New Boost to Traffic Service Development at a Critical Juncture – Operators Agree on Ground Rules for Data
Published on 2.6.2022
Improvement of traffic services for businesses and households received a boost with the adoption of an open-source Rulebook by operators in the sector. The goal here is to promote service development in the industry, in both goods and passenger traffic, with means such as data sharing. The traffic sector is thus at last following the lead of the banking and telecommunications sectors, which have for a long time now had interoperable customer services in place.
The Rulebook, devised in collaboration by operators in the sector, will be adopted by all operators in the open-source traffic data ecosystem. Founding members Finnair, Fintraffic, HSL, ITS Finland Ry, LMJ, MaaS Global, Matkahuolto, Metsäteho, Valopilkku Taksi, VR, VTT and FLD Osuuskunta will sign the Rulebook first, and then every operator will be sent an invitation to join as an official members and to commit to compliance with the Rulebook. The Rulebook is based on groundwork done by Sitra to promote a fair data economy. The common Rulebook is a much expected milestone for the 140 operators who have already done good work on this matter in working groups.
“Traffic is currently being subjected to multiple shocks. Public transport is still struggling because of the pandemic, the war in Ukraine is eroding Finland’s international connections, fuel prices have risen extremely sharply, and traffic emissions must be substantially cut in the near future. In this quite exceptional transition, we need new tools for the traffic sector to be able to continue to offer competitive services in goods and passenger traffic chains and to support Finland’s national competitiveness to the full,” says Pertti Korhonen, CEO of Fintraffic.
Accelerating service development in the traffic sector will not only improve customer services but also have a societal impact, because it is estimated that households and businesses spend nearly EUR 40 billion on mobility each year, which makes up about 13%* of Finland’s GDP. Moreover, traffic causes 20%** of Finland’s carbon dioxide emissions. Therefore, even small improvements in the efficiency of goods and passenger traffic chains can produce significant benefits and savings for households and businesses, streamline the everyday lives of citizens and enterprises, improve Finland’s competitiveness and reduce emissions.
“Traffic digitalisation is happening here and now. In practice, there is no new service or technology being developed that does not have a link to data and the data economy. This is an excellent context for attaining the efficiency and sustainability goals set for the traffic system. The most important thing in these efforts is to get data and code moving between the various parties. The Rulebook, which follows the principles of the fair data economy, is an important initiative in promoting system-level interoperability in traffic. It is an excellent pioneering step towards European traffic dataspace development,” says Marko Forsblom, Executive Director of ITS Finland.
Focus on data in developing new mobility services
Routes, vehicles, service providers and customers in the traffic system are generating more data than ever before. When the Rulebook can be applied to achieve a lower threshold for sharing data in a compatible format, it will be possible to increase vehicle autonomy, speed up logistics throughput times, advance the use of drones in services or develop one-stop-shop solutions for travel chain ticket purchases.
“Controlled sharing of data and close collaboration with various operators are key for Finnair’s development of better transport and travel chains,” says Director Tiina Vesterinen, who is responsible for digital services at Finnair. “Ultimately, all this benefits the customer in the form of a smoother travel experience or quicker goods delivery.”
“This is a step forward together for the data ecosystem in the sector at large, and an important one for HSL. Customer expectations regarding service levels are constantly rising. Boosting the competitiveness and attractiveness of public transport on the mobility service market requires the ability to leverage partnerships in order to create better digital services for customers, for instance in travel chains. Data flows and analytics benefit customers. The Rulebook takes us another step towards our vision,” says Mika Nykänen, CEO of HSL.
“The importance of data and of integration will increase as we strive to create the best possible customer experience and enable agile mobility. Because of this, we see the traffic data ecosystem as an interesting facilitator in new cooperation models,” says Jonas Hagner, Chief Digital Officer of the VR Group.
“Matkahuolto has been a pioneer in collecting, processing and sharing data. Sharing data with passengers and the authorities and, through open interfaces, with other operators will help the operations of hundreds of small operators and the formation of nationwide travel chains in public transport. The Rulebook is a concrete outcome of open and positive cooperation between the operators in the sector. It provides an excellent foundation for us to pursue our role as an active developer of public transport and logistics,” says Janne Jakola, CEO of Matkahuolto.
“The taxi legislation reform and digitalisation have caused a sea change in operating models in the sector. Consumers have experienced a decline in price predictability, taxi availability and the quality and reliability of services, and the resulting confidence gap was only worsened by the coronavirus pandemic. Valopilkku is determined to contribute to the ongoing transition in the entire traffic ecosystem by offering users access to streamlined travel chains, equitable services and fair prices across Finland,” says Jari Kantonen, CEO of Valopilkku Oy.
Efficient traffic chains cannot be achieved without data
In logistics, reducing emissions and improving efficiency requires access to real-time high-quality data that can easily be input into the proprietary systems of the various traffic operators. This will improve the transparency of logistics chains, which in turn will make operations more efficient and reduce throughput times at goods traffic nodes.
“Transport in the forest industry relies heavily on lower-class roads and private roads. Compiling road data that is more up-to-date and more comprehensive than at present will require leveraging new data collection methods and cooperation models. The Rulebook will make it easier for operators to collaborate and will thus promote the emergence of new data services and more precise planning of transports in the forest sector,” says Heikki Pajuoja, CEO of Metsäteho Oy.
“Data sharing will facilitate new business operations in various sectors. The traffic data ecosystem will offer an excellent foundation for the Living Lab urban traffic development environments being prepared by VTT. These involve developing new solutions for trams and for charging electric vehicles. The data ecosystem will also enable development of new solutions for instance for logistics chains optimised for emissions and energy consumption, and for digital mobility services designed to best serve the needs of passengers,” says Ari Aalto, Vice President, Mobility and Transport at VTT.
“I am really happy that the traffic sector has joined forces to take such a major step forward and is now able to address the opportunities offered by digitalisation more robustly in these challenging times. A shared open-source Rulebook will make it considerably easier for operators to engage in joint service development, as it will no longer be necessary to agree on everything bilaterally. Once service development picks up speed in Finland, it will create potential for developing service solutions for export as well,” says Janne Lautanala, Chief Ecosystem and Technology Officer at Fintraffic, which coordinates the building of the traffic data ecoystem.
Saara Salaja, Communications Manager, Fintraffic, tel. 050 414 2734
*Logistiikkaselvitys 2018, Tilastokeskus – Kotitalouksien kulutus 2018
What is the traffic data ecosystem?
Having networked data and knowing how to leverage it are key points in traffic system development. Traffic networking is off to a good start. There are already 140 organisations involved in the traffic data ecosystem.
Launched in January 2021, the traffic data ecosystem does not restrict competition; it is a community open to everyone. It promotes joint action in the sector in the interests of creating seamless service experiences for customers.
The purpose of the data ecosystem is to use digitalisation:
- to increase the attractiveness and smoothness of public transport and travel chains and to increase the efficiency of logistics chains
- to boost the domestic market and to increase service exports
- to create new business models and services
- to reduce emissions
Fintraffic is coordinating this work because of the mandate it has from the central government and because it administers the various modes of traffic under one roof.
What is the Rulebook?
The Rulebook is a foundational document for building data usage cooperation in the traffic sector. The content of the Rulebook is based on the Rulebook for a Fair Data Economy authored by Sitra. Its purpose is to create an agreement framework for data sharing and thus increased mutual trust in the traffic sector. The traffic data ecosystem is an open-source network that any private individual or corporation may join. Joining means committing to comply with the Rulebook.
The Rulebook allows organisations and individuals to exercise better control over the data they share and to decide independently on user rights for those data.
The Rulebook is a tool for sharing increasing quantities of data either free of charge or for a fee, as agreed jointly. In practical terms, this will improve confidence in data integrity, quality, security, operator identity, operator roles and terms and conditions of use.
What is agreed in the Rulebook?
- rules according to which datasets are to be shared, ecosystem services are to be provided and cooperation is to be agreed upon
What is not agreed in the Rulebook?
- contents of mobility, traffic and logistics services, prices, payment systems, ticketing, etc.
Liikenteen Digikuuri 2022: 26:19 - Pertti Korhonen / Fintraffic