A glance at the railway window – and the passenger is already informed about the passing museum and its connection. A consortium under the direction of the University of Karlsruhe wants to make reality a bit more like science fiction – in a two-system train of the Albtal Verkehrs Gesellschaft mbH. “In SmartMMI we are making transparent display and innovative mobile technologies a reality for public transport passengers. Current and highly relevant information thus finds its way directly to the user – and makes public transport more attractive with digital technologies, “says Professor Schlegel, who, as head of the Institute for Ubiquitous Mobility Systems of the Karlsruhe University of Applied Sciences, also coordinates the overall project.
The initial meeting on 15 and 16 November 2017 marked the start of the research project Model and Context-based Mobility Information on Smart Public Displays and Mobile Devices in Public Transport (SmartMMI). Other partners include ANNAX GmbH, AVG mbh, MENTZ GmbH and USU AG. The Verkehrsbetriebe Karlsruhe and the Karlsruher Verkehrsverbund also support the project. With the aim of further developing public transport and providing the passenger with a mobility experience, the SmartMMI project focuses on improving the provision of information to passengers along their mobility chain. Passengers are to be informed about the situation, about disruptions, planning changes, tourist destinations or about the services available along the route. The Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI) and the research initiative mFUND fund the project.
As part of the SmartMMI project, five project partners from industry and research are developing new technologies from data acquisition and data integration to the visualization of the data. In doing so, the project focuses on researching and testing the context sensitive data provision of mobility data on specially designed intelligent transparent display panels that can be installed in public transport vehicles and at stops, in conjunction with passengers’ mobile devices.
The project partners are developing new technologies for capturing and integrating different information from different data sources. The consortium relies on the use of big data and smart data technologies and the integration of specific public transport data based on the latest, self-developed standards with open data and data from third-party providers. The data is semantically upgraded to enable intelligent integration and, above all, selection of the relevant data – that is, understanding by systems. Context information that describes the current situation of the passengers and thereby enables the system to select data tailored to the situation and to prepare it in accordance with the needs of the user and the situation serves this purpose. For example, sensitive data is displayed in appropriate format on the user’s smartphone, while general, supplemental information is displayed on the transparent smart window of the vehicle. Thus, this larger area can be used for more details and clues that overlay reality. Among other things, visualization concepts can be used to further provide information about the route to a passenger, in addition to their personal route, for example regarding weather or tourist attractions.
In the project, semantic connectors will be developed, which will enhance public transport data and link them optimally with other data relevant along the travel chain. Prototypes of an ambitious intelligent travel information system are researched and developed, which provides passengers with the best possible support during their travel in public transport in every situation. The project significantly increases the attractiveness of public transport as an ecological, timesaving and meaningful alternative to automobile traffic, but also links this with private transport.
The SmartMMI project will develop multi-level solutions and test them with users by 2020 so that interested parties can already get in touch with the institute.