Shortlisted project ITS Factory

Tampere, Finland

ITS Factory is a collaborative space where developers, companies, research organisations and individuals come together to create new intelligent transport systems and services (ITS).

At ITS Factory, solutions are developed to make it easier for people to move around conveniently, safely and with a minimum environmental impact. Tampere understood that the development and adoption of ITS services (Intelligent Transport Systems and Services) also requires collaboration between businesses with bright ideas and researchers with unique insights, as well as government bodies involved with policy, legislation and standards. ITS Factory reflects this understanding, bringing together local, national and international public and private stakeholders to work towards common goals. Their services are currently being used by around 2,000 people a week.

Originally published by EUROCITIES, the network of 130 European cities - PDF: http://nws.eurocities.eu/MediaShell/media/Fast-transport-Tampere.pdf

Shortlisted project

This project was shortlisted for the 'EUROCITIES Awards' in 2014 in the following category: Cooperation. Learn more about the award.


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City information
City
Tampere

Size and population development
223.238 (as of 2015). Third largest city in Finland and most populous scandinavian inland city

Main functions
second-largest urban area and third most-populous individual municipality in the country

Main industries / business
mechanical engineering and automation; information and communication technologies; health and biotechnology; paper industry

Political structure
Mayor-council governement system

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Background and objectives

Urbanisation and rising congestion and air pollution are forcing cities to find new ways for citizens to move about easily and conveniently and with less impact on the environment. ITS solutions can give policy makers, operators and users the information they need to make smarter use of the transport network, making them integral to the future of city travel.

ITS solutions use real time data showing what’s happening on the streets to improve the fluency, functionality, ecology, efficiency and safety of the transport system. They help improve the experience for users, and encourage eco-friendly journey choices. But getting good ideas out on to city streets is often hampered by an uncoordinated approach to data access and development support.

For ITS solutions to realise their potential, all transport operators need to pool their data. If a service tells a user the train they were planning to catch is delayed, it needs to offer alternative multimodal options. In designing ITS Factory, Tampere recognised the need for close cooperation across all forms of public transport. But as an experienced intelligent transport pioneer, it also knew this was not enough.

Implementation

ITS Factory is acting as a catalyst for projects exploring applications such as multimodal route planners and parking information services. Some of these are driven by independent developers and groups of partners while others are part of the EU’s 7th Framework Programme (FP7). Tampere is currently participating in around 10 projects, involving approximately 2,000 citizens a week.

Two major FP7 projects are being piloted in Tampere, STREETLIFE and MoveUs. The first is developing mobility information systems showing the real value of public transport options in terms of time, cost and carbon footprint. It aims to create solutions for traffic managers and city administrators as well as mobile apps motivating citizens to choose sustainable transport alternatives through the use of engaging 3D virtual environments. 

MoveUs is similarly focused on taking ‘the pulse of urban mobility’ to help change travellers’ habits. The idea is to integrate mobility data from citizens, vehicles and infrastructures in a cloudbased platform that can then gather, transform and deliver it in a coherent and useful way. As with STREETLIFE, recommendations for more sustainable travel choices will be supported by a range of incentives.

Financing and resources

The estimated budget for ITS Factory is 1M€. It includes the research work in three different research organisations, the collaborative effort in member companies and expenses for the city of Tampere.

Results and impacts

ITS Factory has succeeded in proving its open and innovative model and in gathering a critical mass of collaborators - including 30 members and hundreds of developers. Tampere itself is already feeling the impact, with new services and the holistic development of a sustainable transport system making a big difference to energy efficiency.

Lessons learned and transferability

Tampere’s experience also highlighted that achieving these goals would depend on four additional factors. These were built into ITS Factory’s design:

  • offering standardised traffic data to developers, 
  • providing access to the city’s transport system as a piloting platform, 
  • involving end users to ensure solutions meet their needs, 
  • and assisting with exploitation and marketing.

The knowledge and technologies generated within ITS Factory are also being shared through international networking activities and the ITS Roadmap. This document has an important role to play in helping other cities and countries monitor progress in critical areas such as standardisation and the availability of open data and interfaces.

References

Cities in action - Fast-tracking intelligent transport systems, Unique environment for innovation - EUROCITIES, May 2015.

EUROCITIES awards entry form, ITS Factory – developing a smooth, safe and sustainable transport system.


External links / documents