The CAPTN initiative wants to create a mobility turnaround. With the new CAPTN Flex project, the research partners at Christian-Albrecht’s University (CAU) in Kiel and the Flensburg-based company r2p GmbH are developing a smart city project that will make an important contribution to the new generation of data-based local public transport. To this end, the consortium is relying primarily on artificial intelligence - and is receiving funds from the Special Fund for the Promotion of the Use of AI in Schleswig-Holstein. Today, Digital Minister Dirk Schrödter handed over a funding notification for a total of almost 443,000 euros to those involved.
The aim of this project is to collect and process traffic-relevant data of a metropolitan region and thus to create a situation picture in real time. Using AI, the research partners want to create models for forecasting traffic events and corresponding recommendations for action.
Professor Dr. Dirk Nowotka, head of the Reliable Systems working group at CAU, explains that the holistic collection of urban and regional traffic data enables the close integration of different participants in traffic. "The use of common data platforms is the basis for making public transport services more flexible and thus improving them," Nowotka explains. In his opinion, the use of modern machine learning methods can revolutionize transport planning and is a driver of the mobility turnaround.
Digitalisation Minister Dirk Schrödter is convinced of the vision of an intelligent traffic flow: "In Schleswig-Holstein, we are focusing on the digital transformation in the areas of transport and mobility. More digitalisation and the use of AI enable optimisation potential for municipalities and transport operators, but also for all traffic participants. Intelligent traffic control systems can furthermore influence traffic safety projects."
However, technical achievements are not sustainable if they are not implemented. Making this step easier for the cities and companies is Dr. Carsten Schultz's area of responsibility. "Since these opportunities can only be utilized if cities and companies have the ability to innovate, we will develop guidelines for innovation management in the city ecosystem," explains the professor of Technology Management at CAU.
The project partners are certain: the availability of data from public transport carriers (e.g., from buses or ferries) as well as movement data of people will only increase in the future. This offers the possibility of differentiating existing mobility services and making it more flexible. Thus, the costs of mobility services could be reduced while adding value for the end user. Therefore, it is also important to think about the project from a business perspective. r2p GmbH, a Flensburg-based provider of integrated hard- and software solutions for public transport, is participating in CAPTN Flex as an industrial partner.
The participation of partners based locally in Schleswig-Holstein and the interdisciplinary approach of the project are met with great approval from Mr. Schrödter. "It is important that research institutions, companies and start-ups in Schleswig-Holstein network and cooperate closely to create value and jobs. CAPTN Flex is a very good example of this cooperation," emphasises the Minister of Digitalisation.
For Flemming Kaer, CEO of the r2p Holding GmbH, the cooperation with the CAPTN initiative makes perfect sense: "As an internationally active company in the field of digitalisation of public transport, we can see that CAPTN flex is in accordance with the global trends and experiences of sustainable mobility in cities," he emphasises. "The goal of our project is a more attractive and sustainable mobility offer that builds on international trends and research results."
The total project budget is 592,000 euros and the funding runs over a period of three years.
CAPTN stands for "Clean Autonomous Public Transport Network". The research initiative is committed to establishing a mobility chain of autonomous, clean modes of transport on water and on land. It wants to make local public transport safer, more sustainable and more attractive. Under this common goal, numerous projects have already been created under the CAPTN Initiative brand umbrella. With this overarching vision in mind, partners from society, business, science, politics and administration have joined forces to develop new mobility concepts, research the use of sustainable energies, network different modes of transport and create a future-oriented transport network.
The r2p Group enables Smart City Transportation by designing and developing intelligent technology systems with the highest quality and safety standards for the mobile transport sector: CCTV, Automatic Passenger Counting, Passenger Information Systems and network audio solutions with real-time data transfer for rail, road vehicles, as well as solutions for fixed infrastructure like platforms and stations.
Headquartered in Flensburg, Germany, the rapidly growing r2p Group operates internationally in 45 countries with competence centres in Australia, Malaysia, Denmark and the United Kingdom. With additional subsidiaries and sales offices in Canada, Spain, Italy, Switzerland and Brazil, r2p takes pride in being a truly global company. As of July 2018, HQ Equita acquired r2p to build a leading player in the fast-growing market for intelligent and safe digital public transport solutions.