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New research project aims at smarter mobility

New research project aims at smarter mobility

Published 7.11.2016

The Ministry of Transport and Communications, the Finnish Transport Safety Agency (Trafi), the Finnish Transport Agency and Metropolia University of Applied Sciences are carrying out and financing a joint research project with the aim of promoting solutions for flexible, non-polluting and user-friendly mobility services (Mobility as a Service MaaS).

The project is run by Arto O. Salonen, PhD, who is an adjunct professor at the University of Helsinki and a principle lecturer at Metropolia. The project is for fixed term of three years 3.11.2016 - 2.11.2019.

The aim of the research project is to find solutions for making flexible and congestion-free mobility services with lower emissions available to everybody. Traffic congestion and emissions are a global problem, solving which requires multidisciplinary academic research. Finland aims to become a key player in discovering new mobility solutions with this research.

Dr. Arto O. Salonen has carried out diverse multidisciplinary studies on consumer behaviour and the shift to a sustainable society. Approaching the subject comprehensively and in a way that crosses traditional boundaries will enable us to identify new types of mobility services. Multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary research examines the possibilities offered by digitalisation from the user's point of view.

“Academic research will interact with the needs for change in society. The interdisciplinary approach combines technology, human behaviour, social change and the opportunities presented by the services market. The new possibilities made available by technology will be approached primarily from a user experience perspective while applying design thinking,” says Salonen, describing the nature of the research.

Aiming for more individual mass transport

A significant share of Finland's obligation to reduce carbon dioxide emissions concerns transport. Finns' current needs for transportation can be resolved with a substantially smaller number of vehicles if traffic is made smoother and more public transportation is made available. New technologies offer opportunities for creating agile mobility solutions. The research project will also seek to answer the question of how ready people are to change their mobility habits. Do we all want to own a car in the future?

Smart mobility solutions are spearheading Metropolia's research and development activities. The aim is to build a multidisciplinary and productive international research network that will be used to collaboratively identify solutions for shifting to a more agile and less congested mobility culture that produces less emissions.

Finland to become a key player in smart mobility

The research project will give Finland a better chance to be at the forefront of the development of agile and customer-friendly mobility services. 

“Transportation is becoming a comprehensive service. To help in decision-making we need an increasing number of new transportation services, as well as research on mobility behaviour, for example,” says Laura Eiro, Director of the Markets Unit at the Ministry of Transport and Communications.

"The whole transport system is renewed through digitalisation, automation and mobility as a service. From the Finnish Transport Agency's point of view, it is essential to understand especially our own role in this change, as well as the impact of the change on our own operations", says Risto Kulmala, Chief Specialist at the Finnish Transport Agency.

"For example, we have to consider what role we should play in the provision of MaaS services (Mobility as a Service) and how we can best improve the preconditions for these services. We also have to understand how MaaS services affect our operational environment, mobility and traffic, as well as the safety, efficiency and sustainability of the transport system. I expect that we will obtain this information through the high-level multidisciplinary research carried out thanks to the new research project", says Kulmala.

Contact persons

Helsinki Metropolia University of Applied Sciences: Arto O. Salonen, tel. +358 40 334 5993, arto.salonen(at)metropolia.fi 
Ministry of Transport and Communications: Senior Officer Emil Asp, tel. +358 295 34 2498, emil.asp(at)lvm.fi 
Finnish Transport Agency: Principal Advisor on ITS Risto Kulmala, tel. +358 29 534 3872, risto.kulmala(at)liikennevirasto.fi 


For further information:

Arto O. Salonen LinkedIn https://fi.linkedin.com/in/artosalonen
Arto O. Salonen's Mobility as a Service video (in Finnish) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZWCxZzmsl44 
Mobility as a Service, Finnish Transport Agency http://www.liikennevirasto.fi/liikennejarjestelma/maas
 

The news article has been corrected 8.11.2016


Page updated 19.10.2015