The CAPITALS ITTS Project aimed to develop and demonstrate the feasibility of Integrated Travel and Tourism Services (ITTS), on a single platform and by a unique service provider (Webraska).
The project's deployment was scheduled in five EU capitals that had already developed their own platforms for mobility services provision (Brussels, Berlin, Madrid, Paris, Rome).
CAPITALS ITTS was thus based on Control and Information Systems (CAPITALS) and Information/Service Platforms (CAPITALS PLUS), addressing integrated services in the travel and tourism sector. City data bases on tourism and traffic information were fed to a central data base via a common data entry interface, which in turn provided special functions (common in five European capitals) for tourism information via various media.
In short, the project was based on the development of a B-to-B business model, where the single platform provider was adapted to local service specifications, providing a web portal with tourist, cultural, mobility and traffic information, parking information, the opportunity for on-demand transport.
The project's objectives and approach were set differently between each participating EU capital.
The technical approach was concerned with the development of the Tourism database. The aim was to transfer and implement all the tourist data provided by the Tourism Office, via a web-based link.
The technical approach was dedicated to the demonstration of integrated traveller and traffic information services available for use via fixed and mobile connection to the internet, pre-trip as well as on-trip. Existing information services of the Berlin Traffic Management Centre and information of the Cities Tourism Board was needed to be integrated.
The technical approach was dedicated to the demonstration of advanced services based on traffic and tourism information available in the municipality mobility systems. The process of generation of a common “language”, XML-structured provided solutions for information dissemination in intranet and internet, establishing an important milestone in B2B services.
As Paris authorities had already developed numerous applications dedicated to car users' information, the objective was to integrate different information to provide an added value, as well as to disseminate this information by means of different media adapted to the specific profile of the users of the city.
The technical approach was dedicated to the demonstration of the improved accessibility of integrated information via different media (WAP, existing info-kiosks, Internet portal). Information from Rome Tourist Office, Traffic and specific Plan for Coaches (provided by STA) and Public Transport information (provided by ATAC) was to be been exchanged and integrated using XML (and Trident) standard protocol.
The Capitals-ITTS project was conducted in 4 stages.
Stage 1 was concerned with drafting Common Interface Language Specifications, and designing a system architecture for the applications/functions. This architecture was conceived on the basis of user requirements on both local and overall level, and also comprised HMI specifications.
Stage 2 focused on the integration of traffic location referencing systems for Brussels, Rome, Madrid and Paris. POI (Point of Interest) and Traffic API (Application Programme level Interfaces) were revised and their suitability for implementation was assessed, while navigation software applications were provided to the cities for usage with their selected hardware configurations.
Stage 3 conducted field trials/on-site demonstrations. According to a common evaluation approach, data collection, measurements and an analysis of activities were carried out in each city, resulting in different analyses: one considering the aggregated results of the five cities involved in the project (Common evaluation) and one considering the results for each of the cities and aiming at obtaining a comparison between them (Comparison of local measurements).
Stage 4 conducted the evaluation process, articulated according to four assessment objectives:
- technical assessment,
- user acceptance assessment (measured by interviewing the different user groups),
- impact assessment (measured by interviews as well), and
- socio-economic evaluation.
The Capitals-ITTS project provided the following key results:
1. The definition and development of user requirements on both local and overall level, system requirements and HMI (Human-Machine Interface) specifications.
2. The definition of a Common Interface Language Specifications, and a system architecture for the applications/functions.
3. The integration of traffic location referencing systems for Brussels, Rome, Madrid and Paris. POI and Traffic API have been revised and their suitability for implementation has been assessed. Navigation software applications have been provided to the cities for usage with their selected hardware configurations.
4. The Field Trials/On-site Demonstrations provided the general result that the services proved were accessible, useful, credible and had impacts on users trips (destination, transport mode or travel time choice). On the other hand they were not always found as easy to use as expected. Furthermore, Users would have preferred to use the services without paying for them or paying only low rates.