The coronavirus outbreak will have long-lasting (if not permanent) impacts to our daily lives on:

  • Our individual behaviour: e.g. social distancing has come to remain;
  • The way we work: or, increasingly, telework (and be more efficient);
  • Our consumer habits: e.g. expect a surge of e-commerce; and, of course…
  • Our travel choices: less innecessary commute (and thus cleaner air in our cities)? More active mobility, such as cycling (and thus healthier urban mobility)? We’ll see some of these, and many more, consolidating in the weeks to come.

Transport being a clear vector for spread of this (and other) virus demands solutions that work. Now.

So, Factual being an agile innovation and strategy consultancy focused on mobility, we have mobilised our resources and engaged with a vibrant mobility ecosystem to bring innovation to fight this crisis. Here are two remarkable examples how:

  1. CORE MaaS (COvid19 REsilient Mobility as a Service): an idea developed by the guys at Iomob, one of the most groundbreaking startups in the mobility ecosystem currently, and submitted in partnership with Factual as part of the Enhanced EIC Accelerator Pilot (SME Instrument Phase 2) urgent call for projects. It proposes to develop an open SDK-based middleware platform that integrates available mobility service providers (MSPs), public transport, taxis, and other mobility services across multiple cities and regions within Continental Europe. The platform will provide intermodal routing algorithms to allow users to select available mobility options within a selected geography that optimize social distancing, as a prioritized parameter. The project has received an overwhelming support from 22 key stakeholders, and great interest and media attention keeps coming. Learn more by following the recent posts on this initiative from Boyd Cohen and Scott Shepard – CEO and CBO, respectively, at Iomob.
  2. MOLIERE (MObiLIty sERvices Enhanced by Galileo & Blockchain): although this project proposal was submitted a little before the coronavirus outbreak to another H2020 call (EGNSS applications fostering digitisation), it is now very timely briefing here. MOLIERE aims at building the world’s best open data commons for mobility services, the “Wikipedia of public transport and new mobility data”, a Mobility Data Marketplace underpinned by blockchain technology raising the profile, visibility, availability, and utility of geo-location data from Galileo, and will test it to fuel and demonstrate a diverse set of concrete, highly relevant mobility scenarios and use cases where geo-location data is key, addressing the needs of cities, public transport authorities, mobility service providers, and end-users. What makes this project even more relevant now is the fact that “precise location is a key requirement when attempting to monitor and map the spread of a disease, and GNSS is one of the main tools supporting this. Galileo, currently embedded in over 1.3 billion smartphones and devices worldwide, is helping to increase GNSS accuracy and availability, especially in urban areas. Since the outbreak of the coronavirus earlier this year, many apps have been developed that use GNSS precise location to monitor the global spread of the virus and to map outbreaks of the COVID19 disease. GNSS-apps are also proving their usefulness by helping people to implement social distancing“. The quote is from the European Global Navigation Satellite Systems Agency (GSA) calling for GNSS apps supporting authorities and citizens in the COVID19 emergency response and recovery (read here). MOLIERE is a joint initiative led by Factual to coordinate a consortium with Iomob, CARNET, Autoritat del Transport Metropolità (ATM), SEAT, Osborne Clarke, Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya and Octo Telematics.

So, intentionally leaving out more details about these two projects’ ambition, while CORE MaaS aims, in a nutshell, at factoring in social distancing into a State-of-the-Art routing algorithm for MaaS, MOLIERE’s main goal is to unlock much more precise, accurate, and highly available location data enabled by Galileo (critical for social distancing) through an open Mobility Data Marketplace, which we call the “Wikipedia of public transport and new mobility data“. Two totally complementary, mutually reinforcing, innovative, timely initiatives these days. One that Factual aims to coordinate (MOLIERE), and one where Factual is actively supporting Iomob gain traction (CORE MaaS).

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#socialdistancing #MaaS #Galileo #EGNSS #Covid19 #Coronavirus