Issue 84, March 2017
bullet Intelligent Mobility
bullet KONUX - Switch to Predictive Maintenance
bullet BeeZero - The First Hydrogen Car-Sharing Service in the World
bullet Innovation: moovel - An Urban Mobility App Making Cities Smarter
bullet Interview with Prof. Dr. Andreas Knie, Head of the Research Group "Science Policy Studies" at the WZB Berlin Social Science Center
Intelligent Mobility
Rapid urban migration and an explosive growth in megacities are two global phenomena that are putting present-day metropolitan areas under enormous strain. Factor in global warming and traffic congestion, and it's clear that we need intelligent solutions to carry our cities forward into the future. Intelligent mobility has positively changed urban transport behavior. People are increasingly using digital devices, car sharing services, as well as autonomous and electric vehicles with environmentally friendly and efficient transport results.

In China, the recent development of a huge efficient land airbus that can hold up to 300 passengers, driverless buses, cars, and even self-flying drones will affect how people interact with these intelligent machines in urban areas. Although fully-automated vehicles may not be common in cities for years to come, experts are concerned about future safety regulations and guidelines. Urban planners and city officials will need to diagnose how to find solutions for resulting accidents and failures.
Stakeholders of the simTD (Safe and Intelligent Mobility Test Field Germany) project have already taken this into account for car-to-x communication. The goal of the project was to research and test the safe implementation of its car-to-x communication system while also keeping traffic efficiency in mind. As a result, ETSI has published new European Standards for Intelligent Transport Systems, which includes enabling the exchange of information between road users and roadside infrastructure, providing position dynamics and attributes.

With its advanced transportation infrastructure and various modes of transport, Germany is well-positioned to spearhead the intelligent mobility movement. This month's newsletter explores some of the exciting advances that have been made in the field thus far - from smart sensors and AI-based analytics for railways to the world's first one-stop-shop app for urban mobility.

To learn more about intelligent mobility, read our GCRI Blog entry, Embracing the Future of Urban Mobility.

The Internet of Things has become an essential component of the rail industry. Rail travelers rely on mobile train tickets; passenger trains or rolling stock is monitored via smart devices, and big data analytics enable real-time train schedules. However, when it comes to railway infrastructure most rail operators still rely on traditional, manual inspections and reactive maintenance processes - thereby accepting potential limitations of their network efficiency. 

Railway switches, in particular, are likely to cause speed restrictions or even line closures when damaged, and can thus lead to disruptions of train schedules. Current inspection processes, often based on manual measurements in fixed intervals, make it challenging for rail operators to determine the exact health of switches and to retain operational efficiency.
KONUX, a Munich-based IIoT company, uses smart sensors and AI-based analytics to help solve this problem. Since 2015, KONUX has been working with Deutsche Bahn (DB), Europe's largest rail operator, to digitize DB's high-speed network through condition monitoring of switches and predictive analytics. The end-to-end solution has helped DB gain real-time insights into the health of switches, predict maintenance needs in advance and to react in time, which has increased the network availability and punctuality of its trains. 

Through continuous switch monitoring and data analysis with the help of machine learning algorithms, the KONUX technology detects failures ahead of time. The system provides recommendations for optimized maintenance planning and extended asset life cycles. A user-friendly customizable web interface visualizes key indicators and provides notifications in real-time. 

Rail companies profit from switching to predictive maintenance by increasing the availability of their assets and the efficiency of their daily operations. Planned maintenance actions also allow rail operators to identify new ways to optimize their train schedules and improve customer satisfaction. KONUX is currently expanding into other European markets. 

To learn more about KONUX visit:

Source: KONUX

Image: Unsplash

Sustainable transport systems are vital to the environmental, social, and economic vitality of the communities they serve.  As societal expectations for sustainable mobility rise, manufacturers in the transportation industry are increasingly under pressure to find new and innovative solutions.

The city of Munich has benefited from one of these innovations, the first hydrogen car-sharing service in the world. BeeZero, the inventor of this service, operates fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs). This allows BeZero to differentiate itself from traditional car-sharing providers, which rely on combustion engines and battery electric vehicles (BEVs). The BEVs often struggle with short ranges as well as long charging times.

The BeeZero fleet consists of 50 FCEVs that are assigned to defined parking zones in Munich's city center. The zone-based car-sharing service is tailored to flexible usage and medium travel distances. With a more than 400 km (248 mile) range and a refueling process that lasts about 3 minutes, FCEVs are very practical. FCEVs are also ideal for excursions to the mountains - with zero emissions.

To ensure clean mobility, BeeZero uses only hydrogen that is produced via biogas reforming or electrolysis from wind energy. The use of sustainable hydrogen (electrolysis, biogas reforming) reduces CO2 consumption by up to 65% compared to petrol and diesel.

Munich citizens appreciate this new sustainable and innovative car-sharing concept. Starting with only a few pioneers last summer, the number of customers has continuously increased to almost 3,000 to date.

Source & Image: BeeZero


With moovel, the founder of the automobile company Daimler AG has initiated the world's first one-stop-shop for urban mobility. The goal of moovel is to radically simplify urban mobility and thus make cities smarter. The corporate start-up is developing an operating system for urban mobility that offers access to a wide range of different mobility services for cities, transit authorities, and costumers. The main activities are focused on the development of an on-demand mobility and multimodal mobility platform.

Moovel is the world's first app to enable the booking and payment of online tickets for local public transport providers. In Germany, users can search for, compare, and book various transport options from local public transport, car-sharing provider car2go,  mytaxi, to rental bicycles and Deutsche Bahn. Local public transport tickets can be purchased via the app in Stuttgart and Hamburg.

When users search for a destination, the app proposes the purchase of the appropriate ticket for the desired journey. After just a few clicks, the ticket is then provided in the app. The registration process is secure. The users identify themselves by using a personal e-mail address and driver's licenses are validated through smartphones. The user takes a photo of the front of their driver's license and then one of themselves.

In the USA, moovel North America offers moovel transit. Moovel transit provides mobile ticketing and payment solutions for local public transport authorities and cities. In February 2017 alone, over 1.4 million local public transport tickets were sold using moovel transit mobile ticketing technology. This makes moovel North America the leading provider of mobile transit applications for transit authorities in the US.

The moovel lab, a unit within the moovel Group, consists of an interdisciplinary team whose primary research interests are movement patterns and traffic flows in urban areas. Through the use of exploratory projects, the lab attempts to influence and provoke discourse towards human behavior in urban areas.

The moovel Group was the winner of the German Mobility Award in 2016. With the German Mobility Award, the initiative "Germany - Land of Ideas" and the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure make digital innovations and intelligent mobility solutions visible to the public.
Source & Image: moovel Group
InnovationThe Potential of Mobile Network Data for Transport Planning
A recent study conducted by the Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Engineering (IAO) found that mobile network data can make a positive contribution to transport planning. The data is generated by assigning individual mobile phones to mobile cell sites. As a result, the anonymized movement of over 44 million Telefonica customers in Germany - about half the German
population - can be calculated and analyzed.

Current transport planning in many countries relies, to a large extent, on manual recording in the form of surveys. Supplementary real-time data sources, such as anonymized mobile network data, are a valuable addition. Compared to surveys, which are only conducted every one to ten years, mobile network data is available around the clock and no additional infrastructure is needed to collect the data. In summary, the mobile network data provides an opportunity to gather information about all user groups and modes of transport on a large scale at once.

In the short term, mobile network data could be used to test and supplement existing transport models. In the medium term, the further development of special algorithms and models will allow for better planning of mobility systems and new findings on passenger transport. "The considerable potential of mobile network data can only be realized through the accompanying offer of corresponding analysis tools," according Alexander Schmidt and Tobias Männel, the authors of the study.

These experts see great potential in using this new data source for route planning for local public transport. With the help of mobile network data, it will be possible to obtain continuous information on general transport demand, which could supplement and eventually replace expensive manual transport surveys. 
Source & Image: Fraunhofer IAO

BionaticInterview with Prof. Dr. Andreas Knie, Head of the Research Group "Science Policy Studies" at the WZB Berlin Social Science Center
Prof. Dr. Andreas Knie is a transport and mobility expert, and the head of the Research Group "Science Policy Studies" at the WZB Berlin Social Science Center. He also established and is the leader of the "Mobility" Project Group at the WZB. He is a professor of sociology at the Technische Universität Berlin (TU Berlin) and the managing director of the Innovation Centre for Mobility and Change (InnoZ). Prof. Dr. Knie is the author of several publications, including, Die digitale Mobilitätsrevolution. Vom Ende des Verkehrs wie wir ihn kannten.   

Prof. Dr. Knie is advocating for a shift away from an automobile-friendly transport policy to a German transportation transformation (Verkehrswende) by increasing flexible public transport services. He was involved in the development of the Deutsche Bahn Carsharing and Call a Bike services, as well as the Touch & Travel app to buy tickets.

In this interview with the GCRI, Prof. Dr. Knie discusses intelligent mobility and why Germany needs a Verkehrswende. He describes what has been done to improve car traffic flow in Germany and what needs to change. Prof. Dr. Knie also highlights the greatestchallenges cities will face with respect to traffic management in the future. To read the full interview, click here.
Source & Image: WZB Berlin Social Science Center