The main scope of the project is to provide a scientifically documented insight of the transport system and people's travel choices via the study of social behaviour, mobility patterns and business models. This will also allow to define future changes in the passenger's travel system that would lead to more sustainable method/mode(s) of travelling.
OPTIMISM's main goal is the creation and development of different sets of strategies and methodologies for optimising passenger transport systems based on co-modality ICT solutions. OPTIMISM also takes into consideration the passenger needs and the carbon-neutral objective.
The OPTIMISM partners will combine and utilise multidisciplinary skills, expertise, and on-going work in the fields of climate friendly transport, foresight, modelling, socio-economics, mobility behaviour, ITS and transport policy development.
OPTIMISM will base its operating principles in three main blocks of activities:
- Identifying the gaps and harmonisation of data in travel behaviour. This will lead to a unified set of data that will serve as reference material for future exploitation of existing studies and baseline information (or data);
- Definition of the demand and supply factors that shape the transportation system and mobility patterns. This will aim to give an outlook on future development(s) by modelling and scenario simulation and;
- Defining the potential de-carbonisation of the passenger transport system and ensuring the sustainability of the system. The potential and co-benefits of best practice(s)/solutions will be based upon an analysis of ICT and co-modality options with an impact assessment of the research results.
A network with Pan-European and beyond coverage, has been appointed to lead the dissemination relevant tasks in order to ensure the widespread dissemination of results but also to allow access to various information sources relating to national surveys.
Transport research helps optimise travel
A better grasp of transport data and passenger behaviour has helped shape the vision of a more optimised travel sector for the future.
Passenger transport is expected to rise as the world's population grows, overwhelming existing transport infrastructures. Researchers and policymakers are looking at new ways to streamline passenger transport in order to pre-empt potential issues and render transport more sustainable. This was the aim of the EU-funded project 'Optimising passenger transport information to materialize insights for sustainable mobility' (http://www.optimismtransport.eu/ (OPTIMISM)) .
Working on new strategies to overcome this challenge, the project team focused on high-tech solutions based on combined modes of public transport, namely co-modality. It studied passenger needs, mobility patterns, social behaviour and business models to define more sustainable, carbon-neutral solutions.
The project led to an in-depth analysis of national travel statistics in Europe and recommendations to harmonise travel behaviour analysis. The team also articulated probable megatrends shaping transport and mobility, as well as simulating mobility behaviour in the future. Topics such as technology needs and decarbonisation were also examined. Importantly, the project articulated a framework to evaluate co-modality and information and communication technology options within the context of the EU's Seventh Framework Programme (FP7). It defined strategies to integrate and improve passenger transport systems, in addition to publishing a report on the impact of best practices related to mobility patters.
Finally, OPTIMISM produced recommendations on the principles of sustainable mobility that would support stakeholders in achieving better transport models.
All these valuable results were disseminated through conferences, publications, workshops and the project website, including a final conference held in Brussels, Belgium.
Studying the travel choices and behaviour of European citizens is bound to help policymakers and authorities create a more sustainable transport sector. This in turn will help usher in cleaner, safer and more efficient travel in the future.