Active mobility, health and traffic safety
At specific points in live, so called live changing moments, people often change their mobility patterns and a shift from sustainable transport modes to motorized individual transport occurs. Whereas data from Austria is only rarely available, data from Germany shows that especially walking and cycling trips decrease when children live in a household. The concern about children`s safety or the uncertainty about comfort makes active mobility unattractive. Additional barriers are trip lengths and the number of extra trips (e.g. consulting a doctor, leisure trips) which are necessary with children. The reason that family mobility is often associated with a car is that people do not have enough information on the benefits and possibilities of active mobility.
While the number of available active mobility measures is already increasing in cities, rural areas seems to be relatively unaffected by this development. To counter this development, the R&D project ANFANG aims to promote walking, cycling and the use of public transport as part of families’ everyday life in rural areas. For this purpose, a concept on meta-level to promote sustainable mobility for families, will be developed within the ANFANG project which will be tested in representative communities in Austria. Data will be collected by interviews with parents-to-be and families and by workshops with providers of mobility services, local politicians and decision-makers. The concept compromises various measures revealing: (I) wishes, barriers, potentials and constraints to promote sustainable family mobility, (ii) potentials and barriers of multimodal transport, (iii) available products for sustainable family mobility, and (iv) solution approaches to promote active mobility for families in communities. The ANFANG-concept will be available for a wide range of stakeholders (such as municipalities or local companies) for further exploitation. In order to achieve a more sustainable mobility development it is very important to promote active mobility measures. In addition to the positive effect on public health, the promotion of active mobility is a major contributor to achieve the overarching goal of the UN-Convention in Paris to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to limit global warming.
The European Automated Driving Roadmap (ERTRAC – European Road transport Advisory Council, 2017) defines a development path for Automated Urban Mobility Systems such as Automated Shuttles, beside paths for Automated Passenger Cars and Automated Freight Vehicles. Automated Shuttles should play a key role as on-demand feeder to intermodal transport hubs or as on-demand shuttles for regional personal transport systems (use case “New Flexibility” in the Austrian Action Plan for Automated Driving). Despite enormous technical progress over the last years, current tests on open roads show that automated shuttles have only reached automated driving level 2 (“Partial Automation”) or in the best case level 3 (“Conditional Automation”) following the international SAE J3016 classification. Worldwide, more and more tests on open roads are conducted or planned, however, there is a lack of projects targeting the systematic development of automated shuttles towards higher automation levels.
The Austrian flagship project “Digibus Austria” pursues the goal, to research and test methods, technologies and models for proofing a reliable and traffic-safe operation of automated shuttles on open roads in mixed traffic in a regional driving environment on automated driving level 3 (“Conditional Automation”) and creating foundations for automation level 4 (“High Automation”). Expected results address the following fields: (1) Driving environment and digital infrastructure (assessment and configuration of the driving environment, (partly) automated toolchain for generating the digital driving environment as well as the driving path, robust and reliable connectivity and positioning), (2) driving scenarios and interaction with other traffic participants (traffic-safe completion of typical driving scenarios in mixed traffic, concepts for traffic-safe interaction with other traffic participants) and (3) automated mobility system and passenger interaction during driverless operation (intermodal mobility system integration, voice and video-based interaction for passengers during driverless operation). All methods, technologies and models are tested on a non-public test track (Driving Center Teesdorf or Salzburg Ring) as well as on two public, regional test tracks (Salzburg Koppl and Wiener Neustadt, Federal State Exhibition 2019 of Lower Austria) including 100 test persons as well as up to 10.000 passengers. The results will lay the foundation for an Austrian Reference Model for real-world testing and operation of autonomous shuttles in regional public transport systems. Direct expected impacts are: 16 follow-up projects in Austria with a volume of EUR 7.5M, EUR 37M international market potential as well as 600.000 passengers during the first three years after the project. The flagship project Digibus Austria, with a runtime of 3 years, coordinated by Salzburg Research, is conducted by a top-class consortium of leading enterprises (Kapsch TrafficCom, ÖBB Holding, PRISMA solutions, Commend, Fluidtime, HERRY Consult, EasyMile) and research institutes (Virtual Vehicle Competence Center, Austrian Institute of Technology, University of Salzburg – Center for Human Computer Interaction, University of Natural Resources Vienna – Institute for Transport Studies, Factum) along the complete value chain from vehicle manufacturers to mobility service providers.
EcoVeloTour facilitates the development of sustainable tourism in the Danube region along EuroVelo routes via enhanced, conscious and ecologically sound framework of tourism destination management and extending cyclist tourism, unfolding neighbouring regions beyond the EuroVelo route. The regions will capitalize on cultural and natural heritage, through the integration of the ecosystem service framework into ecotourism planning, that enable the attentive maintenance of high ecosystem provisions that benefits to the sustainable development of the region including the ecotourism stakeholders in the long run.
The framework will be strongly support by sustainable mobility guidelines, which is one key element in comprehensive ecotourism planning, esp. in the case of cyclist ecotourism along the EuroVelo in the Danube region. Moreover, a comprehensive market research will help Danube region wide to assess better the potentials and ways forward in the ecotourism development.
Regional ecotourism strategies will be elaborated based on the developed framework and good practices, studies on ecotourism, green mobility, knowledge exchange, potential ecosystem service mapping of pilot areas, intensive key actors’ cooperation, stakeholder analysis and participation, learning interactions (including e-learning) at regional and transnational level.
The implementation of the strategies starts during the project lifetime including small-scale investments too. The bottom-up approach, collected experience from local level will result in a policy recommendation to ensure the capitalization of project results at policy-maker level.
Outputs will be: (i) transnational tools for ecotourism development
and management: enhanced framework for ecotourism development and mobility planning guidelines, transnational market research, policy recommendation, ecotourism mobile app., e-learning platform; (ii) pilot regional ecotourism strategies; (iii) transnational learning interactions.
Increasing Active Mobility, including walking, cycling and use of public transport, results in environmental, economic and social benefits. What’s more, health benefits arise from the boost of physical activity through walking and cycling as a daily routine without any sports ambitions.
The Austrian Health Fund (FGOE) has determined “Active Moblity” as a priority to be funded in the project call “Active Mobility – Healthy Travelling 2019-2022” for the settings school, company and municipality. The objectives of this current project are the guidance, support and implementation of this call. The research focus is on the evaluation of measures and projects to promote Active Mobility within the three settings. Which kinds of measures result in a long-term behaviour change (in terms of switching from car use to walking or cycling) and which indicators describe these effects best? Factors of success for an efficient implementation and supportive framework conditions should be figured out to guarantee a sustainable establishment of promising Active Mobility measures. An evaluation concept is worked out to gather learning experiences and share them among the research community as well as among the three settings.
In the spring and summer 2015, a personalized mobility campaign called SWITCH was performed in all of Vienna. Within this campaign, nearly 1.000 people, among which 160 were Seestadt residents, received a personalized mobility consultancy and tailored information. The participants’ change in mobility behavior and the attitudes towards car-less mobility were assessed by means of a before/after survey. The results were then compared with a control group of people not part-taking in the campaign. The results show that active participants in the SWITCH campaign traveled more actively afterward: the number of monthly trips on foot increased by 4% and their trips by bike increased by 12%. At the same time, their trips by car reduced by 4%. The behavior of the control group, on the other hand, displayed a reduction of trips on foot by 5% and an increase in car trips by 12%. Moreover, the participants felt far more informed about the overall topic of active mobility and the individual and societal benefits it comes with than the control group did.
A similar campaign, tailored to specific local challenges, is a suitable measure to address the newly expected residents of the so-called Seestadt. They are expected to move in during the next two large settlement waves (2019 to mid-2020: “Seepark Quartier”, mid-2020 to 2021: “Quartier am Seebogen”). The goal is to approach these new residents early on in order to depict alternatives to the car available in the Seestadt. Furthermore, the campaign aims to increase the appreciation of traffic-and parking-free public spaces used for various forms of neighborhood activities and cooperation.
The personalized mobility campaign in the “Seestadt” pursues the following objectives:
- Communicating the mobility concept and alternatives to the car within the Seestadt
- Motivating new residents to use active, healthy and safe forms of mobility as well as public transport
- Increasing the acceptance and appreciation of traffic-free or traffic-reduced public spaces
- Stimulating processes of community building among both old and new residents of the Seestadt and their respective neighborhoods.
At the next consumer wxpenditure survey (2019/20), the Institute for Transport will be cooperating with Statistik Austria to gather information on time use and travel behaviour over one week in a sample of about 1000 persons in addition to consumer expenditures. As part of the survey, the activity level of the individuals is also recorded in detail. For this purpose, the diary and the personal questionnaire will be adapted accordingly.