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Intelligent mobility agents, advanced positioning and mapping technologies integration interoperable multimodal, location based services

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European travel information without boundaries

Most existing public transport information systems cover either urban journeys or only a single mode of transport. The EU-funded Im@gine it project promises a new service that will combine types of transport for journeys beyond national borders.

Digital Economy

Up to now navigation systems have provided the best travel route, primarily using static road information. But is this approach sufficient? Wouldn't it be of interest for travellers to have the option of choosing between alternative routes which would cover all forms of transport? In the new era of internet, European citizens expect up-to-date information, even location-based, everywhere and at all times. They want the opportunity to decide for themselves and are looking for the best possible support. In the case of travel, this of course includes real-time information about all transport modes. The Im@gine it project, co-funded by the European Commission, aimed to provide all this information through a single system. This new info-mobility service aggregates travel and transport information from multiple content providers, and allows the end user access through a set of web services. Since the format of the data retrieved may vary between different content providers, a data management module was developed to transform them into a common form. Through its multiple interfaces additional content providers can be integrated into the Im@gine it platform. A localisation algorithm allows the identification of the user's current position, while the 'plan a trip' service chooses a destination - if one is not provided - and calculates a number of alternative routes. However, only those that match the user's preferences stored in his/her profile are finally supplied. Similarly, the 'show me around' service presents a map around the automatically calculated user's position that contains points of interest (POIs) that fit the user's preferences. In the case of a trip combining more than one mode of transport, a dedicated learning algorithm calculates the maximum number of changes that are acceptable. The personal assistant application can run on any mobile phone, personal digital assistant (PDA) or PC. It does not only profile the user, but using statistical methods, it can anticipate his/her needs and tailor the services provided accordingly. Lastly, the Im@gine it platform can be accessed anonymously, ensuring user privacy. The Im@gine it project partners' hope is that this new info-mobility service will contribute to seamless transition between different transport modes, attracting travellers to more environmentally friendly transport modes.

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