Information published on 28 March 2017 in the UIC electronic newsletter "UIC eNews" Nr 541.

Finland: Welcome to tomorrow’s world, where mobility is steered by mobile data

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In future, information will play an even greater role in mobility, although roads, railways or fairways form the traditional transport framework. Mobile data and shared information provide people with more mobility options, and they can even choose not to travel, for example, by working from home. Freedom of choice will increase in daily life.

It will be possible to carry optimal cargo in maritime transport, to precisely measure and repair road depressions or to use a linked travel service home from the cottage. In future, data and shared information will ensure more effective, punctual and safer journeys. The intelligence of the platform will spread throughout the whole travel chain, from the route to the end user.

"Sensors embedded in the infrastructure, measuring devices and cameras will generate an increasing amount of accurate data", said Director Jan Juslén.

An exact situation picture helps us to allocate maintenance and repair actions precisely. In addition to more effective infrastructure management, we are also able to monitor traffic more thoroughly and share the gathered information. "Information about exceptional situations, weather conditions, accidents and congestions is processed and distributed to other targeted road users in advance. Situations like these, as well as data collection by crowdsourcing, are now piloted in the NordicWay and Aurora projects,” said Juslén.

Mobility, journey and destination – changing travel behaviour
Information in itself is not an absolute value, but the services created on the basis of the information. In future, mobility will be purchased as a service, traffic will be increasingly automated and the role of the driver will diminish. At the same time, traffic safety will improve.

"Safety distances for automated vehicles and their speed will be adjusted to the situation and conditions. A reduced risk of accidents may even result in fewer safety structures" , said Juslén.

Mobility needs are undergoing change. When data is mobile, people’s travel behaviour may change so that their mobility needs are concentrated to their free time. This emphasises the importance of quality, comfort and experience provided by the travel service. The user-friendliness and accessibility of the services determine how worthwhile the users find the alternatives.

Above all, traffic management is capacity management. "Transport needs are adapted to the transport network. Vehicles will be operated most of the time, not parked. The modelled transport network is the foundation, which will be kept in a condition which meets the requirements of vehicles and enhances smooth mobility".

(Source: FTA)