22.–23.05.2024 #polismobility

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Where are we in unlocking the potential of mobility data in Europe?

Status quo and potential of mobility data spaces

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Judith O'Meara, EIT Urban Mobility, discusses the potential of mobility data spaces.

Long exposure of a street crossing in the dark

© Unsplash.com

Unlocking the potential of mobility data is essential to develop innovative mobility solutions for the green and digital transition. Sharing mobility data can bring numerous benefits for the society and economy, for instance by creating new business opportunities, such as smart parking applications, or by facilitating greener multimodal mobility or improved monitoring and planning by cities. Exchanging data can also make mobility safer, for example by using car sensor data to alert other vehicles of dangers.

Besides ensuring that citizens reach their destinations safely and efficiently, a new challenge facing mobility experts has arisen in recent years, managing the coexistence of new means of transportation, like car-sharing, private-hire vehicles, and micro mobility options. Addressing these challenges – and future ones – require the ability to process and transform the vast amount of data, coming from the different sources of the transport system (e.g., connected vehicles, GPS-data, air quality sensors, social media, etc.) into useful information. The digital transformation depends on data availability, access, and exchange, often hampered by unclear regulatory conditions, incompatible tools and systems, absence of obligations to collect and share data, and lack of an EU market for data. Data spaces bring together the governance and infrastructure to facilitate the pooling and sharing of data in a controlled and secure way.

As such, the European Mobility Data Space (EMDS) will be a key deliverable of both the Data Strategy and the Sustainable and Smart Mobility Strategy .The cross-border use of mobility data is expected to create an additional EUR 270 billion in GDP for EU Member States by 2028, according to the EU .

Real-time traffic avoidance navigation can save up to 730 million hours, this amounts to €20 billion in labour costs. It is crucial to address the existing segmentation and obstacles hindering comprehensive data utilization. We must facilitate data access, pooling, and sharing by bringing together a collaborative ecosystem comprising companies, organizations, users, and institutions eager to share, monetize, or utilize data in developing an innovative mobility marketplace. In today's global economy, the creation of a harmonized data space infrastructure aligned with European values and citizens' expectations is paramount to establish an environment of trust and fruitful collaboration.

The pan-European consortium of PrepDSpace4Mobility of 17 partners, including EIT Urban Mobility, has identified more than 400 mobility data spaces existing throughout Europe. The analysis of these data ecosystems and their characteristics will help uncover insights that will guide the consortium to propose common building blocks for a future EMDS.

At the 2023 edition of the polisMOBILITY conference, EIT Urban Mobility hosted a thought-provoking panel on the future of mobility data spaces and digital sovereignty. This event also marked the launch of our expert group who will work together with stakeholders engaged in the EIT Urban Mobility quadruple helix ecosystem, to develop joint actions on this topic. By fostering the exchange of experiences and project ideas, we aim to explore promising cooperation opportunities among the private sector, research institutes, EU institutions, and, most importantly, cities.

The Mobility Data Space initiative in Germany has been instrumental in dispelling widespread concerns surrounding data use and sharing in Europe. And that is why we decided to launch this phase of our work in Germany. In future phases, we will be closely looking at Germany's data ecosystems to serve as a blueprint and share lessons-learned and best practices for all of Europe.

Reliable and interoperable urban mobility data can - and should - support public governance in a city by informing decision makers, evaluating measures, and supporting investments where these are needed the most. Cities play a pivotal role in our endeavours, and their active involvement is essential. We want to bring in representatives of cities, welcome their participation, and understand their vision of the future of data spaces.

We believe that failing to include cities in the decision-making process will impede the adoption of effective dataspaces structures. After all, cities serve as the heart of our activities and act as the testing ground for innovative solutions. We firmly hold the view that the next steps towards unlocking the potential of mobility dataspaces are considering specific needs of the various stakeholders rather than a universal one size fits all approach to facilitate buy-in; and creating a trusted environment based on clear protocols among all stakeholders of urban mobility value chains.

Judith O'Meara

Portariait of Judith-O'Meara

© EIT Urban Mobility

is Director of Innovation Hub Central of EIT Urban Mobility, EIT Urban Mobility is an initiative of the European Institute of Innovation & Technology, a body of the EU


Judith O‘Meara