Marc Figuls is a managing partner and strategy director at FACTUAL, an innovation consultancy based in Barcelona focused on mobility. He is a Civil Engineer with more than ten years of experience in the mobility field, he has been involved in local and international projects including over 20 EU projects about sustainable mobility, MaaS, shared mobility, automation and road safety.

1. Can you tell us a bit more about your role in the nuMIDAS project?

I am in charge of the nuMIDAS project from FACTUAL side, together with my colleagues Carola and Martí, who are also very active in the project development. We are very active in the creation of the “toolkit chain”, starting with the detection of potential use of existing tools for the new mobility challenges such as CAVs or MaaS, and identifying where the existing tools are not sufficient for the transition phase (not only the final picture). Besides the initial analysis of state-of-the-art and KPIs definition, we are starting to work with the next step: the development of a methodological orientation and risk assessment, where we will define the advanced methods and tools for dealing with Big Data.

After that, we will continue with the definition of the case study of Barcelona and we will start the real-life stage in close collaboration with AMBi (Metropolitan Area of Barcelona) on the development of additional features for “AMB Mobilitat” multimodal router and the data exploitation of the low emission zone of Barcelona. FACTUAL will also take the lead of the usability and feasibility analysis of the toolkit for other stakeholders.

Last but not least, FACTUAL is leading the Communication and Dissemination work package, which including the website creation and all the social media and other communication channels to share the knowledge generated through the project to the target audience.

2. What are the main challenges present in mobility regarding the use of data?

There are many challenges regarding data in the new mobility at technical level such as the quality of data (heterogeneity, different sources, etc), privacy aspects to meet GDPR and also the capacity to exploit available data for obtaining new KPI results.

However, there are also management aspects that are being a stopper for the full development of new mobility applications such as MaaS. Important issues like who is the owner of the client data, sharing data with competitors and cash flow are key barriers that should overcome. If we don´t address these issues we might miss an opportunity to advance in the achievement of a sustainable mobility model in Europe.

3. Why do you consider a project such as nuMIDAS important for the sector?

Data will be a game changer and the nuMIDAS project will develop the right methods and tools for the analysis, assessment and monitoring of new mobility solutions. During the project lifetime, project partners will develop a robust and accessible methodology tailored to policymakers, aiming at improving mobility planning. What is unique is that it will be validated in different use cases such as traffic operations, air quality and dynamic mobility operations and will be tested in real-life situations in several European cities.

4. In what aspects do you expect nuMIDAS to have the biggest impact?

One of the strengths of the nuMIDAS project is that we will organize case studies in at least three cities, and the project consortium has joined both the technological partners and public entities, which is the first step for building a tangible solution.

In addition, a mobility toolkit will be validated in real-time by policymakers through several workshops and tailored/refined for these targeted users. This process will also ensure a broad and rapid scalability in other European cities and beyond. From a Barcelona perspective, nuMIDAS project will be a timely chance to take advantage of the amount of data generated by the low emission zone (licence plate cameras) to improve the planning of the mobility. The dashboard will be also a test-bed to cross environmental information with the future multimodal router in order to provide added value information to the mobility users. It is expected that both strategies will have a wide impact in the metropolitan region!

Finally, it is expected to develop and participate in a number of events at international level while collaborating with other projects where data management is playing a key role, such as H2020 Molière project.