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Transport services driven by data

6/18/14, 4:00 PM

”Information has dramatically increased its role in society in recent years. Big data, mass data, very large data, raw data, open data, data analytics, digitisation...,” Trafi’s Information Director and Director General for Data Resources, Mia Nykopp, lists the various types of information that affect our lives. Trafi is actively involved in the 10th ITS European Congress in Helsinki, held on 16–19 June, 2014.

Information Director Mia Nykopp will be the first to take the floor in Trafi's series of daily speeches discussing ITS from various viewpoints. The speeches will also be published on Trafi's website at www.trafi.fi/tietoa_trafista/ajankohtaista/its_helsinki (mostly in Finnish).

Ability to see the big picture and manage meaningful data is essential

Is information the new transport fuel?  Naturally, there has always been information, but with the introduction of more advanced ICT solutions, data is becoming a new form of fuel for meeting transport-related needs. This is made possible by the rapidly diversifying range of data management solutions. Massive amounts of exploitable data is produced all the time. Surrounded by ever-increasing data resources, it is important to maintain the ability to see the opportunities provided by data as a whole and manage the parts of it that are meaningful: to understand what information exists and what is missing.

Now and in the future, transport system development and service production will increasingly rely on information and efficient ways of making use of information. In fact, information has become the fifth mode of transport for Trafi, in addition to aviation, road transport, maritime transport and the railway system.

Information provides the platform for building customer-oriented and cost-effective services based on the needs and expectations of customers and stakeholders. In the future, mobility needs will diversify and become more personal. Information will be the key to providing users with personalised private and public sector services in a cost-effective manner. Using the society's resources only for services that are necessary requires adequate understanding of the needs.

In addition to transport service users, information users include a wide range of transport sector operators, companies that make direct use of information or use it to develop services, and the authorities. Comprehensive data management is a requirement for the creation of new types of transport services. Cooperation and a user-oriented vision of the whole, shared by everyone, are prerequisites for successful data management. An active user community is emerging around transport data.

Services should move with the user

What do we wish for the most when we are on the move? First and foremost, the user experience should not be hindered by the interfaces of authorities or transport sector operators. Services and information should go wherever transport service users go, taking them smoothly and safely to their destination, without having to put any extra effort or thought to ensuring the flow of information that keeps them moving forward. Data-driven transport services take into account factors, such as flow, safety, sustainable development and the environment. A combination of these services will be the future of mobility – mobility as a service!

The ingredients of future transport services include:

  1. Seeing the big picture through cooperation and trust between authorities and transport sector operators – only these enable doing the right things in the right way!
  2. Managing information – a lot of information is still dispersed and unused.
  3. Understanding the need – when the operators have a mutual understanding, the user will have a seamless mobility experience.
  4. Simplifying – the goal is to do more with less, so the need must be clarified by simplifying matters!
  5. A new, more agile approach makes it possible to create new services sufficiently quickly.

Trafi's goal is to become a pioneer in collecting transport-related data, opening it up and utilising it to meet the society's needs. To achieve this, we need to be able to see the big picture and manage all the relevant components. It also means a lot of work that we should do together. Information belongs to all of us. We should embrace digitisation and start advancing it together.

As a traffic and transportation authority, Trafi enables well-being and competitiveness through the use of transport data. But we also need to test new services with confidence and an open mind. It will help both transport system users and operators understand what type of information and services are necessary.

Trafi is currently engaged in the expansion of opening up data, a new data acquisition procedure, automated vehicles, and versatile ITS testing. Trials and new services are being showcased at the ITS European Congress on 16–19 June. Come visit Trafi's exhibition booth FB12!

Information Director Mia Nykopp will also be speaking at the 'ITS for citizens' info session for the media in the Exhibition area on Wednesday 18 June at 2–3 p.m.

Additional information is available from:

Information Director, Director General for Data Resources Mia Nykopp, tel. +358 29 5345 402, mia.nykopp(at)trafi.fi, on Twitter @MiaNykopp