Jenny Simonsen

First elements for the acceptance of the MTM

from COPs exchanges during interviews and workshops 2022

Author: Bruno Dewailly, co-authors Ludovic Vaillant and Marie Douet, Cerema

One of the main results from the previous work was that social and economic aspects matter (see the 2 sketches below of Freight and Passengers 2050). This is why the Vision & scenarios session was intended to investigate the hypotheses related to the Multimodal Transport Management Ecosystem (MTME) acceptability.

To do so, the choice of immersing the participants in 2050 in a Multimodal Transport Management (MTM) universe with particular sociocultural characteristics was retained to make them think about possible aspects of the ecosystem that could result from such a context.

Thus, three typical scenarios were imagined, each linked to a specific sociocultural context of MTM:

  • MTM supports a diversity of new mobility solution providers.
  • MTM is operated by an “oligopoly” of new mobility solution providers.
  • Digital sustainability and digital frugality are always preliminary addressed to the MTM. 

Freight was addressed in Herøya, while passengers were addressed in the session held in Malpensa.

In this perspective, this note will present the main ideas that came out of the Vision & scenarios sessions of the workshops but also elements from interviews aiming to identify the barriers but also facilitators to the implementation of the MTME, grouped under their potential facilitators and challenges.

Enabler 1: Clear and transparent MTM policies from the local to the European level

– The EU Commission intends to resolve barriers on a European level through various policy actions, including:

  • the installation of a specific agency or body to support safe, smart and sustainable road transport operations and the deployment and management of ITS and Connected and Automated vehicles in Europe (CAVs)
  • technical rule harmonising the use of CAVs and recharging infrastructures

But, according to the proposals made by the participants during the workshops:

– First, it appeared necessary to drive at the European level the granting of incentives for multimodal traffic regulation at sub-European levels, by local GA (Governance Area) authorities (metropolitan, port, airport, neighbourhood, rural area scales…).

– Also, local regulatory measures (by local authorities) must be coordinated and consistent with the European MTM framework so that TOs (Traffic Orchestrator) can be coordinated even if they are disjointed (e.g. between two airports or two ports, for “door-to-door” management for instance).

Enabler 2: Trustworthy and fair regulatory authorities

– Whatever their status (public, private, NGO…) that may vary from one territory to another – regulatory authorities must be able to embody trust and fairness among the actors of the ecosystem.

– The implementation of a trusted third party/actor at the level of the GAs in charge of managing the “mutualisation” of the data necessary for the TO appears to be essential. In certain cases, or under certain conditions, such an actor could be a public administrative authority for the traffic orchestration, at least at a national level. In the event of an unforeseen situation, the regulatory authority should be able to requisition data that is not usually shared but deemed necessary for crisis management and common interest. This trusted third party is a key condition to encourage and facilitate data sharing within the ecosystem and allow the development of various actors and new offers. Thus, the MTM should include this trusted third actor.

– Within the MTM, the methods of encouraging or constraining the transport actors orchestrated by the TO (including the users) may depend on the condition of the transport infrastructure, its scale, the nature of the user, and the type of actor in charge of the GA. TOs must have a range of actions, from the most supportive to the most coercive, through different incentives.

– Since private actors hold most data, data exchange may require an approved trusted the third party to facilitate the exchange to the TO. In such a configuration, all stakeholders agree on the need for traffic orchestration with integrity and transparency in their decisions. However, the workshops revealed that partners (CoPs) at Herøya and Malpensa have seen different perceptions in terms of data governance. These differences could be a cultural one.  

Gap to fill 1: Personal data easy to manage

Some of the biggest operational bottlenecks are the lack of physical and digital infrastructure and data standardisation. Interestingly, the practitioners state that monetisation might not be the main barrier in sharing vehicle-to-everything (V2X) data, such as in the logistics planning of sea-to-road-to-rail transport. The main issue is to guarantee control over who accesses the data and to achieve the necessary interfaces and standards, which are currently still missing.

– The Network User (NU) should be able to control the data he/she has shared easily, he/she shares, and he/she will share at any time.

Gap to fill 2: Define a minimum set of shared data

Private stakeholders prefer to have their platform because they want to control the data. The same applies to public authorities, who want to keep control of the shared data and make sure it remains the same after being transferred multiple times.

But if they really need to share data, in terms of mobility in public space, what data and type(s) should be shared? An open data set could be defined at least for each person and each good circulating or located there. This dataset could be supplemented with additional data according to different guidelines and situations at different GA scales, which may vary over time or according to events, local issues and hazards. 

– Beyond this minimum public data service that ensures the search for the optimum quality according to a European MTM framework and local GA guidelines, regulators could cooperate with traffic data providers (including the data-intensive technology giants). It is conceivable that MTM stakeholders could be required to pay for better information through a “premium subscription” to provide more comprehensive services according to business models yet to be invented.

– Stakeholders face various issues regarding cybersecurity, e.g. the exploitation risk of software, hardware, and personnel to compromise any system, as well as the increase of wireless communication. This, combined with the risk that human lives are potentially at stake in the event of an attack, increases the importance of cybersecurity in the public transport sector. Thus, cyberattacks and cybercrime are likely to increase, which is expected to grow further. However, various practices exist to improve cybersecurity, but (intelligent) public transport operators need to integrate these into their governance and everyday work. Lastly, several security and safety standards exist and are already important to guarantee a minimum amount of safety in all modes of transportation. However, in the context of MTMEs, these standards get even more important due to the highly interconnected nature of MTMEs, which aggravates the impacts of single failures. 

Gap to fill 3: Assessing the environmental impact of MTM and its costs and gains for future business

– Multimodal real-time traffic management has financial costs and environmental and ecological costs that may be perceived differently by different stakeholders. The ecological assessment criteria’ value and hierarchy may also vary from place to place. Therefore, it seems necessary to evaluate systemically the environmental costs of the mobilities linked to the deployment of the MTM and to integrate these evaluation processes, if not their results, into the decision-making process of the TO into the MTM. The traffic orchestration should assess the environmental impact of the actors’ offers and the environmental costs of the actors’ choices according to different standards (ISO 14040:2020, ISO 14064:2018, 14067:2018…) to define priorities, characterise the offers of the fleet operators, transport service providers and solution providers, and even label them. Orchestra’s impact on society and societal evolution will probably depend on the reference standards selected locally, the factors valued or not, and the incentives implemented (± altruistic, ± energy efficient, ± green, ± inclusive, ± space consumption, ± fair, ± liberal…) The combination of these different criteria could support the emergence of new service offers and businesses.    

In conclusion, the issues of governance in general, data governance in particular, transparency and understanding of all of the policies and offers are considerable. Some of the questions raised during the WS deserve further investigation to enrich the socio-cultural scenarios of MTM implementation.