On 12 March 2012 Vice-President Siim Kallas Commissioner for mobility and transport announced the winners of the first Smart Mobility Challenge on European multi-modal journey planners. In the category of ‘operational journey planners’ the two winners are Idos and Trenitalia and in the category of ‘innovative ideas’ the winners are Penelope Ventures GmbH and SNCF. The initiative aimed to promote the development of all-in-one journey planners going beyond national borders and offering travel options combining different transport modes.

Commenting on the results of the vote Vice-President Kallas said: “I strongly believe that these winners but also all other participating projects will help to widen the choice of multi-modal travel for all Europeans. This contest has also confirmed the remaining challenges ahead and most notably the need for opening up access to travel data”.

The number and quality of submitted projects and ideas were impressive. So was the participation in the e-vote that helped selecting winners in the ‘operational journey planners’ category. The two best entries in this category are Idos (from the Czech Republic provided by Chaps spol. s r.o.) and Trenitalia journey planner (from Italy provided by Ferrovie dello Stato Italiane SpA). In the category of ‘innovative ideas’ the following winners were selected: Penelope Ventures GmbH for its idea of Byebyehello journey planner and SNCF for its idea of Mytripset journey planner.

The winners in the ‘operational journey planner’ category received the highest number of votes out of the 12 planners that participated in the e-vote:

Idos is a door-to-door journey planner for the Czech Republic and Slovakia. It also provides other cross-border travel connections around Europe by bus and train. It has 66 million online views per month.

Trenitalia‘s journey planner – SIPAX – provides train bus and ferry connections in Italy and a number of its neighbouring countries. It is complemented by the Viaggiatreno tool for real-time traffic monitoring. It has 3 million daily visits.

The winners in the ‘innovative ideas’ category caught the jury’s attention by their acute understanding of the nature of the challenge and development of projects that cover all prospective needs of travellers including services such as ticketing:

The journey planner idea Byebyehello presented by Penelope Ventures GmbH convinced the jury with its many innovative elements and a strong team of stakeholders that could make this vision a reality. The company intends to launch the planner in May 2012 starting in Germany.

The journey planner idea Mytripset presented by SNCF appealed to the jury with an innovative use of social networks to provide content and traffic updates. It also relies on a strong team of partners. The launch is planned in autumn 2012 starting in France.

The winners of the first Smart Mobility Challenge will be invited by the Commission to present their ideas and solutions at a meeting of the European Parliament’s TRAN Committee on 26 March 2012. They will also be invited to the upcoming ITS World Congress in Vienna (22–26 October 2012) in order to foster further discussion about the opportunities and challenges of European-wide multi-modal travel solutions.

The promotion of innovative multi-modal journey planners is a priority. In 2011 the Commission conducted a study “Towards a European Multimodal Journey Planner”. Its final report was also published.

The challenge launched by Vice-President Kallas on 6 June 2011 invited industry stakeholders and European citizens to submit either solutions of European (at least cross-border) multi-modal journey planners or innovative ideas that would allow the development of such truly European and multimodal tools.

In the first category 28 journey planners were proposed out of which the 12 most promising were put to an electronic public vote between 5 December 2011 and 13 January 2012. In parallel an expert jury evaluated the 22 submitted ‘innovative ideas’.

For more information contact either Helen Kearns or Dale Kidd.

Source: European Commission

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Original Publication Date: Tue 13 Mar 2012