SicherMobil / SafeMobility

Many people find sustainable forms of mobility such as walking, cycling, the use of public transport etc. unsafe in various situations, especially at the end of the day, and therefore increasingly choose the auto in these cases. SafeMobility investigates to what extent specifically optimised mobile communication facilities in situations of perceived insecurity are used and also preemptively improves the general sense of security and thus increases the attractiveness of sustainable forms of mobility.

Client: bmvit, Mobility of the Future 9th call for tenders

Duration: May 2018 to April 2019 (12 months)

Project partners: University of Applied Sciences St. Pölten Forschungs GmbH,
Interdisciplinary Research Centre

LOI partners: Wiener Linien; Graz Linien Holding; ÖBB PV-AG; ÖAR – umbrella organisation of Austrian associations for the disabled; UML-Obeösterreich (FH-OÖ); Niederösterreichische Verkehrsorganisationsges.m.b.H. (NÖVOG)

Project description:  Objectively, active and sustainable forms of mobility pose fewer safety risks than automotive mobility. However, in subjective perception differing fears lead to the fact that various forms of active and sustainable (multi)mobility are not used or used only to a limited extent. This feeling of insecurity in different situations (e.g. walking in the evening or at night, using public transport at off-peak times etc.) often leads to journeys being made by auto or taxi, which subjectively conveys a correspondingly higher sense of security instead of travelling multimodally using active and sustainable forms of mobility.

In a first step, the aim of the exploratory project SafeMobility is to conclusively answer the questions of: i) whether and in what concrete form the feeling of insecurity can be counteracted by using modern mobile communication technologies or ii) how corresponding technologies can actually help to prevent existing uncertainty hotspots in planning from arising in the first place or to eliminate existing ones sustainably in order to achieve an increase in attractiveness in the area of multimodal and sustainably oriented mobility chains. The aim is to design a system that helps to break down those barriers that make it more difficult or impossible for people suffering from corresponding fears or discomfort to access mobility.

Drawing on extensive consortium know-how, the SafeMobility project begins by identifying those groups of people for whom perceived insecurity constitutes a particular obstacle to mobility and whose concrete fears can be identified. Subsequently, all known systems, which contribute to the increase of security and/or the feeling of security, are analysed in depth and systems at present not yet known identified. We also seek contact with operators to learn from their experiences and to verify concrete points of contact and interfaces.

Due to the complexity and sensitivity of the topic, several networking workshops will be held as the core of the project for the in-depth development of solutions acceptable and effective for all participants in order to bring together representatives of security bodies, public bodies, politicians, planning departments, (security and IT) experts and affected parties and to define the concrete requirements for a security tool. The aim of these networking workshops is not only to generate valuable know-how but also to build up an understanding of the mutual requirements. The consortium includes scientific experts from the fields of mobility, social sciences, information and communication technologies and mediation who will accompany the workshops.

From all the knowledge gained during the networking workshops, a concrete system will be conceived within the consortium, which using mobile communication technologies: a) represents a kind of “escort service” for actively mobile people in situations of perceived insecurity, b) offers a deterrent function for emergencies and can organise immediate help in the event of an incident and c) can detect concrete uncertainty hotspots (partially automated) for everyday operations and make the associated information automatically available to the relevant authorities (planning, executive etc.). Finally, the designed system will be evaluated with regard to user acceptance and concrete added value for increasing the security situation within the framework of sustainable forms of mobility and their effects on mobility behaviour, and concrete further implementation steps will be defined. The result and added value of SafeMobility is an implementation catalogue that clearly defines which measures for improving (perceived) safety are to be meaningfully implemented and in which areas there is even more concrete further research and development needed in order to develop measures that are acceptable, meaningful and effective for all parties involved.

Contact: DI Dr. Alex Neumann, MA MSc