EMBERS: The beginning of our journey creating a mobility cloud platform | News - Ubiwhere



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SEP 23 2019

EMBERS: The beginning of our journey creating a mobility cloud platform


We had a vision, a vision for a single integrated mobility catalogue. However, we did not know what it would take to make it. We had little experience in aggregating different domains of data, but we had a couple of things: previous experience in mobility and a highly motivated team.

During the project’s first discussions we had a problem in mind. This problem was being studied at the time and we knew that several cities in Europe provided real-life models of what a smart urban environment should look like. For instance, we were already seeing some initiatives regarding smart bike and car-sharing programs, EV chargers were popping up everywhere and some of the major car manufacturers were making trials with electric cars.

To be fair, this sounded too good to be true, but we wished we could end the project with a single entry point for every mobility dataset and service. At the time we were outlining the initial aims of the project, the MaaS ecosystem around the world was depicting itself, so we understood that a lot had to be made before reaching our final goals. At this stage, our purpose was very clear: to build scalable and highly available backend services with a great focus on interoperability and data integration to ease the process of integrating new data in a city.

Even though we had the dream of a single entry point for everything mobility, we settled for a centralized backend system which could integrate any known European Open Standard (OneM2M, FIWARE NSGI, etc) and make it available in any other known European Open Standard. The initial purpose was very focused and narrow in the technological sense of things since we had to build a well-defined system to accommodate for every Open Standard. This was based on the MVP approach, which let’s one stack layers of less complexity on projects/products with the main purpose of ending with the desired, more complex, system.

Highly interoperable systems are very important in the context of data integration and especially when developing systems for cities and citizens.

Since its inception, the project wanted to make an impact on the integration layer by testing and expanding the current offer for Smart IoT solutions integration, harmonization, and interoperability. With this main goal, five partners (Sorbonne Université, Ubiwhere, INRIA, Fraunhofer FOKUS, and TUB) gathered and started creating and testing the initial solution for the EMBERS platform. While having different backgrounds, these partners play very specific roles in building and empowering a platform capable of withstanding the high demands of interoperability. Stay tuned for the next article in this series, where we present the technical perspective and go in-depth on the partner skills that have contributed to the platform construction.

We finish the first article of the series with the words of Carlos Oliveira, one of the main actors during the proposal writing:

“EMBERS is designed to drive down the cost of creating new mobility apps and services. Innovators in the space can the platform use to experiment quickly and securely on public environments, spin up new apps and services in 1/10th the time they used to, and try out new ways of getting people from point A to point B with ease. It’s mobility-as-a-service turned into a platform, to allow the community and its leadership to solve its own problems in a scalable manner, make its mobility offering accessible to everyone, and elevate their quality of life.”

Note: This article is the first of a series of articles to be published about the course of the EMBERS project.


ue_flag This project has received funding from the EU´s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 687992