Innovation through experimentation – highQ is part of the project that aims to make Erfurt a “living lab” of the future for sustainable and intelligent mobility, logistics and energy supply. The focus is on networking and using the latest mobility approaches through artificial intelligence to support Germany in its efforts to transform mobility and energy. The project is being funded by the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy on the basis of a resolution of the German Bundestag within the framework of the national strategy for artificial intelligence.
This is where highQ contributes its core expertise and develops it further in the form of barrier-free, multimodal mobility solutions for Erfurt. Residents are encouraged to move around in a way that conforms to the public good by means of AI-supported mobility suggestions. Behavioural change is made easier by the mobility assistant provided, which manages subscriptions, ticketing, planning and scheduling as well as direct controlling (banking and fare management). In addition, the system offers customer-friendly incentives. Erfurt residents can collect “time miles” (i.e. bonus points) through mobility behaviour that is in line with the public good, which they can then exchange for rewards. This means that they can travel whenever they need to, in an environmentally friendly and cost-effective manner at all times, while Erfurt benefits from reduced emissions and congestion and from greater resident satisfaction levels. As a result of the AI-supported mobility concept that conforms to the public good, Erfurt is becoming a pioneer for the necessary modal shift in the mobility sector. In keeping with the motto “reward rather than punish”, not just the citizens of Brühl but also other stakeholders (e.g. workers commuting into the neighbourhood) can be rewarded for adapting or personally optimising their behaviour in line with a city’s traffic management strategy.
Similar to well-known loyalty schemes in the retail trade, people collect “time miles” based on their mobility behaviour and can then exchange them for mobility-related awards, such as public transport tickets, parking space reservations, e-vehicle rental, etc.
The algorithms and solutions developed by highQ for Zeitmeilen AG are particularly well suited to the tasks of the Bauhaus.MobilityLab. This is because the system approach has been specifically designed for defined and especially for smaller areas.
Furthermore, the algorithms can be adapted flexibly and at short notice to local needs and experiences in the Brühl area (particulate matter, nitrogen oxide, traffic searching for parking spaces, etc.) according to the LivingLab principle. In this way, the final strategy can be aligned step by step and in open dialogue by the city of Erfurt together with residents and stakeholders.
In the BauhausMobilityLab, mapping the route chains is being carried out for the first time in accordance with the ZEUS patent introduced by BPV. This will enable the billing of mobility services and the associated incentives to be based on a clearly and verifiably secure approach in accordance with the provisions of statutory data protection.
In particular, the patented technology of Generative Software (part of the highQ group of companies) can be used for the efficient integration of additional service providers and for the distribution of the generated information and services over as many channels as possible.
Systems of new service providers can be easily integrated (particularly mobility service providers, but also other services such as weather forecasts). Likewise, besides an app developed within the scope of the project, a widget or library can be generated to provide the necessary information or services in other required forms.
Automation for the creation of source code, configuration and documentation, build scripts, tests and execution environments creates ideal conditions for the “DevOps” process improvement approach. The data collected through the results of using the automation tools enables fast, well-founded decisions to be made and targeted measures to be taken.
In today’s applications, several components usually work together, which are more or less loosely coupled with each other via interfaces. When several such applications are connected via networks to form a software system, we talk in terms of a “distributed software system”, which can be implemented using a microservices architecture, for example. These applications are also connected to each other via interfaces.
This situation is taken into account in automation by the fact that there is individual automation support for each component and each application. This then simultaneously takes account of the interfaces between the components and between the applications. Interface models are used for this purpose. The result is ultimately achieving a complete overview of all applications. Interfaces represent a particularly worthwhile goal for automation. This is because an interface is defined once only, and both the providing and the consuming side can be generated from this to match each other.
The project is funded within the framework of the “Artificial Intelligence Strategy of the Federal Government of Germany.”
Mobility as a Service Platform: Lively, Automated, Demand & Sharing Orientated
The research and development project “User-centred Mobility as a Service Platform: Alive, Automated, Demand & Sharing Orientated” (MaaS L.A.B.S. for short) aims to develop innovative, digitally supported mobility offers in Potsdam, Cottbus and Hanover. MaaS L.A.B.S. is shaping the transformation of transport through a flexible and needs-based local public transport system, which is expanding its already effective offering to include automated microbuses and combining them with new car, bike and ride-sharing services. This ecological, economic as well as social and urban restructuring of our mobility system provides solutions for the challenges of climate change, pollution and traffic congestion.
Drawn from the social sciences, engineering and economics, the interdisciplinary MaaS L.A.B.S. project team places transport users at the centre of its research and aims to gradually test technologies and business models with the objective of avoiding planning errors. There are four interlinked services:
For the first time, the MaaS L.A.B.S. system takes an in-depth look at the specific requirements of small and medium-sized cities in the context of research and development. To this end, “living labs” will be set up in the cities of Potsdam, Cottbus and Hanover from 2020 onwards. The services offered will be developed in active dialogue with the population as well as with town and transport planners and politicians. Detailed demonstrations are used to make technology tangible to laypeople and to shape technology and process development in step-by-step feedback processes.
highQ will participate as a provider of IT solutions in the creation of the overall system architecture of the MaaS system. We will also play a major role in the development of the platform's own ticketing and clearing systems and the creation of the MaaS app and the MaaS D2D planner. highQ also plans to participate in the iterative programming and testing of the interfaces between the MaaS platform and the existing decentralised platforms for fleet management and car sharing, as well as the integration of smart contract-based sharing concepts.
This research and development project is being funded by the BMBF for four years (15.5.2019 - 14.05.2023) under the funding line “Individual and adaptive technologies for networked mobility.”
Network coordinator Technical University Wildau
“school” – an acronym formed from the German for “strategy change through open data-orientated solutions” – is a research project concerning traffic management in urban areas. Via an app, road users receive individual recommendations on how to behave in certain situations, such as avoiding driving, travelling outside rush hours, changing to public transport at the nearest park & ride location or choosing a different route. An incentive system is being tested that rewards individual compliance with the behaviour recommendations by transport users (“time miles” bonus system run by Zeitmeilen AG).
By shifting traffic flows as recommended by the app, both in terms of timing and choice of transport mode, traffic jams are avoided, transport users arrive at their destinations in a more relaxed manner, the environment is less polluted and conurbations are less burdened. The bonus system also creates incentives to change transportation behaviour.
This project is being coordinated by the Technische Hochschule Mittelhessen (THM). Zeitmeilen (the highQ start-up) is one of the cooperation partners (along with Bauhaus-Universität Weimar, the cities of Dortmund, Frankfurt-am-Main and Kassel, the Frankfurt RheinMain region as well as TraffiCon GmbH and pwp-systems GmbH.
The German Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI) is funding the project with around two million euros as part of the mFUND research initiative.
Funding source Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure
Support programme Modernity Fund (mFUND)
SB:Digital is a joint project which aims to investigate digital social networks as a means of creating attractive work. Having been used in private contexts for a long time, they are now also gaining importance in the corporate context. Since the beginning of the project, highQ has been working as a practical partner to develop the SB:Digital mobility app (pilot application in the topic area “Ecology and Working Time”).
SB:Digital is a social mobility app aimed at inspiring commuters to adopt ecological and healthy mobility behaviour by means of incentives and gamification.
Commuters are supported in becoming socially responsible and in sustainably anchoring environmental protection in their culture. Through the networking of mobility solutions, SB:Digital makes it possible to influence commuter swarming behaviour towards resource-conserving patterns while taking individual needs into account. The incentive component creates enthusiasm about using SB:Digital – commuters collect “time miles” for resource-conserving behaviour (e.g. commuting together, commuting at alternative times, use of public transport / cycling / walking). The time miles can then be exchanged for rewards. The gamification approach also provides motivation because commuters can compare themselves with each other in a playful way: Who’s collected the most time miles and earned extra rewards?
Employers benefit because their employees arrive at work sooner and are less stressed. In addition, infrastructure expenses can be saved, for example by carpooling or switching to public transport (less parking space required). What’s more, through the use of SB:Digital, the life cycle assessment of the organisation can be improved and reports can be generated to demonstrate progress towards achieving environmentally friendly transport behaviour.
Once the project is completed, the app will be marketed as mytraQ.biz as an extension of highQ’s mytraQ product line.
This research and development project is being funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and the European Social Fund (ESF) within the framework of the “Future of Work” programme (FKZ 02L15A070, duration: 01.04.2017 to 31.03.2020). It is supervised by the Project Management Agency Karlsruhe (PTKA).
Responsibility for the contents of this publication rests with the author.
The pilot project moveBW – Mobility Information and Traffic Control Baden-Württemberg – was aimed at integrating mobility information for the Stuttgart region across all transport modes into one routing app. Smart suggestions provided via the app made it possible to redirect traffic flows (mainly car traffic) and suggest alternative mobility offers, as well as showing easy options for changing trains. With these routing suggestions, the actual goal of reducing and avoiding traffic jams, protecting the environment and cutting journey times was effectively achieved.
The project has now been successfully completed and produced significant results. One of them is the app itself, which uses intermodal routing to primarily address all transport users while also involving car commuters. That is why, for example, the parking company Parkraumgesellschaft Baden-Württemberg was also a project partner. The moveBW app includes booking options for mobility alternatives, in particular purchasing public transport smartphone tickets, booking or reserving parking spaces (optionally including charging point) and using car-share vehicles.
The Nahverkehrsgesellschaft Baden-Württemberg (NVBW), a subsidiary of the state of Baden-Württemberg, operates the mobility platform created as part of the project. This will be available from spring 2020 for the Stuttgart region and, in the long term, for the whole of Baden-Württemberg. This will create a public-interest orientated and non-discriminatory portal for the bundling of different data providers and the provision of all relevant information from the regional traffic control partners via open interfaces.
The leadership of the project consortium, which existed until April 2019, was held by Robert Bosch GmbH.