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EMPOWER Report Summary

Project ID: 636249
Funded under: H2020-EU.3.4.

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - EMPOWER (EMPOWERING a reduction in use of conventionally fueled vehicles using Positive Policy Measures.)

Reporting period: 2015-05-01 to 2016-10-31

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

In many European cities, liveability has become a major issue. According to CITEAIR, a program co-funded by the European Union, in most cities traffic related air pollution from conventionally fuelled vehicles has already replaced, or will be replacing, industrial air pollution as the number one pollutant.

This is an important issue for society as traffic and its related pollution are now a common problem for most major cities in the EU and indeed, worldwide. As almost 80% of the European population live in urban areas, transport routes and residential areas are often closely located, with transport being a major contributor to urban air pollution. According to the World Health Organization air pollution is a major environmental risk to health (WHO, Factsheet 313). The use of conventionally fueled vehicles (CFV) also decreases liveability in cities by causing congestion, parking problems and accidents.

The main objective of EMPOWER is to substantially reduce the use of CFV in cities by influencing the mobility behaviour of CFV drivers and users towards fundamental change.

To achieve this objective EMPOWER will create a set of tools for industry, policy makers and employers. These will empower them beyond the lifespan of this project to understand, help choose and successfully implement ‘positive’ evidence-based and cost-effective policy interventions, based on new and innovative mobility services, and in the context of already existing infrastructure, policy and measures.

EMPOWER will reduce the use of CFV by: shifting trips to other modes/other vehicle types, promoting sharing and self-organisation and reducing demand overall e.g. through remote access to services. Undesirable impacts from CFV use will be reduced by: shifting CFV use to outside peak times and diversions to avoid particular areas/routes. The research will be multidisciplinary and involve: social science research with the public, 4 living lab experiments and 7 City demonstrators. The innovation outputs of EMPOWER include an EMPOWER Toolkit to support industry, policy makers and employers to understand, choose and implement positive policy interventions. The Toolkit includes: new mobility services to provide innovative positive policy measures, new evidence on behavioural responses and impacts from positive incentives, improved organisational models for successful implementation of positive policy measures and innovation in the evaluation methodology for new mobility services.

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

The project began with a phase of design and evidence gathering using 1) city stakeholders in the four Living Lab cities/regions and 2) members of the public in primary research using social science micro-experiments. The design aspects addressed the design of; a range of positive incentives schemes, business models, a mobility service architecture to offer positive incentives schemes, an evaluation approach, Living Lab experiments and micro-experiments, tactical marketing plans for each of the Living Labs, the Toolkit and a database within the Toolkit.
Evidence gathering and information exchange has taken place using different methodologies, including reviews, workshops, micro experiments, in-depth interviews, focus groups and questionnaires
Technical service design and implementation has been a key work strand in the first period, involving: the architecture and systems to allow personalised incentives and mobility tracking (linking with the existing user interface of SMART), a new software ‘Zwitch’, technical ICT services needed for particular Living Labs and TUC’s
The FOUNTAIN model was adapted and improved to allow the broader assessment of mobility projects and interventions. Experimental Living Lab and Take-Up city implementations in a total of 11 cities were launched and are underway.

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

Understanding of impact within the EMPOWER project has matured and progressed as a direct result of close working relationships we have established with the stakeholders in our Living Labs and in the Take-Up Community. Our experiences of co-production with the stakeholders and embedding research into everyday stakholder practices, such as changing prices for incentives, has meant we have a much richer appreciation of the different scales and types of impact. The EMPOWER project expects to have impact on a number of levels and in a number of directions.
Within the EMPOWER project we expect to see direct impact on end users behaviour and perceptions as demonstrated by the Key Performance Indicators for the project, but we also expect to see socio-economic impacts and wider societal impacts. The EMPOWER project has adopted a schema of three main types of impact: instrumental, conceptual and ‘capacity building’. Each type of impact can have different effects, examples being influence on the development of policy, capacity building, skill development, partnership building, including competitiveness and more. The quantified EMPOWER KPI form a subset of the overall impact pathway.

EMPOWER impact illustration from the Helsinki Living Lab:
The main differentiator of the Helsinki Living Lab is the integration of incentives to Mobility as a Service (MaaS). The logic is that as people are more and more planning and managing their travel with one specific user interface (UI) of their choice, in order for the incentives to have impact they need to be visible in that UI when alternative options are shown and travel decisions are made. In Helsinki Living Lab this is linked to showing the employee incentives with the travel options in Helsinki's new open source journey planner, which is designed to be basis for MaaS service development, and in one or more of the new MaaS services' apps.
MaaS is the biggest phenomenon globally in innovative mobility services for the last two years. Being envisioned and started in Helsinki, the first working products are being launched in Q4/2016. The upcoming MaaS services have gained a lot of interest and prebookings from companies wishing to purchase them for their staff. The Helsinki pilot has teamed up with MaaS Global, whose WHIM product is regarded as the pioneer and world leader on MaaS services. EMPOWER will approach companies with a proposal of simple take-up pilot aiming to provide experience to companies and at the same time a smooth transition to using WHIM upgraded with incentive features.
With huge expectations put in MaaS services, they are set to gain worldwide interest and show the way for future mobility. It is essential that incentives are embedded in these services from the start. Helsinki Living Lab is first in the world to pioneer this, and with MaaS development globally strongly copying MaaS Global's forerunner work, the incentive models that EMPOWER can embed within MaaS may see major penetration to the market.

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