Service Platform for Green European Transportation       


Hagen Völzer photo

Service Platform for Green European Transportation - overview

The Service Platform for Green European Transportation (GET) provides transportation and logistics planners and drivers of transportation vehicles with the means to plan, re‐plan and control transportation routes efficiently and in a manner that reduces CO2 emission.

Currently, basic systems and devices for transportation and route planning exist. Some of these systems and devices also cooperate to feed‐back (location) information to a service platform, to enable real‐time monitoring of transportation resources, thus allowing for detection of transportation delays and traffic congestion. The GET service platform meets the challenge of lifting transportation and route panning systems to the next major level, by:

  1. enabling improved transportation and route planning, by incorporating transportation‐ and logistics‐related tasks, such as transfer of goods, customs inspection and administrative tasks, into the planning;
  2. facilitating more accurate transportation and route planning by using real‐time information from multiple information sources;
  3. facilitating quick effectuation of changes to transportation and route plans, including the execution of necessary transportation‐ and logistics‐related tasks, in particular administrative tasks, such as (de‐)reservation of necessary resources and informing relevant stakeholders, but possibly also logistics tasks, such as unloading already loaded goods;
  4. enabling holistic planning, where transportation routes and placement of transportation resources is planned jointly to optimize resource usage.

To achieve these objectives, the main goal of GET Service is the development of the GET Service platform that provides:

  1. real‐time information aggregated from multiple sources, including (cooperative) devices, such as route planning devices and transportation infrastructure sensors, and information systems from transportation and logistics companies, such as shipping companies and road managers;
  2. novel planning algorithms that support the use of this real‐time aggregated information for green and efficient transportation planning;
  3. support for the development of services that encapsulate transportation‐related tasks and the execution of services according to the transportation plan, including the automated rollback, cancellation and re‐execution of services upon changes that are made to the transportation plan;
  4. end‐user support through (mobile) applications for real‐time aggregated route and transportation planning, re‐planning and execution.

In providing these facilities, the GET Service platform contributes to the state of the art, in that it has: novel real‐time transportation planning algorithms; a transportation‐specific service development subsystem, transportation control and reconfiguration mechanisms; and real‐time information aggregation mechanisms that automatically aggregate low level data to meaningful information.

A prototype of the GET Service platform will be implemented with a collection of information provisioning services and end‐user services for transportation and logistics planners and drivers of transportation vehicles. With this prototype, which will also be accessible to the larger public, a testbed will be created to both create impact and to validate the platform's practical applicability to reduce CO2 emission, by solving usage scenarios related to co‐modality, synchro‐modality and resource distribution.

The GET Service project has received EU funding via the 7th framework programme and the following partners are involved:

  • Einhoven University of Technology
  • IBM Zurich Research Lab
  • TransVer
  • Wirtschaftsuniversitaet Wien
  • Portbase
  • Hasso Plattner Institut
  • Exodus S.A.
  • PTV
  • Jan de Rijk Logistics

At IBM Research - Zurich, we lead Work Package 4 of the GET Service project, where we develop techniques and a prototype to dynamically compose transport processes out of process snippets. Process snippets are specified in BPMN-T, which is BPMN, the widely adpoted industry standard for process modeling, extended by transport specific elements such as time and location annotations. Given a transport plan routing, which optimizes the cost (e.g. carbon emissions) of, say, bringing a container from A to B, we find a process snippet for each segment of the routing. The process snippet contains, apart from the actual transportation task, several administrative tasks such as resource reservation, document sign-off and handover, customs clearance etc. All process snippets are then composed in an automated way into an end-to-end transport process.

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