We aim for reduced congestion, reduced air pollution or improved safety by stimulating people to change their travelling behaviour.
With more than 80% of the EU population living in cities, it is obvious that sustainable urban mobility must be a vital strategic objective of the EU. Managing urban mobility, however, means dealing with conflicting interests. The question of how to enhance mobility while at the same time reducing congestion, accidents and pollution is a common challenge to all major cities in Europe. Inhabitants, visitor or employees want to travel and use their cars. On the other hand, municipalities or road authorities want to reduce traffic to enhance accessibility. How to deal with these conflicting system and personal objectives and enforce effective policies?
Currently, a variety of measures are taken ranging from restricting access to urban areas up to develop very advanced technological cooperative systems. However, changing urban mobility patterns basically means changing the behaviour of people, i.e., replacing the one habit by another habit or motivating people to change. The SUNSET project uses a human-centred approach and wants to achieve system goals like reduced congestion, reduced air pollution or improved safety by influencing personal goals in terms of stimulating people to change their individual travelling behaviour. To influence behaviour, we make use of rewards and incentives, rather than restrictions. This is a coaching approach to traffic management, based on rewarding good behaviour.
Four main objectives are covered by SUNSET. We want to achieve the following system goals:
- Congestion reduction: traffic-jams are an increasing problem to tackle. The average travelling times should be reduced. Our objective is 5% less traffic (measured in car kilometres in a specific area) during the rush hours for users of the SUNSET system.
- Safety: people must be able to optimize their route, to avoid roads with many cyclists for car drivers, to report local road and weather conditions within community, to detect unusual conditions, or to avoid waiting times on dark and silent railway stations.
- Environment protection: for a livable climate we need reduced CO2 emissions, improved air quality management and reduced noise pollution.
- Personal well being of citizens: the system allows individuals to set and monitor personal objectives, like increase individual safety, reduce travel times, reduce costs, improve comfort, and increase health.