Scholarly article on topic 'Mobile Integration Platform Concept: The Naples Pilot Test Site'

Mobile Integration Platform Concept: The Naples Pilot Test Site Academic research paper on "Social and economic geography"

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{"Open standard" / "Location Based Services (LBS)" / "technology drivers (mobile platform – Android)" / "transport modes" / "data model" / "basic and high level services" / "mobile devices"}

Abstract of research paper on Social and economic geography, author of scientific article — A. Fiorentino, C. De Gioia, M.Gaido, G. Conti, D. Magliocchetti, et al.

Abstract In the infomobility services regardless of transport modes, a key role is the real time availability of data and services from different providers and the share of information to users’ community through common mobile devices like PDAs and Smartphones. In order to achieve these goals a new approach to data collection, privacy policies and mobility client application with user friendly interfaces is required. These are the contents and goals of i-Tour Project (intelligent Transport system for Optimized URban trips), cofounded by EU in the 7th FP. The Naples test site is a demonstration based on mobile integration platform concept, characterized by the presence of different transport operators sharing data and services for the i-Tour applications. The main topic of the Naples test site is the covering of different transport modes: trains and cableway from Circumvesuviana, motorway from Autostrade Meridionali, ships from Lauro Shipping and busses from Naples Province. Each transport operator is able to support the i-Tour needs with real time information about their services and planned information (like timetable, route, etc.), depending on users requests. The network of road data is provided by Navteq cartography while the environmental data are provided by Google weather services. Road network and weather services are common to all i-Tour test sites. The target of the Naples Test site is to develop a demonstration platform, based on transport services and other services, like weather, that will be integrated on a smartphone application interface, based on the Android operative system. The demo platform is a travel information system, composed of a wide range of personalized Location Based Services in order to support the user community with traffic events, tourist information, detailed point of interest and other kind of information including i-Tour recommendations. According to i-Tour targets, the main actor will be the user accessing information and services from everywhere (“ubiquitous mobility”).

Academic research paper on topic "Mobile Integration Platform Concept: The Naples Pilot Test Site"

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Social and Behavioral Sciences

Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences 48 (2012) 1855 - 1864 —

Transport Research Arena- Europe 2012

Mobile integration platform concept: the Naples pilot test site

A. Fiorentinoa*, C. De Gioiaa, M.Gaidob, G. Contic, D. Magliocchettic, R. De

Amicisc, W. Kippd

a Fiat Group Automobiles - EMEA PD - Vehicle Integration & Durability, via ex aeroporto s.n.,Pomigliano d'Arco 80038, Italy b Fiat Research Centre - Strada Torino 50, Orbassano 10043, Italy c Fondazione Graphitech - Via Alla Cascata 56/C, Povo-Trento 38123, Italy d PTVPlanung Transport Verkehr AG, Stumpfstrasse 1, Karlsruhe D-76131, Germany

Abstract

In the infomobility services regardless of transport modes, a key role is the real time availability of data and services from different providers and the share of information to users' community through common mobile devices like PDAs and Smartphones. In order to achieve these goals a new approach to data collection, privacy policies and mobility client application with user friendly interfaces is required. These are the contents and goals of i-Tour Project (intelligent Transport system for Optimized URban trips), cofounded by EU in the 7th FP.

The Naples test site is a demonstration based on mobile integration platform concept, characterized by the presence of different transport operators sharing data and services for the i-Tour applications. The main topic of the Naples test site is the covering of different transport modes: trains and cable way from Circumvesuviana, motorway from Autostrade Meridionali, ships from Lauro Shipping and busses from Naples Province. Each transport operator is able to support the i-Tour needs with real time information about their services and planned information (like timetable, route, etc.), depending on users requests. The network of road data is provided by Navteq cartography while the environmental data are provided by Google weather services. Road network and weather services are common to all i-Tour test sites. The target of the Naples Test site is to develop a demonstration platform, based on transport services and other services, like weather, that will be integrated on a smartphone application interface, based on the Android operative system. The demo platform is a travel information system, composed of a wide range of personalized Location Based Services in order to support the user community with traffic events, tourist information, detailed point of interest and other kind of information including i-Tour recommendations. According to i-Tour targets, the main actor will be the user accessing information and services from everywhere ("ubiquitous mobility").

© 2012 Published by Elsevier Ltd. Selection andtor peer review under responsibility of the brogramme Committee of the Transport Research Arena 2012

Keywords: open standard, Location Based Services (LBS) , technology drivers (mobile platform - Android), transport modes; data model; basic and high level services, mobile devices.

* Corresponding author. Tel.: +39 08119695642; fax: +0-000-000-0000 . E-mail address: anita.fiorentino@fiat.com.

ELSEVIER

1877-0428 © 2012 Published by Elsevier Ltd. Selection and/or peer review under responsibility of the Programme Committee of the Transport Research Arena 2012

doi:10.1016/j.sbspro.2012.06.1160

1. Introduction

People on the move and modes of transport are kind of mobility nodes moving in intelligent and connected environments. The past decade has realized the dream of the ubiquitous connection. This decade is moving the paradigm towards a network of things connecting and making ambient and people interacting with each other. Mobile phone and portable navigation systems integrated into vehicles, smartphones interacting with home or work environment, a vast variety of entertainment applications available on the move are creating the framework of the new interactive intelligent ambient.

However, the growing number of interactions is making mobile scenarios particularly challenging and meaningful for designing and testing architectures for new generation of networks that will be able to meet the end-users requirements. Therefore it becomes crucial to investigate these scenarios from a user-centric point of view. Local environments, like a city for example, will be considered as "areas of people on the move". These areas will have to be rich of adaptation capabilities in order to be familiar for the different users. Key factors will be the features of personalization, contextualization, and user comfort. The main expected impact will be the improvement of the connected-mobility networking experience for providing context-aware adaptive multimedia services.

In order to achieve these goals a new approach to data collection, privacy policies and mobility client application with user friendly interfaces is required. These are the contents of i-Tour Project (intelligent Transport system for Optimized URban trips), cofounded by EU in the 7th FP.

The main goal of i-Tour project is to develop an open framework to be used by different providers, authorities and citizens to provide intelligent and efficient mobility services. i-Tour clients support and suggest, in a user-friendly way, the use of different forms of transport (bus, car, railroad, tram, etc.) taking into account user preferences as well as real-time information on road conditions, weather, public transport network. Accordingly, this i-Tour project is compliant to the 'White Paper' on transport (2011) where the "co-modality" definition is introduced. It describes a transport system where, systematically, the most efficient mode of transport is used for each particular transport task, knowing that efficiency, rather than a prescription of transport means, will deliver the desired societal, economical and environmental results.

i-Tour project has a consortium composed by 9 partners from 4 different countries. The consortium has different knowledge coming from Universities, private companies and small enterprises.

The project has several end users, composed by transport operators, government entities, association and private companies in the field of Telematics for Transport and Safety. The full involvement of the end users (stakeholders) enables the gathering of a large amount of traffic data (static and in real time) for the i-Tour goals. More info can be found on the i-Tour web site: http://www.itourproject.com/.

2. i-Tour data model

The availability of data (real time or static) from different transport providers is crucial to ensure infomobility services based on different transport modes. Accordingly to this it was required to collect and process data from different transport operators, with reference to:

• Traffic and transit data in real time

• Events (weather conditions, accident, strike)

• Predicted data to identify and manage critical traffic condition.

Today it is very difficult to have a common set of data by different private and public operators. In i-Tour project a data model was defined in order to have a unique process to treat different types of transport and traffic data.

The i-Tour data model has been defined in order to provide a framework to store data from different transport operators and has a common structure among the different data sets that can be used by the other i-Tour sub-systems.

The i-Tour data model joins mainly on the data provided by i-Tour end users. When the data information is missed, the NAVTEQ data (road network and POIs) are used to complete the information available for the test site.

The project data model contains the tables to store the entities of the system (entity tables) and those to store the classification of the entities (classification tables). For each entity table the structure of the related classification table(s) is defined.

With reference to different transport modes, the data model is composed by three main groups of entity tables:

• Road Network

• Public Transport

• Point of Interest

Figure 1 shows the tables groups and for each one of them there is a list of entity tables. Appendix A provides a list of data model entity tables and short descriptions.

Road network

1 Network tables

1 •Road network nodes 1 •Road network links

Real-timetables

•Realtime_t •Prediction_t •Event_t

Public transport

Network tables

•Public transport nodes •Public transport routes

Schedule tables

•Agency •Trips

•Stops times •Calendar •Calendar date •Fare attributes • Fare rules

Real-time table

•Trace

Point of interest

Location tables

• Parking places •Location based services

Fig. 1: The i-Tour data model: the main entities tables group

According to privacy and security issues, the data model doesn't include data referred to the final users. The project data model is compliant with INSPIRE standards and it contains indicators allowing customers to evaluate the quality of offered services accordingly with CEN EN 13816 standards.

The Naples pilot test site

The i-Tour Naples test site covers different transport modes: trains from Circumvesuviana, motorway from Autostrade Meridionali, ships from Lauro Shipping and busses from Naples Province.

Each provider has a proprietary data model and this is compliant with the provider activity requirements but the data model is not necessary compliant with the i-Tour goals. Furthermore the process to integrate data is different for different providers.

Circumvesuviana (www.vesuviana.it) is a public transport company whose mission is to provide public railway transport services. The company aims at maintaining the transport infrastructures, ensuring reliable and safe mobility and reducing the use of private transport. Circumvesuviana provides for i-Tour: the network used to manage the public railway transport service; the railway service timetables (arrival time and departure time of each station); the web service which provides access to the real-time data. The Circumvesuviana users are usually interested to know the departure and delay time of the next train allowed in every direction. These information are included in real time data.

Circumvesuviana is a railway company playing a main role within the i-Tour project since an innovative traffic load system has been installed on train platforms (fig. 2a) and has been integrated with other management systems.

Fig. 2. (a) Train platforms; (b) the traffic load system: software interface

The new system allows evaluating the crowding level on a train platform and consequently to update the management systems. Security cameras of monitoring systems (based on image processing) allow crowd level detection through monitoring system processing incoming images to estimate public transport load in real time. At the moment the application represents an innovative solution based on the use of systems based on Video Analysis (fig. 2b). The use of already installed analog video cameras from surveillance systems, ensure future easy scalability to other stations.

Autostrade Meridionali (www.autostrademeridionali.it) is the company that manages the Naples-Pompei-Salerno (A3) motorway. The activities of the company are directed towards construction of a functional motorway network and ensuring motorway safety and mobility. It provides: the network used to manage the motorway; the position of traffic detectors; the network used by the traffic simulation model and web services with access to real-time data. The users are usually interested to know the traffic conditions of the motorway achieved through traffic sensors detecting flows and their speed at predefined positions along the motorway. This information is used to compute the congestion degree which is evaluated by the ratio between the average speed and the free speed. The congestion degree has the

following levels: Low Congestion (when the ratio is higher than 0,65), Medium Congestion (when the ratio is included in the range 0,3 and 0,65) and High Congestion (when the ratio is lower than 0,3).

Lauro Shipping (www.alilauro.it) is a private transport company whose mission is to provide ferry-based transport service within the area of the gulf of Naples. Timetables by Lauro Shipping change continuously according to the day, weather, season, etc. For this reason they recommend using information available through their web service. It provides: the list of the gates of the public ship transport service; the web services which provides access to real-time data. The Lauro Shipping users are usually interested to know the daily timetables to organize your travel to/from places within the area of the gulf of Naples. This information is included in real time data.

Provincia di Napoli (www.provinciadinapoli.it) is the local government entity in southern Italy. One of its main competences is to manage, regulate and facilitate the use of the transport system providing data on different agencies dealing with public transport. Provincia di Napoli provides: the network used to manage the public transport service, the timetables of bus service (arrival time and departure time for each bus stop). This government entity does not provide web services to access real-time data because there are no devices to detect busses positions.

To process and to make data coming from different sources fully homogeneous, several processing steps are used: data re-projection (to account for different projection systems adopted by providers); data fitting (for missing relevant information are); data integration (e.g. when information from multiple data sources are merged into a single one); data ingestion (the final process of loading the project archive). Figure 3 provides an overview of the available data for the Naples test site.

Public transport Network tables:

train, bus, ferry

Schedule tables •Trips:train, bus

• Stoptimes: train, bus

• Fare: train, ferry

Real-time table:

train, ferries

navteo cartography

Fig. 3. Available data of Naples test site 3. Basic and high level services

The aim of the Naples test site is to develop a demo integration platform, based on transport services (public and private) and other services (weather, tourist information, detailed POIs) that will be integrated

on a smartphone application interface, based on the Android operative system. According to i-Tour targets, the main actor will be the user able to access the information and services everywhere ("ubiquitous mobility").

To achieve this objective, i-Tour has developed a toolbox providing all the different dynamic real-time data as ready to use services. These services are Open Geospatial Consortium OGC(R) compliant services like Web Map Services providing geo-referenced data (e.g. public transport routes and stations) on a digital map and GeoRSS feeds providing maps and textual information like traffic events. The basic services for data access as well as the high-level services integrating the basic services into mobile applications are shown in figure 4.

MOBILE CLIENT

Android Phone

HIGH-LEVEL SERVICES

BASIC SERVICES

à. I" —1 Recommender 1 Z Natural Language

uc:l Service 1 Service

Fig 4: Basic and high-level services 4. The Client

The i-Tour client is available as both mobile application ("App"), for Android-powered smart phones and tablets, and as web-based solution. Figure 5 illustrates the home page of the mobile client which provides access to high-level functionalities as well as to messages coming from the i-Tour service infrastructure.

Weather forecast at start and arrival

Area lor messages and alerts

Fig 5: The home page of the mobile client

Current trip overview

Detailed darta on journey segments

Main commands

- Calendar

- Alerts & Messages

- Hour Games

- Statistics and rewards

N LP interface assistant

From the web client (see figure 6) it is possible to access the same functionalities available from the mobile client. The goal is to provide a ubiquitous experience whereby the user, at any time, can migrate from mobile to web client yet having access to the same set of information.

Fig 6: The home page of the desktop client

The interface of the i-Tour clients have been designed to allow fast checking of scheduled events. The user can check the forthcoming events based on their position within a full 3D scene or over a 2D map

projected within a 3D space of which the user can appreciate the relevant portion from a birds eye perspective.

The user can switch between different views (2D/3D) in a very simple manner, by simply holding the device at different angles. If the device is held flat horizontal the system automatically moves the point of view to an azimuthal map-like view. A smooth transition ensures a user-friendly experience.

The system can also switch to augmented reality mode, by holding it upright in front of the user. As soon as the system detects from the sensors that the device is nearly vertical it changes to Augmented Reality (AR) visualisation mode. All the geometries representing the terrain and buildings fade away to leave room for the augmented scene, where information on events etc. are rendered on top of images from the surrounding scene as captured by the camera.

Once the user defines a destination then the system automatically calculates the various travel options. Once the results are sent back to the client, these are rendered as graph as visible in Fig 7. The centre of the graph represents the current position of the user. The various branches show the travel options available. Each branch is divided in sub-branches according to the number of connections required to get to destination. The distance from the centre of the graph can represent either the time required to get to the destination, or the distance, or the emission. When user can switch within the different views the graph adjusts automatically to account for the new configuration.

B<| H 1 W- .■lICiKg

ITpirr Graph

ft 9r- a t —o— i

Fig 7: Travel Choice Graph

The best options are those featuring shortest paths, therefore closets to the centre of the graph. As soon as the user selects a segment this is highlighted and when the user selects the segment additional information on that part of the travel is shown (e.g. bus number, expected delay etc.). If a delay is received by the system then a coloured circle in background will help the user assess the extent of the delay.

When the user selects the preferred option the navigation mode starts and the user is guided through the multi-modal route as selected. If a new update is received (e.g. delay in one of the segment or an unexpected event such as an accident is reported) the routing is invoked again, proposing, if required alternative paths. This allows constantly updated navigation features accounting for the current conditions of the multimodal network.

5. The Serious Gaming Approach

i-Tour moves beyond traditional routing systems in that it also motivates travellers to make most use of the suitable and efficient transport mode according to the best travel solution for the environment, for the safety and for the community. The amount of CO2 and PM saved by the end user, using a defined transport mode is the result of a mechanism of credits that are collected and can be used in exchange of awards. Furthermore a set of so-called serious games can be played within the system. Through a specific communication protocol virtually any game, developed according to precise specifications based on the game engine Unity3D, can be integrated within i-Tour. Credits collected during travelling can be virtually spent within the game for instance to acquire new features. Instead, credits earned through games promoting sustainable transportations, can be spent as real credit within i-Tour. This mechanism has been set in place to provide transport operators with a more compelling form of incentive to use their infrastructures especially among younger people and it represents one of the most innovative approaches brought forward by the project.

6. Discussion/Conclusion

Currently the system is being finalized. The basic infrastructure and the routing components are already operational. The client system is still being extended to ensure support of natural language queries (e.g. to answer question like: "where is the nearest grocery shop accepting credit cards") and recommendations (for instance proposing to route to the best shop according to the user's profile and feedback by the community of other users). Additionally the routing messages, between client and services, are currently based on a proprietary protocol. This is going to be replaced by an extended version of OpenLS, currently being developed and which will be proposed to OGC as extension of the current standard, to account for multi-modal transport support and for concepts such as quality of service (delays, quality of the transportation means), users' recommendations and advanced user profiling (e.g. emission preferences). The extensions to OpenLS are essential since these functionalities are simply not available within current standard.

References

DE AMICIS R., CONTI G., PIFFER S., Prandi F. - Service oriented computing for ambient intelligence to support management of transport infrastructures - Journal of Ambient Intelligence and Humanized Computing (2011)

DIRECTIVE 2007/2/EC of the European Parliament and of the council of 14 March 2007 establishing an

Infrastructure for Spatial Information in the European Community (INSPIRE)

EN 13 816 /2002 of European Committee for Standardization - Transportation - Logistics and services -Public passenger transport - Service quality definition, targeting and measurement. European Commission Directorate General for Mobility and Transport - White Paper on Transport -Roadmap to a single European transport area Towards a competitive and RESOURCE -EFFICIENT transport system (2011)

FIORENTINO A., ROVITO P., STRACCALI S., DONNARI D. - Innovative technologies to estimate public transport load in-real time by video content scene analysis - in proceedings of 2nd International Conference on Ambient Systems, Networks and Technologies - ANT 2011 ARTIFACT Niagara Falls Ontario (2011)

JAGOE A. - Mobile location services. The definitive Guide (2003)

REHRL K. GOLL N., LEITNGER S., BRUNTSCH S. - Combined Indoor/outdoor Smartphone navigation for public transport travelers - - 3rd Symposium on LBS & TeleCartography - Vienna (2005)

Appendix A.

List of data model entity tables and short description.

Table name Table description

Public_Transport_Nodes This table contains information about individual public

transport locations.

Public_Transport_Routes This table contains information about routes of transport

agencies.

Agency This table contains information about the agencies that provide

the data.

Trips This table lists all trips and their routes. A trip is a sequence of

two stops that occurs at specific time of the timetable.

Stop_Times This table lists the times that a trip "arrives at" and "departs

from" individual stops.

Calendar This table defines the service IDs using a weekly schedule.

Calendar_dates This table allows to activate or deactivated the service IDs

using the date.

Fare_attributes This table defines fare information for a transit organization's

routes.

Fare_rules This table allows specifying how fares are applied.

Trace This table storages the information about the vehicle transits of

all the trips in a day.

Road_Network_Nodes This table contains information about the road network nodes

locations.

Road_Network_Links This table contains information about the road network links.

Detector_Locations This table contains information about the detector locations on

the road network.

Realtime_t This table contains information about vehicles flow and

average vehicles speed in each link.

Prediction_t This table contains information about estimation techniques

output of the undesirable traffic conditions

Event_t This table contains information about system generated events.

Parking_places This table contains information about parking places for road

Location_based_services This table contains information about location-based services.