Helsinki experimented with data-sharing to study e-scooter use in the city

Helsinki explored new ways of sharing and utilising data about e-scooter use last summer and autumn. The pilot was conducted in cooperation between French company Vianova, micro-mobility operators Voi and Tier, Forum Virium Helsinki, and the City of Helsinki.

The goal of the data-sharing collaboration was to better understand how new data from e-scooter and other micro-mobility services can be shared in a safe and secure manner, and how it can be utilised to inform transportation planning and policy-making.

Vianova’s solution is based on the MDS (Mobility Data Specification) communication framework, which enables secure exchange of data between mobility providers and cities. Aggregated and anonymised mobility data was shown on a dashboard, giving the City of Helsinki an overview of how, when and where the e-scooters were used during summer and autumn 2020.

Project Manager Janne Rinne from Forum Virium Helsinki explains that Vianova’s data experiment was one of Jätkäsaari Mobility Lab’s agile pilots.

“Agile pilots are quick experiments, in which the City and companies experiment together with new and innovative technologies and services. The aim is to jointly learn as much as possible in a short period of time. Vianova’s data pilot provided valuable insights about the ways data from new emerging mobility services can be shared and utilised in order to better inform planning and policies,” Rinne says.

Data-sharing through open collaboration

In many European cities, micro-mobility operators are required to share data with the city. In Helsinki, there is no such regulation in place.

However, open data policies are a growing trend in the business, and Voi and Tier collaborated with the pilot on a voluntary basis.

“Tier was happy to work with Forum Virium and the City of Helsinki on this joint effort. Facilitated through the work of Vianova, useful insights were gained on all sides and this project provided a valuable benchmark for further collaboration between micro-mobility providers and cities,” says Niklas Gahnström, regional city manager of Tier.

“Our data and experience tell us that a large proportion of our riders combine their trips with public transport. We are happy that this pilot confirms that, combined with the value of implementing parking solutions in areas where the e-scooter presence is already high, as concluded by our recent research report from Oslo,” says Reetta Alastalo, senior operations manager at Voi, Finland.

Data from the operators was used to evaluate travel patterns and behaviours, compared to other modes of transport, such as bikeshare schemes and public transport, and analysed relative to peer cities. Vianova CEO Thibault Castagne expressed excitement about the important lessons learnt from the company’s analysis of micro-mobility data.

“Vianova was thrilled to work with Forum Virium and the City of Helsinki on this important project. Helsinki is a city at the leading edge of the future of sustainable transport, and it was valuable to see the ways in which micro-mobility will be a part of that future. Through Vianova’s work, we were able not only to evaluate the use of micro-mobility in Helsinki, but to lay the groundwork for the City to use data to better partner with operators in order to deliver an optimised and well-functioning micro-mobility system,” said Thibault Castagne.

Read the public pilot summary here: Vianova pilot, Helsinki, Public Summary



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