Developing an application for smartphones which will help city residents to choose the most eco-friendly modes of transport is targeted at the research project PEACOX (Usable Persuasive Trip Advisor for Reducing CO2-consumption), in which the Information Systems Management Unit of the University Research Institute of Communication and Computer Systems participates.
The project combines methods of automatically identifying the means of movement and the purpose of user travel, dynamic profiles and methods of exporting user preferences for personalized proposals for ecological means of transport and routes, computational emission estimation models, and strategies for presenting information in a way that to drive users to choose their eco-friendly modes of transport and to change their behavior in the long run.
The Greek team, with scientific coordinator Professor NTUA Grigoris Mentza and the research team leader, Dr. Efthimios Botsos, designed and implemented algorithms that choose and present users with ecological routes according to their preferences and according to their habits. The proposed routes can combine more than one means of transport.
The project involves eight actors from six countries (Austria, Switzerland, Ireland, Czech Republic, the Netherlands, Greece), including universities and research centers (ETHZ - Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich, TCD - Trinity College Dublin, CURE - Center for Usability Research and Engineering), navigation software companies (TOMTOM International Bv, Fluidtime Data Services GmbH, TMX - Telematix Software as) and public organizations (ITS Vienna Region). Co-funded by the EU through the '7th Framework Program' and lasts three years.
The first version of the application is already available and evaluated by 60 residents in Vienna in the summer of 2013. The results were rated as encouraging, as users were happy with its functionality, while personalized alternatives and ecological routes were positively evaluated. In addition, the analysis of the results showed that participants' ecological consciousness increased with the use of the application, and in some cases there was a change in behavior such as a reduction in the use of the car while increasing the number of journeys by public transport.
Future implementation could also be used in Greek cities with air pollution and increased traffic problems such as Athens and Thessaloniki.