Cristina, Daniel, Paul, Adrian and Alexandru are all students at the University POLITEHNICA of Bucharest and they are the winners of the European Mobility Challenge. With their MaaS-like mobility solution, they convinced the jury and the audience in the final ERTICO Academy webinar that they should be the winners representing Europe at the Global Innovation Competition. So let’s find out who they are and how they came up with their solution, MOTUM.

Cristina Damian, Daniel Manasescu, Paul Cozmaivan, Adrian Azoiţei and Alexandru Vaduva have one thing in common: the passion for smart mobility. They met while pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering and are today specialising in different disciplines, all very important for the development MOTUM, which will contribute to the reduction of CO2 emissions.

What’s the story behind MOTUM?

“We often think about the congestion levels in cities and Bucharest is no different. Our team always wanted to make mobility more “green”, especially in our university town, so when we were presented with the opportunity of this competition, we saw it as our chance to help. We started brainstorming and came up with several smart mobility solutions for Bucharest, and MOTUM is a combination of them.”

How does MOTUM work?

“MOTUM gathers data on traffic and congestion levels in a city, as well as information on public transport, parking and bike rental spots, and so on. Then, thanks to Artificial Intelligence, MOTUM elaborates the data collected and creates an output of different alternatives of transport means. These alternatives are based on the input and choices coming from the user. If you were using MOTUM, you would get these targeted recommendations on the travel plan of your choice and the estimated carbon footprint reduction while driving, for instance. Everyone should think about their impact on the environment and people’s health before driving to work by car, so with MOTUM we want to allow people to be more flexible with their choices when it comes to mobility. Thanks to our solution, people can discover the soul and energy of a city and connect with it.”

What fascinates you about smart mobility? Why is this the sector you want to work in?

“Smart mobility makes the impossible possible! We are fascinated by the technology that empowers smart mobility, in particular when it comes to the integration of hardware and software applied to this sector. The transport world is changing at a fast pace and there are many unknowns, also in terms of technology, which we are eager to solve. What also fascinates us is that this field involves many actors, both in the public and private sector, all with the same goal of having safe, efficient and clean mobility that will improve people’s quality of life. Since not all cities have the same issues, it is important for all actors to come together and work on common solutions, and transport represents one of those fields where this is possible. This competition gave us the opportunity to learn more about the transport sector and now we are even more excited to work towards having a real product.”

What do you think will be the most pressing issues for mobility in the next five to ten years, and how could they be overcome? How does MOTUM contribute to solving them?

“We believe that making mobility more sustainable will be one of the most pressing issues in the upcoming years, creating a healthier environment and helping to reduce certain conditions, such as cardiovascular or respiratory ones. MOTUM can help to achieve this goal by raising awareness on such issues, especially with policy makers and data providers. To make our solution fully work we also want to explore synergies with the transport and health sector and establish partnerships with other solutions that are similar to MOTUM.”

What do you hope to achieve with the Global Innovation Competition?

“First of all, this competition is a great opportunity to raise awareness. We’ve heard people saying that they have no power when it comes to lowering emissions and that this issue is too big for them, so we want to challenge the status quo and prove that when people work together, great things can happen. Secondly, we want to show that MOTUM is a scalable solution, and although it is currently designed for Bucharest, it can be applied to any other city or area in the world. The Global Innovation Competition is also a chance for us to establish partnerships and find the right network to move to the next stage with our solution, hopefully launching a pilot. We are also looking forward to getting inspired and seeing what the other teams come up with.”

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