Press release about KickOff from SmartMMI

“Glimpse” into the future of public transport

One glance at the train window – and the passenger is already informed about the passing museum and his connection. A consortium led by Karlsruhe University of Applied Sciences wants to make what still sounds a bit like science fiction a reality – in a dual-system train operated by Albtal Verkehrs Gesellschaft mbH. “In SmartMMI, we are making transparent display and innovative mobile technologies a tangible 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 at Karlsruhe University of Applied Sciences is also coordinating the overall project.

The initial meeting on November 15 and 16, 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). ANNAX GmbH, AVG mbh, MENTZ GmbH and USU AG are also on board as additional partners. Verkehrsbetriebe Karlsruhe and Karlsruher Verkehrsverbund are also supporting the project. With the goal of further developing public transportation (ÖV) and providing passengers with a mobility experience, the SmartMMI project focuses on improving the provision of information to passengers along their mobility chain. The aim is to provide passengers with situation-specific information about disruptions, changes in planning, tourist destinations or services available along the route. The project is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI) and the mFUND research initiative.

As part of the SmartMMI project, five project partners from industry and research are developing new technologies ranging from data acquisition and data integration to data visualization. The project focuses on researching and testing the context-sensitive provision of mobility data on specially developed intelligent transparent display panels that can be installed in public transport vehicles and at stops, in conjunction with passengers’ mobile devices.

To this end, the project partners are developing new technologies for the collection and integration of various information from different data sources. The consortium is relying 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 enhanced to enable intelligent integration and, above all, selection of the relevant data – i.e., “understanding” by systems as well. Contextual information that describes the current situation of the passengers is used for this purpose, enabling the system to select data tailored to the situation and to process it in a way that is appropriate for the user and the situation. For example, sensitive data is displayed in a suitable format on the user’s smartphone, while general, supplementary information is displayed on the vehicle’s transparent smart window. Thus, this larger surface can be used for more details and indications superimposed on reality. Visualization concepts can be used, among other things, to provide passengers with additional information about the route, such as the weather or tourist attractions, in addition to their personal route.

In the project, semantic connectors will be developed that enhance public transport data and optimally link it with other data relevant along the travel chain. Prototypes of an ambient intelligent travel information system will be researched and developed, which will provide passengers with the best possible support during their public transport journey in every situation. In this way, the project significantly increases the attractiveness of public transport as an ecological, time-saving and sensible alternative to automobile transport, but also links it with individual transport.

The SmartMMI project will develop solutions in several stages up to 2020 and test them with users, so that interested parties can already contact the institute for this purpose.