Road map for radical innovations in European transport services
ROADIDEA argues that effective accessibility to all kinds of useful background information combined with advanced data fusion methods and technological information platforms with high level of standardization are prerequisites for creation of innovative mobility services. These help developing better information infrastructure as well as public and private services providing Clean, Safe and Efficient mobility for people and goods. The hypothesis is a framework for technical development in the project, and verified in Northern, Central and South-Eastern parts of Europe. The differences of the existing transport systems and available data sources are analysed as well as the problems caused by local climate and geography. The main focus for research will be road transport with all its user sectors, but co- and multi-modality and other forms of transport will be included.
In several occasions, project innovates in a systematic way new service concepts and improvements to existing systems and background models, utilizing new kinds of data and data fusion. Using rather a user- than technology-centred approach, ideas are screened and evaluated by end users, leaving the best and most potential ones for further study and development. These key innovations are projected to the existing European transport infrastructure and systems, thus revealing the key development targets and bottlenecks. During the following development phases, the barriers for innovations and measures to remove those barriers are identified, and tackled when possible. As a final result, ROADIDEA will present a road map to a more innovative and competitive European transport service sector. Technology is a mean to provide safe, clean and efficient mobility services for people and goods. ICT can make all this reality if and when we have acceptance from the market, i.e. the users.
The objective of ROADIDEA was to study the potential of the European transport service sector for innovations, to analyse available data sources, to reveal existing problems and bottlenecks, and to develop better methods and models to be utilized in service platforms. These were to be capable of providing new, innovative transport services for various transport user groups, while trialling a formal innovation process to achieve this. The central issue was the Innovation Process itself and its value in undertaking this important task.
The work was organized in three main layers:
- Infrastructure layer: Analysis and development of transport infrastructure, in particular sources and collection of data, development of methods such as data filtering and fusion, and weather and road condition models.
- Innovation layer: New innovative transport service ideas were produced in a systematic way by organising two annual Futures Seminars.
- Exploitation layer: Piloting and testing a selection of the new innovations in real service platforms, evaluating their business potential and user acceptance.
ROADIDEA was focused on the most basic objective of ICT Theme of FP7, working towards a road map for improving the competitiveness of European industry and helping drive and stimulate creativity and process innovation in products and services.
The following specific execution objectives of ROADIDEA were achieved:
- The ROADIDEA transport service platform was designed and implemented to test the use and integration of various data and models in the provision of new services.
- The availability of useful data for transport services was analysed.
- New types of data sources and the needs for new kind of services were analysed.
- Better tools and standards were defined to allow for data storage and mediation.
- Better transport and weather models were developed, using the new sources of data in an innovative way.
- Data analysis, fusion and mining features were studied and developed for utilization in services to several different user sectors.
- Innovative new knowledge-intensive products and services for transport users were identified.
The main project outcomes have been a documented and demonstrated trial of formal Innovation Processes applied to ITS services, resulting in a Roadmap and a White Paper 'ITS deployment in the future'. Outcomes included an identification of the need for the European Transport Data Portal containing in the first phase an initial common minimum ITS data set and the criteria and processes for its expansion to secure the social and community gains available from the expansion of ITS services.
Based on the results from ROADIDEA it can be concluded that more frequent and systematic innovation activities among multi-disciplinary expert groups would be beneficial to accelerate the creation of service innovations and reduce their time to market in Europe. Innovation work as 'idea creation' is necessary to find the new and unforeseen ideas that are imperative in the complex multidisciplinary R&D of ITS. The key findings of ROADIDEA innovation creation activities can be summarised as follows:
- Innovation work should support ITS development plans which set a justified policy framework for burning practical problems to be tackled The methods used in ROADIDEA proved to be appropriate for this work, and allowed for continuous readjusting and redrafting of work.
- In Futures seminars where innovative people are brought together, the guidance for work undertaken there needs to be adjusted according to the process flow, thus creating an iterative hyper-cycle.
- Successful innovation calls for multiple sources of expertise to be engaged and encouraged in open and honest interaction, and assumes mutual interests will help to drive the group dynamics. It also calls for a solid knowledge of the state-of-the-art and the state-of-research in core field of discussion (i.e. ITS).
- The ideology of Innovation work is based on cross-fertilisation of diverse expertise and cross-associations of unexpected viewpoints, and thus radicalism cannot be forecast in advance. 'Radical' is a post-modern relativist term, where what is regarded as a radical idea from one expert's point of view is not necessarily so from another expert's point of view.
- Without creative and guided innovation work the ever-present time constraints in collaborative R&D work would substantially hinder success, and new ideas would have far less opportunity to emerge.
ROADIDEA is providing new methods for more accurate data acquisition and mining, e.g. in developing friction models. The new innovative methods and models will result in a number of very direct impacts.
- The tools will facilitate a comprehensive representation of the road weather and traffic status on a large transport network, even crossing national borders. Today, this is only possible in a very crude accuracy and resolution for large networks. The key conclusion of ROADIDEA is that accurate data in a detailed resolution can and must be provided on a European scale.
- A detailed and accurate account on the road and weather situation will become possible. When successful, this includes also the prediction of incidents, which has so far not been possible in real-time. Better access to incident data is a prerequisite for these kind of services.
- The quality of the transport data will greatly improve due to comprehensive use of advanced data fusion as well as the efficient exclusion of erroneous data. These methods were analysed in ROADIDEA Work Package 3.
- New types of data and novel combinations of different data types will facilitate totally new types of innovative services for the users. In this respect, the greatest potential is for services, which attempt to minimise the climate change effects on road transport by incorporating these effects as dynamic parameters in the control algorithms of the services. Many ideas created in ROADIDEA Futures seminars have this potential.
- The methods and models can be applied in other domains than transport. This is especially evident for weather related information, whose uses in industry, agriculture, sports, fisheries, etc. will benefit from the innovations and achievements within ROADIDEA. Mathematical and statistical methods have been described in detail in ROADIDEA WP4 documents, and these results can be well used in other application areas.
- The new tools developed by ROADIDEA will make investments in road and traffic monitoring much more cost-effective by minimising with data fusion and modelling the need for further investments in monitoring. In particular, mobile observing methods have been developed and piloted in the project.
- The ROADIDEA tools can directly be utilised especially in the infrastructure elements in the development of co-operative systems utilising V2I and I2V communications (Vehicle to Infrastructure and Infrastructure to Vehicle) such as those included in the other
The technological R&D and innovations made during the ROADIDEA project will benefit all four expected impacts in the ICT/Transport work programme:
- “World leadership of Europe’s industry in the area of Intelligent Vehicle Systems and expansion to new emerging markets”. This target is feasible when potential for incremental and radical innovations is released, as stated in the objectives of ROADIDEA.
- “Improved safety, efficiency and competitiveness of transport systems across Europe, with strong contribution to growth and jobs and towards the objective of reducing road fatalities by 50% in EU-25 by 2010”. This target proved to bee too ambitions, but in the long run, better technological platforms, methods and models developed in ROADIDEA lead to better services, and while also improving the access to necessary data, contribute to this target.
- “New targets for efficiency and environmental friendliness in Europe’s transport sector through new mobility services”. This is what new ROADIDEA innovations aim at, and has been one of the key targets during the innovation sessions.
- “Higher mobility of people and goods across different transport modes through the provision of accessible and reliable information service”. This is what the better accessibility of information and innovative new services bring about.