On 20 March 2012 the Instant Mobility project held its second public workshop hosted by ATAC SpA in Rome Italy. The aim of this workshop was to present Future Internet features and their potential to help solving mobility and transport issues as well as to verify with local key actors and stakeholders that these systems and solutions would really meet users’ requirements. Finally the floor was open to discuss with potential participants the opportunity of the second phase of the FI PPP programme where a number of cities will be selected to host a pilot implementation of Instant Mobility scenarios. The workshop brought together 85 participants including representatives from ATAC the public transport company of the city as well as Rome Mobility agency public authorities logistics and ICT companies and other businesses from the Capital City and other parts of Italy.

Instant Mobility project aims to optimise and enhance the way people and goods are moving in urban areas. Whereas today people simply drive or travel with little assistance or information in the future we can help travellers to cooperate and become partners in mobility while respecting still security and privacy principles. The value of information is mostly the topic of this project: how would we manage mobility if we had complete information about how many travellers there are where they are and want to go in real time?

Instant Mobility has developed different scenarios of mobility services and analysed the technical and non-technical requirements in relation which will be delivered to the next phase of project for prototype development. The workshop focused largely on confirming these requirements with candidate cities for large scale experimentation of Instant Mobility services in Phase II.

Access to data from public transport and road operators is seen as a critical point since generally difficult to obtain but Instant Mobility will not only make use of “passenger floating data” i.e. information about disruptions collected directly from individual passengers; the project also sees this as a mutually beneficial exchange: multimodality in return for data.

Rome clearly sees benefits in implementing Instant Mobility platform to tackle its mobility challenges such as congestion real time transport information road network usage optimisation ecological sustainability and operation costs savings. But who is going to pay for these solutions? What is the business model? The revenue from increased ticket sales to travellers preferring public transports over personal car? Also the ecological sustainability implied by Instant Mobility applications means cost savings as do specific services proposed by the project such as ride sharing. So there is for sure a market share for this type of solutions but the investment for cities alone is too high hence public-private partnerships will be necessary.

Other issues raised regarding the future use of such systems include heterogeneity financial implications of security or licensing legal implications of proprietary systems and political support from European authorities; but the main issue remains organisational: there are existing services already what is needed is one system that integrates them.

The next stakeholder workshop of Instant Mobility will be held on 26 June 2012 in Istanbul Turkey. The same exercise of discussing and understanding the specific interests of potential users for the Future Internet-enabled transport and mobility applications will be repeated in Toledo Spain in October 2012 and in Helsinki Finland in January 2013.

Moreover the project will organise a larger workshop on 21 October 2012 targeted at a more international audience as the prelude to the ITS World Congress in Vienna Austria where an Instant Mobility prototype platform will be demonstrated.

To register your interest for any of these events please contact Julie Castermans.

The presentations and full meeting notes of the Rome workshop are available here.

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Original Publication Date: Thu 26 Apr 2012