Creating smarter cities is not only about the public sector using technology to make a better use of resources, but a big responsibility also falls on the private sector to do more to reduce their impact on the planet, especially those sectors that currently add to the environmental pressure on cities. Organisations that are in one way or another responsible for the transport of goods, services or citizens must start to look at the way that they operate with the aim of reducing their carbon footprint.
Transforming Transport is a H2020 project, coordinated by Indra, which will use big data to improve mobility around Europe. The project has a current budget of €18 million and has 47 organisations participating from nine countries. It is considered one of Horizon 2020’s biggest projects.
Transforming transport to improve mobility in Europe
As stated before, big data will be used to improve the service and management of the transport sector including logistics, this will be achieved through the collaboration of 13 large-scale pilots, with different countries focussing on different modes of transport. The project will show realistic demonstrations of how big data applications can technically and economically the logistics and transport markets. The overall aim is to show that that big data can increase operational efficiency, in a measurable and replicable way.
The incorporation of big data to the transport sector has three main advantages for organisations:
- Efficiency gains on transport operations of at least 15% – this can be achieved in a number of different ways, for example: by using the resources optimally and reducing the fuel consumption.
- Customer service – by offering service that suits the specific needs of customers you can increase customer satisfaction and engagement. This can be done by optimising the flow of passengers on all transport services, reducing not only waiting times but also the amount of missed connections.
- Generating new profits – new sources of income and / or new businesses models can be generated by studying what travellers prefer when it comes to tourism and advertising, and my using big data to identify travelling patterns.
The idea of the Transforming Transport project is to show business that through the utilisation of data they can be socially responsible, cut costs whilst potentially gaining customers, but the long term aim is to have an environmental impact on areas that are currently an environmental risk. By changing behaviour organisations can have a deep social and economical impact to the the entire world, saving potentially billion of dollars in fuel and hundreds of megatons of carbon dioxide.
According to their website, Transforming Transport will tackle seven fields of great importance for the mobility and logistics sector:
- Intelligent highways
- Sustainable vehicle fleets
- Proactive railway infrastructure
- Ports as smart logistics centres
- Efficient air transport
- Multimodal urban mobility
- Dynamic supply chains
The 13 pilots of Transforming Transport will be carried out in the different countries that are a part of the project, focussing on the seven different transport areas mentioned above. For these areas, the developers will create and test new algorithms based on big data technologies, with the purpose of integrating, analysing, and exploiting real data from different sources to make better decisions more efficiently.
Spain will be the home of the urban mobility pilots in Valladolid, France will develop the connected vehicle pilot, Greece will study the flow of airport passengers, Great Britain will analyse rail transport, Portugal will be working on motorways, and Germany’s focus will be port logistics.
The Transforming Transport project has the potential to make a huge difference to the way that organisations and public sector companies view transportation of goods, services and people. We will be keeping a keen eye on this project and wait to hear the outcomes of the pilot projects – hopefully in 5 years these the positive aspects can be rolled out and become best practice across Europe and the rest of the world.