Scholarly article on topic 'MyWay Personal Mobility: From Journey Planners to Mobility Resource Management'

MyWay Personal Mobility: From Journey Planners to Mobility Resource Management Academic research paper on "Economics and business"

CC BY-NC-ND
0
0
Share paper
Academic journal
Transportation Research Procedia
OECD Field of science
Keywords
{"User Centric" / "multimodal journey planning and operation" / "personalized mobility services"}

Abstract of research paper on Economics and business, author of scientific article — Marco Boero, Marco Garré, Jose Fernandez, Stefano Persi, David Quesada, et al.

Abstract This paper describes the experience in the Barcelona/Catalonia region concerning the set-up of a transport resource management system for personal mobility. This has been done under the umbrella of the EU FP7 MyWay project. MyWay develops beyond the traditional journey planners, with mobile user services that facilitate personalised seamless integration of public and private transport modes into a single trip and make travelling around the city effortless, swift and pleasurable. All possible transport modes available are displayed to the user in an integrated fashion, thus encouraging the use of cleaner modes of transport. The approach gives priority to the “egocentric vision” of the user, offering a solution closest to his or her personal needs and preferences, making the frequent use of this personalized solutions a main contribution to the sustainability of urban transport, as an alternative to ideal but not always practical and user acceptable solutions.

Academic research paper on topic "MyWay Personal Mobility: From Journey Planners to Mobility Resource Management"

Available online at www.sciencedirect.com

ScienceDirect

Transportation Research Procedía 14(2016) 1154- 1163

Procedía

www.elsevier.com/locate/procedia

6th Transport Research Arena April 18-21, 2016

TBAHSMBT RISIABCH AHINA

MyWay personal mobility: from journey planners to mobility

resource management

Marco Boero b,*7 Marco Garré b, Jose Fernandez a, Stefano Persia, David Quesadaa, Michal Jakob c

aENIDE, Llacuna 162, Barcelona, 08018, Spain bSOFTECO SISMAT, Via De Marini 1, 16149 Genoa, Italy cAgent Technology Centre, Czech Technical University Prague, Karlovo namesti 13, 121 35 Prague 2, Czech Republic

Abstract

This paper describes the experience in the Barcelona/Catalonia region concerning the set-up of a transport resource management system for personal mobility. This has been done under the umbrella of the EU FP7 MyWay project. MyWay develops beyond the traditional journey planners, with mobile user services that facilitate personalised seamless integration of public and private transport modes into a single trip and make travelling around the city effortless, swift and pleasurable. All possible transport modes available are displayed to the user in an integrated fashion, thus encouraging the use of cleaner modes of transport. The approach gives priority to the "egocentric vision" of the user, offering a solution closest to his or her personal needs and preferences, making the frequent use of this personalized solutions a main contribution to the sustainability of urban transport, as an alternative to ideal but not always practical and user acceptable solutions.

© 2016 Published by Elsevier B.V. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (http://creativecommons.Org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).

Peer-review under responsibility of Road and Bridge Research Institute (IBDiM)

Keywords: User Centric; multimodal journey planning and operation; personalized mobility services

* Marco Boero. Tel.: +39-010-602-6329; fax: +39-010-602-6350. E-mail address: marco.boero@softeco.it.

2352-1465 © 2016 Published by Elsevier B.V. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (http://creativecommons.Org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).

Peer-review under responsibility of Road and Bridge Research Institute (IBDiM) doi: 10.1016/j.trpro.2016.05.186

1. The MyWay project

1.1. Project description

The EU FP7 MyWay (founded in the SMARTCITIES-2013 call) project investigates develops and validates an integrated platform, the European Smart Mobility Resource Manager, including cloud-based services and facilities to support community supplied information collection and processing. In other words, the aim is to develop a journey planner with mobile user services that facilitate personalised seamless integration of public and private transport modes into a single trip and make travelling around the city effortless, swift and pleasurable.

So, the objective is to holistically address the efficient and seamless integration and use of complementary, capacity-limited mobility services in the overall urban travel chain, including all transport modes (motorised and non-motorised, EVs, public transport, flexible services such as transport on-demand) and mobility sharing schemes (e.g. car sharing, motorbike sharing and carpooling). The platform will be tested in three Living Lab demonstrations in Barcelona and Catalonia Region (ES), Berlin (DE), and Trikala (GR) involving local users and stakeholders. This approach gives priority to the egocentric vision of the user, finding the right compromise for each single traveller and offering a solution closest to his personal needs and preferences, making the frequent use of it (as an alternative to an ideal but not always practical solution) a main contribution to the sustainability of urban transport.

1.2. User centric approach

One of the fundamental changes in the European society in the last decades concerns mobility. Nowadays, people are in constant movement: to work, to rest, to enjoy. Moreover, this trend is accelerating, especially given the concentration of the population around metropolitan areas and as long as our different personal hot spots (home, job, leisure) become increasingly apart. Such changes in mobility have had deep impact on the use of resources and the environment.

There are currently several initiatives developing improved journey planners, some of them already on the market. In most cases, however, existing solutions are not able to provide full coverage of all transport services, or they only favour a specific policy; this means that the traveller does not always get the best possible answer regarding fulfilling her mobility needs. This incompleteness is particularly acute when combining private and public transport services, which, at the same time, is exactly the combination that can, when implemented seamlessly, significantly enhance the user's mobility options.

MyWay aims to come up with a solution to this problem. Placing the traveller at the centre of Mobility, MyWay will facilitate an integrated view of sustainable mobility, combining all sorts of transport services and automatically handling transactions related with their usage into a seamless point-to-point mobility service. MYWAY will handle booking and billing (whenever appropriate and possible, aware of related issues), with constantly monitoring of the parameters affecting the service offering and performance, and adapting the suggestions in real time. MyWay will also gather feedback about the quality of service in order to improve the offering of transport services and the overall mobility strategy. MyWay is not a journey planner -- it goes beyond standard journey planning and investigates deeper into the problem of travel planning by also managing complex interactions between the trips users want to undertake and the limited capacity of transport resources required to service them. The ability to consider the travel planning at a deeper resource management level, will enable MyWay to provide travel suggestions that are better optimized both with regards to the user's egocentric perspective and the perspective of the society as a whole.

1.3. Adoption of the new tools

In order to ensure the success of the initiative, the main concept of the strategy is focused on the needs and expectations of the users. So, in opposition to the traditional focus on only public transportation means as a way to reduce impact on environment, a more pragmatic strategy has been chosen, in which the user always gets the optimized travel configuration based on his/her preferences, combining public and private transport options if they

facilitate the trip. In this way, it is foreseen a better acceptance of the tools and so, potential optimizations of the use of the transport mean, also for public options. As a result, the initiative used the concept of Living Labs to ensure the deployment of technological tools adapted to the specific case of the focus groups of users under analysis.

1.4. Three demonstrations as Living Labs

In order to evaluate the objectives of MYWAY, different Living Labs are being implemented in the context of

three European cities using the MYWAY platform in order to set-up working scenarios:

• Barcelona/Catalonia Region. This case is the more extensive, involving multiple public transport modes (from classical ones to more innovative such as Electrical Bike sharing or Bus-on-demand) as well as individual or collective private options in a major urban area together with a complete region (Catalonia).

• Berlin. The objectives are the establishment of a solid and balanced base of transportation capabilities of public and private transport, as well as carpooling, bike sharing and walking in Berlin; to address the political goals of fostering eco-mobility and improving the crosslinking between different modes of transport in Berlin; to aim on developing a router, which is able to complement all eco-friendly modes of transport; to provide an appealing and efficient-to-use software interface as smartphone App.

• Trikala, a medium sized city in the north of Greece, complementing the findings of the other two Labs. Being a representative case in the context of European mid-size cities, this case provides a great opportunity to expand the adoption of the platform.

2. Technical Approach

MyWay implements and validates all the developed services and tools in a distributed service platform whose (high level) functional reference architecture as shown in figure 1.

Fig. 1. Functional Reference Architecture.

As presented, the architecture tries to integrate and orchestrate the input from several other information sources: transport resources and management; traffic conditions information; context awareness, as in the case of weather conditions and public events (as sport events); and crowd sourcing and social networks interactions. In this perspective, the Journey Planner component is one additional service, not the main one.

Generic components and functionalities, as well as openness, modularity and scalability of the proposed service architecture are key design principles followed in the definition and realisation of the MyWay platform. The aim is to achieve and validate generic and open solutions meeting the variety of requirements of the different kind of urban mobility services underlying multimodal, public/private efficient and flexible (i.e. user adapted) personal mobility, and having the largest potentials for implementation and adaptation in different urban environments.

MyWay builds a new service layer that will be used to orchestrate the mobility resources (transport means, journey planners, information providers, etc.) to deliver mobility functionalities to specific user tools

3. Innovative Features

3.1. User centric

MyWay follows a user centric approach reflected in the way in which he interacts with the application. For example, for journey planning the user could indicate just the destination and the system will provide specific results taking into account the user profile information about transport and urban context or previous choices. All these sources provide high-level information that the preferences engine will transform into specific low level queries to the meta-planner.

3.2. Meta-planner

As introduced previously, meta-planning is at the basis of the MyWay architecture and technical strategy. Based on the specialized sub-planners existing (or set ad hoc) in each site, the trip composer of MyWay combines modal specific routes into fully multimodal plans. To support the meta-planning process, MyWay maintains a meta-graph that models in a high level the transport infrastructure of the area. Then, using the information of this meta-graph and the main hub nodes, the trip composer produces the high level plans that will be refined by the result of the different sub-planners.

3.3. MRM- Mobility Resources Manager

An important aim in MyWay is to be like a hub that centralizes the existing information about available mobility services in each city or region. The idea is to reduce cost by reusing existing infrastructure but also to provide a common interface for the users accessing information from different providers. To achieve this, the Mobility Resources manager has a catalogue of the mobility services providing information about the service availability and the service price. Another important scope for the MRM is to manage the booking capabilities for those services that support it.

3.4. Open API

MyWay is service oriented and it is reflected in the basis of its architecture that provides an Open API for accessing the services the platform provides. This component allows implementing specific MyWay Apps based on the MyWay services, opening the platform to potential external companies or developers interested in exploiting the services in their own applications.

Figure 2 below shows a high level flow of the interaction of the components involved in the functionalities introduced above1:

Seruice Providers

Mobility Resources Manager

My Way Open API

Fig. 2. Example of interaction of several components of MyWay Architecture.

4. Trial in Catalonia Region

Based on the interaction with the focus groups, several functional scenarios have been defined:

• Commuter from small village outside the city

• Student/Employee new in the city

• Foreign business person in the city because an international congress

• Data administrator in Catalonia

• Person with Reduced Mobility

From a high level vision, these are the main functionalities of primary interest for the Living Lab:

Table 1. Main functionalities of the Catalonia Living Lab. Main functionality Features

Profile (preferences)

Singularity (walking speed, reduced mobility, etc.) Easy recalculation route functionality Public / Private operators integration

Flexible sharing mobility services (electrical scooter and bike) Real time Bus on demand Private car and private bike

User centric vision

Fully multimodal journey planner

1 The complete architecture is much more complex and includes also modules to load / harmonize data from the sources, modules to orchestrate the requests and modules with innovative functionalities linked to the user personalized experience of the MyWay System (trip follower) just to enumerate them even if they are not fully covered by the article.

Booking

Booking services for external mobility services like vehicle sharing or taxi.

On-time transport lines disruptions information

Proactive push service

Flexible sharing resources monitoring

Availability of finite resources like parking places or free vehicle sharing vehicles/slots

Weather forecast information

Traffic information

Using a common interface (local authority logos, custom mobility policies, local language)

Taxi booking (across MyWay or providing radio taxi telephone numbers) (phase 2)

Available taxi monitor (phase 2)

Dedicated layer to model the bicycle roads (phase 2)

Specialized routing algorithm (phase 2)

User feedback (phase 2)

Real time awareness

Local city/region customization

Taxi integration

Bicycle integration

Crowd sourcing

This input has been used to prepare a mobility tool, with a key part built as a smartphone application, with the support of the mobility infrastructure based on the MyWay architecture. Once this tool is prepared, several experiences will be organized with the focus groups and also in open conditions to assess the use of the mobility tools and improve it with their feedback.

4.1. Iterative approach

One of the main objectives of MyWay is to orient the conclusions and results, both technological and knowledge, obtained in the project towards the existing personal mobility needs. In order to ensure the success and to test the project in real conditions, each Living Labs - Catalonia, Berlin and Trikala - is undertaking two official test phases during the project.

In addition to these trials, the inclusion of a pre-official phase in the general setup of the Living Labs was carried out for the three locations. This first demonstration period or Pre-phase has the aim to prepare and test the platform and procedures in real conditions before to start with the official phases. For this purpose, a version with a reduced number of functionalities was tested by a reduced and controlled number of users. The most important capabilities included for this Pre-phase were: explore the city/region map which presents city information, select an address with autocomplete control or clicking in the map, quick journey planning and journey planning preferences.

The Living Lab Manager is the main responsible of the control and monitoring of the users activities in the execution of the Living Labs. During the official phases and also in the Pre-phase, the manager is in charge of communicating all the necessary instructions to the users and processing the feedback received through the different opened channels.

In Catalonia Living Lab, the Pre-phase had a length of approximately two months, starting on 15th December 2014 and ending on 15th February 2015. The participants were recruited internally among the companies and institutions directly involved in MyWay project. They were divided in two groups depending on the relation with the project, Piloted Users (directly related) and Real Users (unrelated). Piloted Users were required to test MyWay App in order to detect possible crucial problems in the technical and usability side which were reported to the Living Lab Manager to address them correctly. On the other hand, Real Users could use the App in their everyday life under naturalistic conditions. They would provide their impressions about the usability, appearance and quality of the results, among others. The total amount of participants recruited for this trial was 37, but there was a gap between the numbers of initially recruited and the effective ones, 28. This gap is due to the dropouts occurred during the

execution. Most of them caused by an incompatibility between the operating system of the smartphones with the required by the App.

An important output of the Pre-phase was the lessons learnt extracted through the users' feedback. This information was really valuable from the technical, management and evaluation Living Lab point of view. The greatest quantity of the feedback received was derived from the system functioning, with functionalities that did not work properly and slow response times. In addition to this, during the monitoring of the users' activity, low rates of participation in the evaluation tasks were detected.

After this first approach, the necessary adjustments and improvements were made to start with the first official phase. At that time, the released version of the App included a lot more features, such as trip follower, user registration, feedback through the App, and more stable running. The goal of Phase 1 was to test the App with an extended number of participants, especially Real Users. The main objective was that people not related with MyWay project and who had no knowledge about it, could use the application and provide their impressions.

Following Phase 1, Phase 2 started in September 2015 with a subset of controlled users and running until the end of the year. Draft results and initial conclusions of this phase are available at the time this paper is written and are included for reference while the analysis is still on-going.

The recruitment strategy carried out for this Phase 1 was similar to the previous one. Moreover the groups of Real and Piloted Users, a new category of users was introduced for testing procedures, the Test Users. They are a subset of Piloted Users in charge of performing the first test of each new App version before distributing it to the rest of participants. The amount of effective participants (after dropouts) in this Phase 1 was 56, with 37 Real Users.

For Phase 2, the Catalonia Living Lab defined an ambitious participation objective, with a target of exceeding 100users. To achieve this, several events have been organized for dissemination and enrolment, on focused targets, as in the campus of the Autonomous University of Barcelona, or with a more open impact as in the case of the MyWay Conference in the Sustainable and Secure Mobility Week, promoted by the Catalan Government.

A contest has been defined to encourage the use of MyWay App and the completion of the evaluation activities in order to get fruitful project conclusions. The contest consists in accumulating points as a result of some activities carried out by each participant, such as using the MyWay application and completing the evaluation questionnaires.

As it shown Table 2 below, the number of dropouts during Phase 1 was reduced by 66% with regard to Pre-phase. This improvement is a direct result of an intense management process and the changes made after learning of the Pre-phase, as described below.

Table 2 - Number of participants in Pre-phase and Phase 1.

TOTAL Participants Recruited Dropouts TOTAL Effective Participants

PHASE Piloted Users Real Users Piloted Users Real Users Piloted Users Real Users

Pre-phase Phase 1 Phase 21 18 20 19 19 39 143 1 1 8 2 1 17 19 19 11 37 142

As mentioned before, in early March, the Phase 1 started firstly with the group of Test Users who reported eventual issues to the development team. Around mid-March, Piloted Users were involved and finally, around mid-April, the phase was opened to the Real Users. Operations finished on 15th May. For Phase 2, a similar approach was applied, with Piloted Users involved in September and the Official Public Launch during October. The phase is finishing by the end of December.

Due to the increase in the number of participants, the communication process was improved, adding reminders to provide a guide indicating the actions to perform. The Living Lab Manager also executed a deeper monitoring of the

1 Analysis of Phase 2 results is still on-going.

* Including 24 (of 100) registered participants in Phase 1 who had already completed the Background Questionnaire

users' activity to increase participation. As a result of these changes, the submission rate of the evaluation questionnaires was higher than in the Pre-phase.

Fig. 3. Questionnaire Submission Rate.

The new added functionality, feedback through the App, has meant an effective source to collect opinions about the system in general terms and also to report a problem. Unlike the Pre-phase, where the reported problems were related with the functioning, in the first official trial, the feedback came from the results offered by MyWay, some of which needed to be further adapted in order to match with users' expectations. More advances have been made to tune all the technical features of the system in relation to the final Phase 2. Here, a complete version of MyWay system has been evaluated by the users, incorporating all the expected functionalities including the most innovative ones like information in real time, user follower and the possibility to book services through the App. Other important improvement has been the method chosen for the distribution of the Apps using the Apple Store and Google Play stores.

As a result of the trials, several useful feedbacks have been gathered, currently still under analysis as regards:

• Usability and appearance issues, such as: navigation among options, POIs overlapped, icons difficult to understand, etc.

• Functionality issues: lack of public transport solutions, multimodal trip plans with short car/scooter legs, unnecessary transport changes.

• Application performance has improved

• Improved review compared with the previous Phases

5. Business vision

From the very beginning of the activities, the necessary business vision and approach has been deeply analysed in order to have a successful commercial rollout of the outcomes of the project. Several business plans methodologies and techniques have been applied, the Osterwalder Canvas tool being the most comprehensive one. Figure 4 in the next page shows the Canvas completed for MyWay.

The canvas shows that there are several possible revenue streams for MyWay. In fact this is one of the opportunities highlighted in the SWOT analysis carried out for the commercialization of the product, as shown in Figure 5.

The Business Model canvas

Key Partners $ Key Activities 0 value Propositions flfr Customer Relationships ^ Customer Segments ^^

-dies mumc ipalites and pubtc in»Wution» •IT systems providers -Contextual information providers •R5D -IT system integration -SuB*iess development -Software development -Mamte nance •User support -Sales&Marfcating -Real time information -Fufly mtennodal -User centnc • UbHquilous ■Content awareness -Mela planning -Training ■Technical support -Citas municipalities •Public institution» •MoPiWy operate*» •Travel players (Edreams. booking. } -Merchants

-Mobility information Providers

-Geographic information providers Key Resources ^ Channels HCl

-Mobility services providers -Tectmology development ■Patern» .Agreement» mth c lents 'Agreement* wth IT provider» ■Agreement vrth public institution» .financial support -Homepage •Appte.ioo^e «ore •Opeo Api -Commercials

Cost Structure 0 Revtnoe Streams Ô

-Technologydevelopments maintenance -Business development (business profile) -Business development (tech profile) •Commercial -IT platform -Back oWica (management legal, sales, billing) and offices •Licencing -Advertisement fee •Pay per use (open API ) -Brokerage fee (third party commrMiwi -Miinle«wice per bockig; -Merchants fee per appearance -Oat« trading

Fig. 4. MyWay Canvas.

Fig. 5. MyWay SWOT analysis.

6. Conclusions

MyWay primarily addresses people's mobility in various forms and schemes in the urban and non-urban environment, including public transport through buses, metro, tram, trains, demand responsive transport, car pooling, vehicle sharing and cycling. The main view is improving the integration and flexible adaptation of transport offers to meet users' demands as well as fostering sustainable and energy-efficient users' choices.

The approach gives priority to the egocentric vision of the user, finding the right compromise for each single traveller and offering a solution closest to his personal needs and preferences. The assumption is that the frequent

use of a highly personalised solution including sustainable mobility schemes, although possibly not optimal in a global sense is nonetheless able to result in a main contribution to the sustainability of urban transport, as an alternative to global solutions that remain somewhat ideal and less accepted by the users.

As the demonstration phase progresses, transport impacts will be evaluated through projection and estimation (also by means of simulation) starting from the smaller-scale sample impacts evaluated in Living Labs experiments. Overall, this evaluation will look at several transport parameters including:

• number of journeys / person / working day;

• modal split in a working day: on foot, bike, private modes, public modes;

• unit consumption of energy, in kWh/person/km, including all means of transport;

• unit cost of an average transport journey, in €/person/km, including time cost, energy consumption, other internal costs and externalities.

In this view, the results of the Catalonia Living Lab are extremely important, as the region's profile is representative of many other European areas where the experience could be also implemented to facilitate the personal mobility of their citizens.

Acknowledgements

This work is part-funded by the European Commission under MyWay, a collaborative project part of the Seventh Framework Programme for research, technological development and demonstration, under EC Grant Agreement no [609023]. The authors would like to thank all project partners for their valuable contributions.

References

Berdichevsky, D., Neuenschwander, E., 1999. Toward an ethics of persuasive technology. Communications of the ACM, 42(5), 51-58 Fogg, B.J., 2003. Persuasive technology: Using computers to change what we think and do. Morgan Kaufmann Publishers, San Francisco MyWay Project, EC Grant Agreement no 609023, 2013, http://www.myway-project.eu