The CSFM Kick-off Symposium took place on the 6th of May at ETH Zurich and hosted over 130 participants with the aim to present the new center to a wider audience, particularly to highlight the objective and progress of the Mobility Initiative research program, as well as to network the different members and partners.
The presentations by external guests and CSFM members, the panel discussion, as well as the poster sessions provided excellent opportunities to present latest research results and discussions.
Sonia Yeh (Professor at Chalmers University of Technology) discussed the challenges in modeling mobility and its associated energy demand. Particularly challenging are the different spatio-temporal scales used in the models and the need to combine those simulations in order to create a coherent system. The high uncertainty of mobility data in the baseline and the complex prediction due to insufficient projection theories impose further challenges.
Three ongoing projects within the framework of the ETH Mobility Initiative were highlighted:
Eleni Chatzi presented the exploitation of on-board monitoring data to improve infrastructure performance. Combining data and physical models lead to improvement of predictability and system-understanding. Additionally, combining this information with complementary data and event classification through machine learning supports the planning of suitable interventions.
The second project, presented by Francesco Corman, focuses on scheduling methods for automated railway timetabling, which is meant to improve the efficiency of the dense Swiss railway system by reducing capacity buffers. These advanced control systems have been already used on some tracks, however extending them to the complete system is a complex problem that ETH Zurich is addressing in cooperation with SBB.
Martin Raubal presented the project Empirical Use and Impact Analysis of Mobility as a Service, an analysis of behavioral change induced by the deployment of new mobility services. In particular, the project addresses how mobility service bundles influence people’s behavior, their transportation induced emissions, and how the data generated by those services can be handled appropriately in order to improve services and the understanding of transportation systems.
All colleagues commented on the excellent collaboration with the Mobility Initiative partners that allowed not only state of the art research, but also testing the results in the real world, which is exceptionally rewarding.
Harvey Miller (Professor at the Ohio State University) addressed the question, why sustainable mobility is so hard to achieve: The emphasis was not only on environmental and climate change issues, but also on social equity, safety, and economic sustainability aspects. All those make the transport system transformation an existential challenge ahead.
Cities are complex systems, and sometimes interventions have unintended effects. This is a wicked problem in the sense that conflicting values influence decision-making. This is also a collective social dilemma because individual rational decisions may have hideous collective outcomes. New data technology can be seen as the key to a new generation of tools which allow analyzing and optimizing of transportation systems and the shape of cities.
The perspective from the Mobility Initiative partners and how the cooperation with academia could help to address future challenges were presented by Dino Graf (AMAG), Heinz Brenner (Siemens Mobility) and Stephan Osterwald (SBB). Additionally, the keynote speakers together with Emilio Frazzoli (Professor at the Institute for Dynamic Systems and Control and deputy chairman of the CSFM) joined the discussion.
This last exchange closed this intense event with an overall impression that there is still a lot to do if we want to achieve sustainable mobility in the future. Nonetheless, the cooperation between industry partners and the academia are giving the right impulse towards solving these complex challenges ahead.
In case you were not able to attend or would like to revisit some of the presentations or posters, they are available for download below. We hope to welcome you next year and enjoy browsing!