Current Projects:

Act Now. Active Mobility Alliance (ActNow)

In addition to taking into account ecological and economic aspects of sustainable, active mobility, the health effects of actively travelling to work for employees in companies form the core of ActNow. Building on the GISMO project and other research results from MdZ, ActNow aims to demonstrate the full potential of active mobility in the context of commuting to work and the associated everyday routes, in particular those that accompany children, and to realise this in the test area of Salzburg and Upper Austria as well as in individual large companies throughout Austria. The application of evidence-based planning methods and planning tools is another integrative component of the project. An intersectoral policy board will accompany the ActNow project.

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AI-Based Optimisation of Incentive Schemes for Sustainable Mobility

The AI-CENTIVE project advances the state of the art in AI research to build and manage a complex mobility data ecosystem as enabler of intelligent applications in the context of ICT for the Future. The core innovations of AI-CENTIVE aim to support and incentivise mobility behaviour towards choosing more sustainable options, thus reducing carbon emissions from the use of private cars and petrol-/diesel-based means of transportation. Actionable datasets on mobility choices and options are currently fragmented across data silos in different organisational networks. The sharing and merging of these datasets via a common data ecosystem and its processing by Intelligent Systems - allowing for data sovereignty, security and privacy - supports the training of AI models to explain how and why citizens make certain mobility choices, and to predict their future choices based on multidimensional context parameters such as the weather, the location and duration of upcoming events or the availability of environmentally friendly options.
Customised incentives leveraging AI predictions aim to motivate citizens to adopt those new options and overcome remaining barriers to more sustainable behaviour such as the need to sign up for a new service or the perceived convenience of travelling “as we have always done”. To achieve this, we need AI-based approaches to predict complex mobility behaviour and optimise incentives in a multidimensional manner, beyond currently available solutions. The project’s unique selling proposition stems from concurrently addressing a number of challenges: (i) semantically integrating heterogeneous data from multiple sources into a dynamic mobility data ecosystem; (ii) understanding the evolving data ecosystem by means of a shared mobility knowledge graph; (iii) graph-based AI algorithms to learn from user mobility behaviour and make predictions of future behaviour and propose suitable incentives, and (iv) modelling different user mobility choices based on various incentive models in order to promote the most sustainable mobility behaviour. We will make sure that our predictions are explainable and understandable so that stakeholders can make informed decisions to promote and support more sustainable behaviour in the future, thoroughly testing the results to verify and improve the approach.
The results of the project will enable and incentivise Austrian citizens to find more sustainable mobility choices, increasing awareness and affecting public opinion to develop a more positive attitude towards those choices. The deployment of AI-CENTIVE algorithms as part of (i) the existing “ummadum” public mobile application to incentivise sustainable mobility choices as well as (ii) a visual analytics dashboard for professional stakeholders’ decision making will increase the visibility and uptake of project results across different target groups and guide the path to post-project exploitation.

Sustainable mobility behaviour from niche to norm - Transport (NTN-Verkehr)

The NTN project addresses the question of how sustainable mobility behaviour - walking, cycling and the use of public transport - can be established as the norm in everyday practice. NTN promotes the understanding of existing mobility practices, explores possible transformation paths from niche to norm and uses these findings in a co-design process with politics, administration, interest groups and citizens. Three Lower Austrian cities - Korneuburg, Stockerau and Fischamend - are used as case studies. Both qualitative and quantitative research methods will be used to investigate how sustainable mobility behaviour can be initiated and controlled. In accordance with the Lower Austrian Mobility Concept 2030, the aim is to promote sustainable mobility in the cities and to achieve a shift in the modal split from private motorised transport to environmental transport in the medium term.

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Socially Fair Options for a Climate Neutral Transformation of Housing and Mobility in Austria (TransFair-AT)

In the project TransFair-AT, we will comprehensively analyse the impacts on different household types of various policy instruments for decarbonising passenger transport and housing. Moreover, we will develop measures to compensate particularly vulnerable groups ensuring an inclusive and socially fair decarbonisation of the housing and mobility sector by 2040. The overarching objectives of TransFair-AT are
(1) to provide comprehensive and innovative model-based analyses of the economic incidence and social impacts of a complete decarbonisation of the sectors residential buildings and passenger transport in Austria by 2040; and
(2) to develop targeted compensation mechanisms to mitigate burdens of these climate policies for particularly vulnerable groups while ensuring the consistency of these compensation mechanisms with full decarbonisation.

Participatory Value Evaluation: a novel assessment process for transport policies aiming at climate change mitigation (aPPRAISE)

In response to the still increasing GHG emissions from road transport in Austria, we propose the use of Participatory Value Evaluation (PVE) to assess climate change mitigation policies in the transport sector. This novel assessment model allows for the quantitative inclusion of social considerations and governmental aspects in economic policy analysis and hence has the potential to increase the social acceptance of sustainable transport policies.

Revision of the Guidelines for Strategic Assessment of Transport Infrastructure 2022 (SP-V Leitfaden)

The aim of the project is to revise the existing Austrian Guidelines for Strategic Assessements in the Transport Sector (SP-V). The SP-V guidelines serve as a guide for initiators of transport investments for the implementation and preparation of the necessary documents for an SP-V. Although the current guideline from 2018 has received positive feedback internationally, in practice there is still a need for an improved integral consideration of environmental goals, especially those of climate protection, which is strongly linked to transport.

In its current form, the guidelines already offer numerous starting points for the foresighted consideration and avoidance or minimisation of environmental impacts. Due to the very brief presentation of individual steps, such as the consideration of system alternatives, it would make sense to strengthen individual chapters in order to enable a transparent consideration of all relevant perspectives and a balanced evaluation of the planning alternatives. In this way, environmental objectives, possible changes in protected goods and measures to counteract these changes can be included in the strategic assessment, taking into account all relevant information and on the basis of a broad discussion of these with the actors within the framework of scoping.

The revision of the guideline therefore also aims at a strengthened balancing of different perspectives and interests, in particular a strengthening of the role of the BMK as a neutral and all-party supervisory authority and
a strengthening of the role of the stakeholders, in particular the environmental agencies, in result-critical procedural steps, especially in scoping, in the selection of the alternatives to be examined, as well as in the selection of the criteria for the evaluation of the alternatives.

ZeroFlex - Flexible Mobility Point as a Module for Climate Neutrality (ZeroFlex)

The heart of the ZeroFlex project is the development, construction and broad demonstration operation of flexible and highly innovative mobility points (ZeroFlex station) as an important basis for the dissemination of zero emission technologies and the associated reduction in greenhouse gases. The main advantages of ZeroFlex are (1) the enormous cost efficiency in construction and operation (compared to the solutions and offers currently on the market), (2) the flexible leasing model for public and private providers / infrastructure operators, (3) the (related) flexible use of individual components on the part of customers and thus (4) greatly facilitated dissemination across the country, both in rural and urban areas. The basis for ZeroFlex is an efficient and intelligent integration into the Austrian energy system or an overall integration into public and private infrastructure systems.
The project aims at the development and the subsequent broad use of hardware solutions (including software components for scheduling, administration or an APP for users) for flexible mobility stations in order to demonstrate practicality (organizational, technical, economic, etc.) in demonstration operations test or to think in terms of area (in the sense of scalability) from the beginning or to go after the end of the project.