Sustainable port mobility



This technology is based on an ICT and organizational model that combines virtual and real incentives to promote seaport passengers to have better engagement in trips (land-port mobility).

Technology Description

This technology is focused on provided rewards to tourists/citizens based on a positive behaviour in the land-port mobility. The technology enables a user to download a mobile application, scan a QR when he/she arrives at the port station, then book and pay a ship ticket via a digital payment system. Moreover, the technology allows the user to book the ticket and get a QR code, which suggests the passenger to move through artificial intelligence algorithms. This allows to reduce the waiting time and the congestion of the port area. This gamification mechanism and the consequent incentives are an extremely effective tool, and it introduces active user behaviour, enabling the achievement of specific goals. The user and his active involvement should always be placed at the heart of this approach. Moreover, new collections of data that capture human mobility not only help us to understand their underlying patterns but also to design intelligent systems. The algorithm allows to reduce the overall traffic in a port system thanks to synergetic effects, with the participation of individuals in the system, playing a crucial role. A data-driven approach accounting for intrinsic correlations in human mobility and leading to a more realistic distribution of origin-destination pairs have been employed.

Main advantages

The application promotes and rewards passengers that show sustainable mobility behaviour, enabling port managers to reduce traffic congestion and air pollution, due to the cars before the entrance on the ship. Indeed, the incentives model enables to suggest to the customer the route to take in order and arrive at the established time at the port to reduce air pollution by avoiding waiting time. Moreover, the algorithm of artificial intelligence and the location intelligence analysis is oriented to find the best-personalized path to enable the user to save time and have “green behaviour”. Moreover, indicating different waiting areas outside the harbour terminals and rewarding users with coupons or special discounts, the app could suggest some activities (e.g. shopping) based on the users’ profile, benefitting the local economy of the port city too.

Stage of development

The “sustainable port mobility” technological framework is based on the research from two different units of Fondazione Bruno Kessler. Hence, the project combines two different technologies (CoMuNe and DAS). The current state of the CoMuNe technology related to systemic risk analysis, networks analysis to identify systemic solutions, path optimizer of network systems is under TRL3. Furthermore, the current DAS technology development framework empower passengers to have an optimal travel experience that could be exploited to provide the “virtual-real incentives” that give awards to citizens has been already experimented (TRL5) to support urban mobility campaigns in Trentino Region by using gamification techniques. Overall, by combining DAS and CoMuNe research frameworks we can classify FBK technology to be at TRL4 (technology validated in the lab).

Challenge and needs

One of the main challenges to be optimized at the port level is the management and coordination of cars and other transport means used by passengers about to board passenger ships. In this context, the main needs that can be highlighted are the following:

● Reduce the level of pollution in the port area;

● Reduce the waiting times for passengers in the waiting area;

● Reduce the boarding time for the passenger ships;

● Optimization of the routes of the vehicles to be boarded;

● Improve the coordination and management of arrivals of ships and cars;

● Optimize the port infrastructure, allowing more cars to be hosted on the same infrastructure, instead than enlarging the port infrastructure.

Intellectual property

The technology is not yet protected by a patent.

Potential markets and targets

The potential market is the maritime transport related to the passenger ships, for Roll-on / Roll-off activities, that means using ship or ferry boat, designed and built for transport with the embarkation and disembarkation of wheeled vehicles (on its wheels), and loads, placed on platforms or in containers, loaded and unloaded by means of vehicles equipped with wheels autonomous mode and without the aid of external mechanical means. The main market target is all the passenger terminals, worldwide implemented, where passenger ships are calling in the port. The intelligent apps market size was USD 7,33 billion in 2017 and is projected to reach USD 46,98 billion by 2023, growing at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 32,9% during the forecast period.

Potential partners

The expected profile should have the following characteristics:

  • Experience in AI and machine learning and infrastructure providers;
  • Experience in software development on cloud / Software as a service (SaaS) environment;
  • Experience in deploying implementations on transportation & mobility sectors;
  • Experience on implementation of Mobility as a Service (MaaS) applications;
  • Specific knowledge in the port / maritime sector and operations;
  • Specific knowledge and experience in Agent-Based Modelling (ABM);

Specific knowledge and experience in prosocial behaviors and token economy.

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