the latest release of the Mobility Data Specification (MDS). This major version – MDS 2.0 – is underway and will include discussion and development around three key areas: the support of new mobility modes, Policy API refinements, and alignment around the Agency and Provider APIs.

To better facilitate this work, the MDS Working Group Steering Committee has announced the creation of task forces. Operating under the umbrella of the MDS Working Group, task forces are open to the public. These groups are intended to help the community organize and focus efforts on specific workstreams, host discussions and working sessions as needed, and report back to the broader working group regularly. 

MDS is developed as an open standard, and the OMF welcomes participation from stakeholders across the mobility ecosystem. Our unique, open source model helps ensure a balanced specification and lets MDS evolve to incorporate the best ideas from all parts of our community.

MDS Version 2.0.0 

MDS WORKING GROUP TASK FORCES

Task forces are a way of organizing the MDS Working Group to focus on the following key areas:

New Modes

MDS was built to adapt, accommodating evolving needs around managing emerging mobility. Recently, there has been discussion about adding new modes to MDS, and how to build the specification for use with personal delivery devices (delivery robots), free-floating car share, taxis, and more. This task force will be focused on the architecture and design decisions needed to adapt MDS around these and future modes. The group plans to build upon the learnings from cities and companies that are already adapting MDS to meet new use cases around these modes. Learn more about this group on GitHub and sign up for the mailing list to get updates and join discussions.

 

Policy Updates

Multiple improvements to the Policy API have been proposed, with the goal of expanding its usefulness and further digitizing city permits in a way that could streamline communication between public agencies and mobility operators. This task force will be focused on making updates to the Policy API to ensure it effectively handles common use cases clearly and expands to meet new ones in MDS 2.0. Learn more about this group on GitHub and sign up for the mailing list to get updates and join discussions.

 

Alignment of Agency and Provider

Two key parts of MDS – the Agency and Provider APIs – work to convey similar data in different ways. This task force will be focused on discussing and making any updates needed to unify the API protocols to make them more efficient to implement and easy to understand, working toward parity between the two. The goal of this work is to reduce the technical burden on those using MDS, and make future versions more efficient to develop. Learn more about this group on GitHub and sign up for the mailing list to get updates and join discussions.

 

GETTING INVOLVED

If you’re interested in following these topics – and the evolution of MDS more broadly – sign up for the MDS working group mailing list, where you can stay informed about working group meetings, new releases, and all things MDS.

Want to participate as a member or individual contributor? Learn more about how to get involved or drop us a line.

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