ways2go, 1st Call (2008)


Within MASIMO, existing simulation models are enhanced by including the orientation behaviour of mobility impaired passenger groups (e.g. people who are unfamiliar with the area, individuals with prams, wheelchair users and individuals with sensory impediments). By accurately calibrating the models via comprehensive real data, a valid forecast of incurring passenger flows and, hence, an improved basis for decision-making in terms of planning and adapting traffic infrastructures is achieved.

Public transport is indispensable for Austria. Every day, 5.5 million journeys are conducted by means of public transport. Each working day, 2.5 million individuals utilise buses or the railway, which in total results in each person travelling approximately 3,010 kilometres per year by bus and railway. Austria thereby heads the ranking of the 25 EU member countries in this respect (VCÖ, Mobilität mit Zukunft 1/2005). Through initiatives and research funding, attempts are made to further increase the attractiveness of public transport. An improvement of services results in more passengers and increased transport safety as well as less congestion, traffic noise and pollution, which brings along enhanced air quality. Railway stations form the central interface in public transport and connect various means of public and private transport. Furthermore, synergies between public transport and the retail market can be observed. Shops in the station area upvalue the railway station and public transport as a whole. Moreover, due to their high passenger frequency, railway stations are ideal points of sale.
In the planning and adaptation of public transport infrastructures, passenger security and accessibility are of particular relevance. The distribution of passenger flows in the infrastructure is too complex to be estimated directly by simple methods. Only via the adoption of simulations, flow characteristics can be inferred and, if needed be improved.
However, requirements of mobility impaired people groups (wheelchair users, individuals with prams or people with sensory impediments) are not incorporated into the hitherto available tools.
The aims of MASIMO therefore are the development, calibration and validation of a mathematical simulation model, based on existing models for a realistic replication of passenger flows under consideration of motion- and orientation behaviour of mobility impaired person groups. In particular, the following objectives are aspired:
Objective 1: Empirical collection of data on group specific motion- and orientation behaviour
Objective 2: Specification of enhancements of existing simulation models in terms of group specific motion- and orientation behaviour.
Objective 3: Integration of group specific motion- and orientation behaviour in the simulation model.
Objective 4: Calibration of the simulation model with the empirically collected data.
Objective 5: Validation of the simulation model in public infrastructures.
The core scientific challenge in MASIMO comprises the enhancement of existing models by group specific behaviour and, thereby, their realistic adaptation. Furthermore, the cognition of guidance systems is to be modelled in terms of orientation- and navigation behaviour.
Guidance information is determined against relevant influencing factors such as line of vision, occlusion due to other pedestrians and the distances in three-dimensional space. In particular, this enables the realistic simulation of paths of individuals, who are not familiar with the infrastructure, by a representation of a mental map and the learning behaviour in the simulation model. For this reason, substantial amounts of real world data are collected in controlled experiments and real scenarios. Moreover, these are complimented punctually by comprehensive manual data collection.
Project MASIMO focuses on the requirements of accessible mobility in public transport and provides the basis for enhanced methods and techniques in spatial and transport planning. A transparent and objective appraisal of the impacts of planned changes in the design of infrastructures in terms of security, comfort and accessibility is thereby enabled.