E-scooter services for safe and sustainable mobility
Helsinki is studying the use of e-scooters and bike sharing with a data experiment. The goal is to understand how micro-mobility services are used in the city, and to experiment with how this kind of data could support the development of safe and sustainable mobility.
Helsinki is launching a pilot study into micro-mobility use in the city this spring. The experiment will be conducted in cooperation between French company Vianova, micro-mobility operators, the City’s innovation company Forum Virium Helsinki, and the City of Helsinki.
The goal is to better understand how e-scooters and other micro-mobility vehicles are used. Vianova’s solution is based on the MDS (Mobility Data Specification) communication protocol, which facilitates bilateral and secure exchange of data between mobility providers and cities. Aggregated and anonymised mobility data will be shown on a dashboard, giving the City an overview of how, when and where the e-scooters, city bikes and other light vehicles are used and parked.
Janne Rinne, Project Manager at Forum Virium Helsinki, said: “The goal is to better understand micro-mobility in Helsinki, and to experiment with new ways of analysing e-scooter and other micro-mobility use. We want to see what this kind of new mobility data can offer to planners and how it can support safe and sustainable multimodality.”
The city as a testbed for smart mobility
Vianova’s solution forms part of Jätkäsaari Mobility Lab, an initiative facilitating piloting and experimentation with smart mobility solutions in a real-world urban environment in Helsinki. Vianova’s data experiment was selected from several proposals received through an open call for agile pilots. Agile piloting is a model for short experiments using new solutions in a real-world environment, with the aim of learning about new services and technologies.
Thibault Castagne, CEO of Vianova, added: “Vianova is particularly excited to pilot its city solution in the mobility innovation hub of Helsinki. We believe, together with the City of Helsinki and Forum Virium, that municipalities need to have better access to data and tools to make more data-driven decisions on transportation policies and urban planning. This will be particularly relevant in the aftermath of the Covid-19 crisis, in order to promote sustainable mobility solutions.”
The project is being conducted in collaboration with major e-scooter companies and other micro-mobility providers operating in Helsinki, as part of the continuous dialogue the City has with these companies. Helsinki has invited all key local micro-mobility companies to participate, and collaboration is also taking place with Helsinki’s city bike system operator. The study is be conducted between March and October 2020.
Juho Kostiainen, the City of Helsinki’s Project Manager for Jätkäsaari Mobility Lab, said: “Helsinki’s objective is to be a place for innovative companies to develop and test their solutions in order to create business opportunities, to learn from the experiments and to generate new services for residents. The Vianova pilot is a data-based solution that can help us understand how new mobility solutions are used and how they might affect mobility strategies.”
The next call for innovative mobility solutions is open until mid-August. Information about the open call is available on the website of Jätkäsaari Mobility Lab.