The objective of the Interoperability Framework is to provide IT2Rail functional applications with a ‘web of transportation data’ abstraction of the distributed resources they need to operate. The abstraction is constructed by using semantic web technology open standards in order to:
- Build a set of components that effectively insulate the applications from handling the ‘mechanics’ of interoperability: semantic web service registry, semantic discovery engine and packaged resolvers;
- Provide a shared machine-readable, explicit and formal description of the transportation domain’s knowledge and its computational constraints: ontology specification and registry;
- Mask underlying disparities of data formats and protocols representing the common domain facts and events by providing for their unambiguous interpretation through the application of the shared semantics constraints: semantic query and aggregation engine.
By eliminating the need for further, centrally governed convergence on a single prescriptive data format or protocol, the Interoperability Framework allows for:
- Transportation service providers to join the ‘web of transportation data’ autonomously, with minimal centralised coordination, contributing to an ecosystem of advanced networked travel applications and services whose evolution is driven by market forces;
- Opening up of the domain to participation by an extended range of technology and component suppliers as well as Travel Service providers;
- Acceleration in the adoption of existing technical specifications for interoperability, e.g. TAP-TSI, through the automation of data mappings and semantic interpretation across different data formats;
- Natural expansion of the IT2Rail Project scope into the full Shift2Rail IP4 objectives.
The Travel Shopping Work Package will establish the basis for the Travel Shopping Technical Demonstrator for Shift2Rail IP4
, contributing to its overall objectives in the following manner:
- It establishes the architecture for managing and aggregating distributed travel shopping data and distributed journey planning expertise;
- It creates the basis for a one-stop shop for co-modally marketed transport products and services whose combinations can answer to door-to-door mobility queries;
- It allows for the presentation of transport service attributes and facilities answering to Customer preferences in connection with carbon footprint and ‘reduced mobility’ needs;
- It interfaces with WP1 (Interoperability framework) to overcome interoperability obstacles, so protecting the Customer from the fragmentation of messaging and codification standards which make travel shopping so difficult and risky in today’s fragmented travel marketplace.
The extended interoperability between modes, operators and systems offered by the Ticketing Work Package will provide Travellers with the possibility to book and pay in a ‘one-click’ action, complete multimodal door-to-door travel journeys and to validate their travel entitlements across heterogeneous transport systems.
To this end, key aspects of the current booking and ticketing environment will be revisited to promote wide introduction of dematerialised entitlements accessible securely by Travellers, services providers and operators alike:
- The notion of travel ticket will evolve toward the new concept of Entitlement, Token and Embodiment (ETE) to allow greater interoperability of travel rights across the whole transportation ecosystem;
- Co-modal travel rights and services will be managed with full use of the travel companion at trip level with regards to booking, purchase and ticketing, so eliminating the inherent risk attached to today’s purchase of co-modal travel segments;
- User’s interaction will be shielded from the complexity and wide diversity of legacy transport systems such as differences in local protocols, procedures, customs or physical facilities and unfamiliar access to validation and inspection devices.
Relying on interfacing mechanisms provided by the Interoperability Framework (WP1), the WP3 services will ultimately contribute to construct a digital, customised, integrated and operable representation of a seamless transportation environment for the end-user.
The goal of WP4 lies in monitoring of irregularities in transport and in responding to such anomalies in on-line mode, including suggestions of alternative solutions. So far, journey planners have focused on searching the optimal connection in compliance with planned timetables. Life, however, brings a large number of events that invoke irregularities in transport. Ultimately, this means that a Traveller cannot meet the original travel plan, and has to react to the current situation. Then a lot of bad decisions are made due to insufficient amount of information, or due to their too late acquisition.
The Trip Tracker will take the current traffic situation into account. After activation of tracking, the Traveller will be informed on all known travel conflicts that may affect the planned journey. Evaluation of travel conflicts will run during the whole time of travel. The system sends alerts to the Traveller about the risks of deviation from original plans. Moreover, the system also offers alternative solutions.
The main objectives of the proposed solution are to:
- Listen to the on-line information on traffic irregularities (real-time data);
- Alert Travellers on all relevant events concerning their planned journey;
- Propose alternative solutions in reaction to such exceptions.
Trip Tracker, activated on user’s request, uses the Complex Event Processing (CEP) to identify travel conflicts and their impact on individual transport connections, taking preferences of each user into account. Events will be obtained from many different sources. On one hand, there are information provided by IMs (Infrastructure managers) of national railways, on the other hand, there are channels from central dispatching systems of individual RUs (Railway Undertakings). It requires a large amount of analytical work to consolidate information coming from such different sources.
When analysing the travel conflict, Trip Tracker cooperates with Travel Shopper on getting alternative solutions for the Traveller. These suggestions are forwarded to the Travel Companion of the relevant Customer and related data are provided to the Shopping Cart at the same time to enable re-accommodation when necessary.
The Travel Companion Work Package will develop the key concepts of unique Traveller identifier, smart device and virtualised data store to bolster attractiveness of the Rail transport ecosystem. An all-encompassing user front end offering access to a wealth of multimodal services and products will promote a new door-to-door traveling experience with strong appeal:
- The Traveller will take control of its own travel environment through a unique identifier to allow seamless operation of all services and operators with trusted reliability and security;
- Transport ecosystem technological and stakeholder fragmentation will be hidden to the Traveller by the introduction of a personal and dedicated virtual travel environment;
- Travellers needs will be catered for with great attention as Travel Companion will provide appropriate matching of services for ‘reduced mobility’ and environmental needs;
- Travellers, services providers and operators alike will be able to manage the transportation journey within a dematerialised ticket environment;
- Service providers will be able to offer a variety of applications tailored to specific user categories and develop new business opportunities through ever increasing connectivity.
Ultimately, this Travel Companion will federate the IT2Rail services and allow the end-user to construct a digital, customised, integrated and operable representation of a seamless transportation environment. User’s interaction will be shielded from differences in local protocols, procedures, customs or physical facilities and unfamiliar access and validation devices.
WP6 is focused on leveraging social, mobile, structured and unstructured data to obtain valuable, actionable insights that allows rail operators, product/service providers, Traveller/Transport Enterprises to make better decisions in order to increase quality of service and revenues, to better adapt their level of service to the passengers demand and to optimise their operations in order to bring and retain more people on the train-urban mobility. WP6 will be focused on implementing a Business Analytics Framework to create multi-modal transportation intelligence. The Business Analytics Platform (WP6) aims at:
- Measuring Traveller experience indicators;
- Monitoring the performance of the transport systems or any part of them;
- Identifying trends, deviations or critical cases;
- Informing Travellers on services feedback;
- Suggesting operative actions/changes to services.
The Business Analytics Framework will allow the operators to adapt their transport environment and services with greater accuracy by listening to Traveller’s feedback, thus contributing to the ease and seamlessness of the Customer’s travel experience, with social engagement and community approach. The Business Analytics Framework uses ‘big data’ technologies to access the ‘web of transportation things’ with support from the Interoperability Framework and leverage the data published by the multimodal services to generate analytical insights, (e.g. service disruptions risk) tailored on demand to multiple operators. Business Analytics has clearly identified objectives:
- Leverage social, mobile, structured and unstructured data to obtain valuable, actionable insights that allows transport operators, Shift2Rail IP4 ecosystem product/service providers, Traveller/Transport Enterprises to make better decisions in order to increase quality of service and passenger demand.
It is achieved by Analytics Services that:
- Manage large and complex sets of data enabling an integrated door-to-door multimodal travel service distributed by multiple service providers;
- Collect and integrates historical business data and Travellers behaviour on all channels (mobile, social, web...).
- Increase number of passengers, improve quality of service and increase revenue by enabling decision tools for rail and other modes operators to build Traveller and transport operator intelligence.
It is achieved by Transport/Travel intelligence that:
- Offers Rail & Transport Service Providers open monitoring channels (web, press, forum, blog...) to enhance Customer experience, Customer loyalty and revenues assurance;
- Offers Travellers a rich set of information on other Traveller’s experiences in using proposed transport services.
WP7 aims to provide the IT2Rail team of partners committed to shared innovation concepts and objectives with a common platform of organisational principles, procedures, engineering methodologies and other instruments designed for efficient coordination of cross-WP activities and for timely delivery of quality results. By laying solid foundations for the working environment across all WPs, and by presenting a first integrated implementation (Pilot), WP7 activities will provide IT2Rail with a major accelerating factor towards full Shift2Rail IP4 development and the deployment of an open Technical Enabler.
As the Shift2Rail notions of Community, Consistency and Convergence are key mechanisms for the deployment of an open Technical Enabler, IT2Rail will contribute to this approach by focusing on the following objectives:
- Federate the IT²RAIL consortium partners: IT2Rail work packages will be coordinated according to industry best practices by a Technical Management Committee (TMC) in charge of major technical decisions and of the overall technical Project schedule. IT2Rail consortium benefits from a wide range of expertise in business roles and technologies which will be shared and leveraged across the projects activities.
- Ensure best practice in system engineering to provide consistency: Expertise in system engineering methodology from the IT2Rail consortium partners will be shared to optimise the utilisation of deep specialised knowledge in common engineering challenges, to guarantee consistency across work package solutions, and to leverage positive externality effects of shared knowledge.
- Foster convergence of technologies through integration of a Pilot: IT2Rail will see the emergence of innovative proof of concepts from each work package, assembled in a Pilot aiming to satisfy a representative use-case of a door-to-door pan-European Traveller’s journey.
These objectives guarantee that both organisational and technical integration of the IT2Rail partners’ efforts are intrinsically bound in a set of multimodal concepts, functions and services which will be practically showcased during the Pilot presentation.
The dissemination will increase stakeholders’ awareness for the subjects tackled within IT2Rail and provide substantive information for ongoing discussions between the stakeholders and political institutions as well as the whole EU transport community across the different modes. This work package identifies and organises the activities to be performed in order to consolidate and share a common knowledge base of the IT2Rail Project outcomes for communication to the Institutions and other stakeholders, and for exploitation in further Shift2Rail research and/or industrialisation. Its main objectives are:
- The preparation of the Project ’s Data Management Plan;
- Set up of a dissemination plan;
- Set up communication channels with Shift2Rail and ensure a permanent link/communication with the relevant Shift2Rail Innovation Programmes;
- Ensure that the outcomes of the Project will reach the targeted decision makers who will implement them at the end of IT2Rail and Shift2Rail;
- Public Communication and Knowledge Sharing;
- Guarantee the delivery of high-quality results and sound technologies through the setting up of Consultative Bodies.
This is the Project Management Work Package where the following activities are foreseen:
- Project Coordination
- Consortium Management
- Administrative and Financial Management
- Quality Management