SUNSET provides a new paradigm to manage traffic in urban regions. Instead of relying on road-side sensors and equipment to control, streamline and enforce discipline in road transport, SUNSET uses personal mobility data (‘floating people data’) to enable informed decision making and to directly influence people’s travel behaviour to ensure safe, sustainable and smooth running of road transports.
The SUNSET project uses a human-centred approach and wants to achieve system goals like reduced congestion, reduced air pollution or improved safety by influencing personal goals in terms of stimulating people to change their individual travelling behaviour. To influence behaviour, we make use of rewards and incentives, rather than restrictions. This is a coaching approach to traffic management, based on rewarding good behaviour.
This approach is innovative thinking as most of the time we put the actual status and density of road segments central in traffic-related decision making. But the crucial link in traffic is a person, a person as a traveler, or as a road user. Where does he/she comes from? Where is he/she travelling to? How do people choose their mode of transport? What information do people need to make better travel decisions? Knowledge of actual travel behaviour and the key motivators for travel could help to find effective solutions that leverage on positive incentive mechanisms to reach effects rather than restrictive mechanisms.
SUNSET provides a new service called tripzoom, which allows road authorities and city governments to tailor incentives to individuals or groups in line with their system-level goals and infrastructure context.
First of all tripzoom creates an overview of anonimised or actively shared actual and historic mobility patterns on a personal level measured by traveller’s smartphones. Additionally, individuals or groups may also share their mobility patterns or help each other by exchanging information about traffic jams, preferences etc. A social networking service environment arises, which provides insights into travel patterns of citizens that can complement the more traditional cockpits of road authorities.
Secondly, road authorities and city governments can use the tripzoom service to design and deploy tailored incentives to actively influence and seduce individuals or groups of people in more sustainable travel decisions. For example by providing information on road conditions or by providing rewards, when people use certain modalities at certain moments or in certain areas. They can either provide incentives themselves or use 3rd party service providers to provide specific incentives.
Thirdly, the SUNSET projects creates a real-life environment in three European cities (living labs) that allows community building, incentive testing and service optimisation. This provides a learning environment for road authorities. Are you interested in the potential of the approach and want to share your thoughts, comments and ideas of application of the SUNSET approach in a traffic management context please join the conversation on LinkedIn. We would be happy to get in touch.