Original article appeared on the website of Europe’s Rail: link.
With most Shift2Rail projects coming to a close this year, major demonstration activities testing different technological solutions developed within the programme are taking place across Europe. Our Members and partners carry out trials in real-life environments involving a wide range of experts, including operators, infrastructure managers, research centres, suppliers and in some cases even the final users.
In the month of June, we look at the demo activities dedicated to fully dynamic door-to-door travel, with the primary focus on improving passenger experience and making rail a more attractive option for the customers.
As of March 2023, our IP4MaaS project has been testing with real passengers the Shift2Rail Innovation Programme 4 Travel Companion application that helps facilitate the development of more passenger-centric and seamless multimodal travel.
“The IP4MaaS project, co-funded by the Europe’s Rail Joint Undertaking, plays a pivotal role in fostering sustainable mobility by advancing the integration of transport service providers (TSPs) into Mobility as a Service (MaaS) solutions. By leveraging innovative technologies and seamless multimodal transport systems, piloted across the EU, IP4MaaS paves the way for a greener, more efficient, and user-centric future of transportation,” says Gorazd Marinic, Programme Manager, Europe’s Rail Joint Undertaking.
The Travel Companion App, part of the Shift2Rail Innovation Programme 4, offers travellers a full control of their journey, thanks to their own personal and secured ‘Travel Companion’. Though a wallet, the app will give access to all travel services needed for the journey, shopping and booking, and will allow storage of the rights to travel. At the same time, retailers and operators are able to identify and authorise the Travel Companion to access their own systems and networks.
Over the course of a year the project travelled across Europe and tested various functionalities, including:
- Athens (July 2022 and March 2023, two phases): The goal of the Athens demo was to contribute to the unification of the multiple modes of transport that are available in Athens in one platform, hence making everyday trips in the city more sustainable, flexible, efficient and environmentally friendly, for both commuters and tourists. The Athens demo involved several transport modes, including public and personal transport such as private cars, bikes, and walking.
- Padua (April 2023): Padua sits at the centre of a densely populated area and is a hub of many commercial, educational and professional activities. For this reason, the FSI Group, through its owned FS Technology company (FST), has selected it as a living lab environment for deployment and experimentation of advanced solutions for its comprehensive digitalisation strategy
- Liberec (May 2023): The region of Liberec, at the borderland between Czech Republic, Germany and Poland, is still at the beginning of frequent cross-border travelling. The demo aims to use and integrate all public transport options available in the region, whereby it will focus on the existing cross-border section
- Warsaw (May 2023): The demo in Warsaw was realised on public transport nodes which integrate different types of mobility. During the demo phase, all services and IP4 functionalities under the IP4MaaS project, including user profiling, ticketing, travel reports or MaaS schemes were piloted
- Osijek (May and June 2023): In the region of Osijek, the implementation of e-car sharing and bike and e-bike sharing schemes are currently in progress. These new services will be fully operational and integrated into public transport scheme, thereby providing a unified experience for public transport users and giving choice for its users.
- Barcelona (June 2023): The demo site of Barcelona includes urban and sub-urban areas; the metropolitan area of Barcelona, medium sized cities close to Barcelona such as Matarò, Sabadell and Terrassa, and residential areas like Canet or Arenys. The objective of the demo was to optimise, through the IP4 ecosystem, the use of multi-modal travel by reducing the number of vehicles and by providing communication between the homes of different people who travel to different destinations but share modes along their trips.
Results from the demos are currently being assessed, and after analysis of user feedback, IP4MaaS will evaluate the impact of the developed IP4 solutions.