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Pilot projects for the creation of the “Italian way to connected mobility”

In the two previous articles “Exemplary cases for the development of the “Italian way to connected mobility”: cities and the creation of urban connected ecosystems” and “Examples of the development of new mobility models” some exemplary cases of future mobility with connected mobility applications developed within urban centres were presented.

This article presents the approach proposed by OCTO and The European House – Ambrosetti aimed at building a connected and interoperable mobility ecosystem at the Italian level. In this sense, according to the vision of OCTO and The European House – Ambrosetti, it will be essential to launch a series of small but high-potential Pilot Projects with the aim of testing technologies, relationship models between the actors involved and, finally, to increasingly involve the users of mobility systems. From the combination of the single pilot projects, it will be possible to create the “Italian way to connected mobility” that will promote the achievement of Vision Zero.

Regarding the mobility ecosystem, OCTO and The European House – Ambrosetti hope to create an ecosystem model that, through interoperability and openness, enables collaboration between different players according to the logic of co-opetition and co-creation of federated end-to-end services. This will make it possible to systemise, according to an open logic, innovations enabled by data towards the creation of new service models or improvements in the customer experience.

It is worth emphasising that the development of an ecosystem based on interoperability, sovereignty and portability of data is in line with the European Commission’s Data Economy strategy[1].

In particular, it is essential to develop a series of successful individual initiatives that can be rapidly implemented, generate concrete results and increase user confidence in new mobility solutions. For this reason, the OCTO and The European House – Ambrosetti working groups have undertaken to identify a series of pilot projects that can be implemented over a period of about six months and that involve a limited number of stakeholders for each initiative.

The aim of the initial experimentation phase is in fact to validate the operating logics and interaction mechanisms between the various actors involved and to apply new technologies to the mobility sector. These projects will also have a demonstrative function in terms of the benefits and opportunities that can be pursued by exploiting the potential of Connected Mobility.

The pilot projects shall constitute the links of a chain; in fact, once the quick wins are achieved, it will be possible to combine the different pilot projects to generate a first Connected Mobility ecosystem. In this sense, single pilot projects will represent the starting point for the creation of the “Italian way to connected mobility”, both for the adoption of new technologies and the experimentation of new forms of co-creation and collaboration centred on the exchange of data.

The pilot projects identified by OCTO and The European House – Ambrosetti focus on practical applications that can be implemented quickly to solve problems that are binding for private operators and public administrations. Through these projects, OCTO and The European House – Ambrosetti, together with other players in the mobility sector, intend to make a concrete contribution to the launch of the “Italian way to connected mobility”, positioning themselves as enabling actors at the centre of the development of an ecosystem model.

Considering the strategic levers already presented in the article “The new mobility paradigm: a development model and some elements at the basis of pilot projects” – Building transparency and trust, Building co-opetition and value for customers, Creating shared value, Creating innovation – and the principles at the basis of OCTO and The European House – Ambrosetti’s vision, i.e. transparency, interoperability and standardisation, the working group identified the key players to be involved in the development of pilot projects.

Specifically, OCTO and The European House – Ambrosetti identified eight classes of actors to be involved in the development of the pilot projects: city administrations, urban and suburban public transport operators, vehicle sharing, short-term and long-term renting operators, insurance companies, utilities and energy service providers, maintenance service providers and car-dealers.

With respect to these stakeholders, six project macro-themes were identified, focusing on their compelling needs as they emerged during the working tables:

  • Urban planning – using data and connected vehicles to monitor traffic in cities in real time and manage traffic flows based on inflows and outflows.
  • Safety – exploiting the enabling technologies of connected vehicles to increase road safety and reduce the number of accidents.
  • Fleet efficiency monitoring – assess the efficiency of each vehicle in the fleet to optimise maintenance programmes and identify any vehicle problems.
  • Pricing models – use the data collected from vehicles to define new pricing models to reward green vehicle use.
  • Emissions monitoring – collect data from the vehicle to understand the actual level of emissions and define rewarding or penalising mechanisms accordingly.
  • MaaS models – creating new connected and smart mobility models that improve the liveability of cities while reducing pollution in urban spaces.

Overall, OCTO and The European House – Ambrosetti have identified more than 35 pilot projects, 14 of which are considered as priorities, i.e. implementable in the short term (about 6 months), defined as “quick win“.

These projects are to be considered as a concrete proposal to start the “Italian way to connected mobility” through actions able to generate returns for companies and the community already in the short term by pursuing Vision Zero.

The pilot projects are considered by OCTO and The European House – Ambrosetti as priorities, i.e. they can be developed within six months. This choice is linked to the need to obtain quick wins, aimed at demonstrating the effectiveness and potential of the Connected Mobility solutions proposed.

In addition, the five operational steps necessary to implement the projects were identified:

  • Phase 0, Activation of the Pilot – in this phase the project partner will be identified and engaged, the project proposal will be defined, the advanced structure of the Pilot project will be presented and, finally, the cooperation agreement will be signed.
  • Phase 1, Analysis Phase – this phase is dedicated to the definition of the detailed aspects of the project pilots and to the construction of the use cases. In particular, the scope of the project, the KPIs for measuring the results, the project milestones, the possibilities of generalisation of the pilot will be defined. Finally, a communication strategy aimed at disseminating the results of the pilot project will also be identified.
  • Phase 2, Pilot Configuration – first operational phase of the pilot project in which the recruitment and training of users involved in the development of the project will begin. Furthermore, in this phase it is foreseen to carry out the logistics and provisioning activities necessary to collect the hardware components. The procurement of the materials will be followed by their installation on the pilot vehicles. Finally, there will also be the activity of creating the digital interfaces.
  • Phase 3, Running the Pilot – in this phase testing activities will be activated, leading to the collection of data and subsequent analysis. The results obtained will be structured in a report in order to assess the actual effectiveness and critical / improvement points of the pilot project.
  • Phase 4, Pilot Scalability Assessment – the final phase of the pilot project in which the opportunities for scaling up the benefits of the pilot will be assessed. This phase will also include the technical assessment of the needs (at the technological level) to be introduced or developed to increase the scaling capacity of the project. Similarly, the needs in terms of organisational evolution to be introduced by the actors involved will be assessed. This will be followed by an assessment of the economic benefits and the definition of a roadmap for the subsequent phases.

In terms of timing, OCTO and The European House – Ambrosetti intend to start the first development phases of the pilots by the end of September 2021. As mentioned, the pilots identified as priorities will last about 6 months: the first results could be communicated at the end of March / beginning of April 2022.

Ultimately, it can be affirmed that the development of the Pilot Projects will allow OCTO and The European House – Ambrosetti to start the creation of the “Italian Way to Connected Mobility”. By increasingly involving the various stakeholders, it will be possible to stimulate innovation and the development of new technological solutions that may, in the future, favour the identification and affirmation of new mobility models.

[1] Reference is made to the European Commission’s European Data Strategy, published on 19 February 2020.


Alessandro Viviani : Senior Consultant – Innotech Hub
Corrado Panzeri : Associate Partner – Head of InnoTech Hub
The European House – Ambrosetti

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