Project type: Bridge Project

Mobility Analytics using Sparse Mobility Data and Open Spatial Data

The mobility of people and things is an important societal process that facilitates and affects the lives of most people. Thus, society, including industry, has a substantial interest in well-functioning outdoor and indoor mobility infrastructures that are efficient, predictable, environmentally friendly, and safe. For outdoor mobility, reduction of congestion is high on the political agenda – it is estimated that congestion costs Denmark 30 billion DKK per year. Similarly, the reduction of CO2 emissions from transportation is on the political agenda, as the transportation sector is the second largest in terms of greenhouse gas emissions. Danish municipalities are interested in understanding the potentials for integrating various types of e-bikes in transportation planning. Increased use of such bicycles may contribute substantially to the greening of transportation and may also ease congestion and thus improve travel times. For indoor mobility, corridors and elevators represent bottlenecks for mobility in large building complexes (e.g. hospitals, factories and university campuses). With the addition of mobile robots, humans and robots will also be fighting to use the same space when moving indoors. Heavy use of corridors is also a source of noise that negatively impacts building occupants.

The ongoing, sweeping digitalisation has also reached outdoor and indoor mobility. Thus, increasingly massive volumes of mobility-related data, e.g. from sensors embedded in the road and building infrastructures, networked positioning (e.g. GPS or UWB) devices (e.g. smartphones and in-vehicle navigation devices) or indoor mobile robots, are becoming available. This enables an increasingly wide range of analyses related to mobility. When combined with digital representations of road networks and building interiors, this data holds the potential for enabling a more fine-grained understanding of mobility and for enabling more efficient, predictable, and environmentally friendly mobility. Long movement times equate with congestion and bad overall experiences.

The above data foundation offers a basis for understanding how well a road network or building performs across different days and across the duration of a day, and it offers the potential for decreased movement times by means of improved mobility flows and routing. However, there is an unmet need for low-cost tools that can be used by municipalities and building providers (e.g. mobile robot manufactures) that are capable of enabling a wide range of analytics on top of mobility data.

  1. Build extract-transform-load (ETL) prototypes that are able to ingest high and low frequency spatial data (e.g. GPS and indoor positioning data). These prototypes must enable map-matching of spatial data to open road network and building representations and must enable privacy protection.
  2. Design effective data warehouse schemas that can be populated with ingested spatial data.
  3. Build mobility analytics warehouse systems that are able to support a broad range of analyses in interactive time.
  4. Build software systems that enable users to formulate analyses and visualise results in maps-based interfaces for both indoor and outdoor use. This includes infrastructure for the mapping of user input into database queries and the maps-based display of results returned by the data warehouse system.
  5. Develop a range of advanced analyses that address user needs. Possible analyses include congestion maps, isochrones, aggregate travel-path analyses, origin-destination travel time matrices, and what-if analyses where the effects of reconstruction are estimated (e.g. adding an additional lane to a stretch of road or changing corridors). For outdoors settings, CO2-emissions analyses based on vehicular environmental impact models and GPS data are also considered.
  6. Develop transfer learning techniques that make it possible to leverage spatial data from dense spatio-temporal “regions” for enabling analyses in sparse spatio-temporal regions.

The envisioned prototype software infrastructure characterised above aims to be able to replace commercial road network maps with the crowd sourced OpenStreetMap (OSM) map and for indoors enable new data sources about the indoor geography. The open data might not be curated, which means that new quality control tools are required to ensure that computed travel times are correct. This will reduce cost.

Next, the project will provide means of leveraging available spatial data as efficiently and effectively as possible. In particular, while more and more data becomes available, the available data will remain sparse in relation to important analyses. This is due to the cost of data that can be purchased and due to the lack of desired data. Thus, it is important to be able to exploit available data as well as possible. We will examine how to transfer data from locations and times with ample data to locations and times with insufficient data. For example, we will study transfer learning techniques for this purpose; and as part of this, we will study feature learning. This will reduce cost and will enable new analyses that where not possible previously due to a lack of data.

Rambøll will be able to in-source the software infrastructure and host analytics for municipalities. Mobile Industrial Robotics (MiR) will be able to in-source the software infrastructure and host analytics for building owners. Additional value will be created because the above studies will be conducted for multiple transportation modes, with a focus on cars and different kinds of e-bikes. We have access to a unique data foundation that will enable these studies.

The project involves the research workstreams of Data Management (WS3), AI (WS2), and CyPhys (WS6), and Ethics (WS10) of DIREC.

May 1, 2021 – April 30, 2024 – 3 years

Total budget DKK 9,41 million / DIREC investment DKK 5,19 million

Participants

Project Manager

Christian S. Jensen

Professor

Aalborg University
Department of Computer Science

E: csj@cs.aau.dk

Ira Assent

Professor

Aarhus University
Department of Computer Science

Kristian Torp

Professor

Aalborg University
Department of Computer Science

Bin Yang

Professor

Aalborg University
Department of Computer Science

Martin Møller

Chief Innovation Officer

The Alexandra Institute

Mikkel Baun Kjærgaard

Professor

University of Southern Denmark
The Maersk Mc-Kinney Moller Institute

Norbert Krüger

Professor

University of Southern Denmark
The Maersk Mc-Kinney Moller Institute

Avgi Kollakidou

PHD FELLOW

University of Southern Denmark
The Maersk Mc-Kinney Moller Institute

Kasper Fromm Pedersen

Research Assistant

Aalborg University
Dept. of Computer Science

Partners