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My TRAvel Companion

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - My-TRAC (My TRAvel Companion)

Reporting period: 2017-09-01 to 2019-02-28

Passenger transport has increased significantly in the last decades and mobility needs of citizens are rapidly changing. Moreover, longer distances are being covered per passenger, as km per passenger, which has increased by 11% along 2000-2014 in EU-33. Passenger cars still account for most of the overall increase, rising from 3.935 billion passengers (1995) to 4.766 billion (2014), compared with 350 billion railway passengers (1995), which has only risen to 428 billion (2014). The current transport system situation is worrying in terms of economic and environmental sustainability and has triggered a global awareness and willingness to undertake a holistic change. Also, the EU aims at reducing world greenhouse gas emissions by 80-95% below 1990 levels by 2050 in order to mitigate climate change. Hence, a majority of medium-distance inter-city passengers travelling by rail by 2050 is required. Moreover, in the rail transport industry, passengers demand a higher quality of the service and while there more attention is being paid to cost efficiency and subsidies allocation. My-TRAC will make significant contributions in developing a more efficient and green PT system by fostering the uptake of a decarbonised mode of transport such as rail and increasing interoperability among multimodal transport. My-TRAC will develop user-centric services that will enhance passenger multimodal door-to-door experience, resulting in a greater confidence and adhesion to rail transport services from citizens.

My-TRAC will also foster the creation of new jobs and opportunities for the tourist industry by increasing accessibility, Mobility-as-a-Service companies by creating an integration hub, etc. Furthermore, as for ageing population, My-TRAC will promote the improvement of accessibility, enhancing adaptation and personalization of both the application itself and the transport services, by providing suggestions and recommendations on trip planning with the aim of aiding social inclusion and achieving a more fair and egalitarian EU public transport service.

The main goal of My-TRAC is to develop a novel transport services platform for the rail sector, designed for public and private transport users and operators in order to provide an improved passenger experience by developing and applying advanced behavioural and transport analytics and Artificial Intelligence algorithms to meaningful data gathered from diverse public transport and Open Data sources. It is divided in the following six specific objectives:
1: Development of a transversal user centric platform, which will provide an operator web-based interface and a passenger Travel Companion application.
2: My-TRAC Travel Companion will be the user application giving access to a set of advanced user-centred transport services. It will be the unique access point for the passenger to the Shopping, Ticketing, and Business Analytics functional modules developed in complementary projects, and the Trip Tracking and Social Market functional modules developed in the project.
3: My-TRAC Trip Tracking service will help and guide the user through the complete trip while allowing the passenger to control and manage it in real time, anticipating potential events or disruptions and offering the user diverse re-planning options according to their situation, accessibility conditions, and preferences.
4: My-TRAC Social Market service will support enhanced interactions between passengers and a set of service providers during the trip (e.g. offering tailored discounts to the customer for taxi, hotel or museums, access to Wi-Fi, etc).
5: My-TRAC will develop a smart Human Machine Interface to provide users with viable access to the information, depending on their individual needs, specifically addressing impairments of stable or transitory nature (e.g. visual impairment, technological illiteracy) through My-TRAC Travel Companion.
6: My-TRAC platform will create a separate web-based interface for operators to allow them to retrieve real-time and historic data concerning behavioural analytics of passengers.
The key work performed over the period has been as follows:

• To determine and to quantify factors affecting travellers’ strategic and dynamic choices. Deliverable D2.1
• Starting the design and development of a model for analysing user’s trip purposes and create a “preferences scheme”. Deliverable D2.2.
• To pave the way for the development and integration of modelling framework for simulating and predicting users’ choices and behaviour. Deliverable D2.4.
• Construction and training of a machine learning model for prediction of delays and crowdedness. Deliverable D3.2.
• Design of the User Interface for My-TRAC application. The basic interface with the functions described in deliverable D5.1 has been designed.
• Identification and analysis of the set of requirements related to the My-TRAC app.
• Description of the software architecture of My-TRAC project to allow for scalability in a growing environment, providing the basis for technology exploitation in additional environments. Deliverable D5.2.
• Preparation of the Pilots’ Execution Plan.
• Definition of the My-TRAC official logo, website and leaflet. Deliverables D7.1 and D7.5.
• Preparation of an effective and efficient dissemination strategy and communication plan. Deliverables D7.2 and D7.3.
• Definition of the internal management procedures. Deliverables D1.1 and D1.2.
• Signature of a Collaboration Agreement with complementary IP4 projects.
• Outline of the data management plan complying with the GDPR. Deliverables D1.3 D8.2 D8.3 and D1.4.
My-TRAC will be a smartphone application with back-end capabilities by setting up a module for behavioural analytics to create a conclusion on the best trip recommendation for each user based on their attributes and affective variables. It will also offer the capability to display the information from 3rd parties such as from Transport Service Providers. Thus, My-TRAC will create an AI (Artificial Intelligence) companion closely resembling a human companion. The My-TRAC application will combine trip planning and management interfaces, APIs for connecting to services and databases and communication technologies similar to commercial apps.

The expected results will be as follows:
• An interoperable platform supporting operator application and user Travel Companion (TC), that will connect with external services such as trip planning booking, ticketing and analytics modules.
• A TC that will behave like a real trip companion understanding user needs and anticipating and suggesting activities, routes, modes and services.
• A Trip Tracking service that will guide and help the passenger through the door-to-door multimodal trip.
• A Social Market service that will enhance user experience by extending the value of a single ticket by providing added value services adapted to their profile.
• An advanced Human Machine Interface that will adapt to user profile, preferences and accessibility needs in real time
• An operator's interface that will manage real-time and historic passenger data useful to improve and adapt services to travellers' needs

At the end of the project My-TRAC expects to reach the proposed impacts indicated in the Description of the Action, namely: scientific, technological, innovation, environmental and social impacts and impacts on the European competitiveness and in the Digital Social Market.