After the introduction to the Molière project included in our previous newsletter, we have had the pleasure of speaking with Boyd Cohen, Ph.D. CEO of Iomob, a core technology partner of the Molière Project.
Dr. Cohen, thank you for accepting this interview! Could you please give us a bit more detail on the role of Iomob in the Molière project?
Dr. Cohen: Thank you for this invitation! Iomob is proud to be the core technology partner within the Molière Project, funded by the EUSPA – EU Agency for the Space Programme. As you already know, this consortium project intends to leverage the European Union’s own GALILEO satellite network for improved geo-positioning and capture of vehicle location data, along with developing innovative use cases of blockchain in mobility. Specifically, Iomob will be providing the underlying blockchain technology for the Mobility Data Marketplace (MDM) in a necessary integration with the Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) GALILEO, and will be responsible for the final MaaS app directed to end-users.
You have referred to geo-positioning as one of the elements the Molière project intends to improve, through the use of the GALILEO satellite network. Why would you say satellite technology needs to be enhanced for mobility purposes?
Dr. Cohen: Fundamentally, when a user wants to use and locate the closest car, e-scooter or bike using a smartphone application, they are benefitting from satellite technology and accurate geo-positioning. When citizens locate and book a shared car on the street or when a user orders a taxi and wants to see where the driver is from the Mobility Service Providers (MSPs) or other apps, they are also benefiting from satellite technologies. Just the same, the ability to accurately forecast the ETA of transit vehicles (such as buses) depends on the ability to track their position in real time. Users are now demanding more and better services, and a seamless mobility experience – the accuracy of the geolocation signal is one of the key enablers to the adequate functioning of any modern mobility services, and to support the reviewed mobility paradigm that is being created around societies’ needs. Without this technology, most MSPs simply could not operate, and the rest that could would do so with a significantly lower quality of service.
So, considering GALILEO seems to be at the heart of the solution the Molière project is offering, what is the advantage of this satellite network compared to the rest of GNSS for mobility uses?
Dr. Cohen: In the context of the reviewed mobility paradigm we have just discussed, the incorporation of GALILEO positively impacts all existing applications of the GNSS in urban mobility services and opens the door to new services and better adoption in cities. This is so since GALILEO aspires to solve the typical measurement errors and lack of accuracy of a standard GNSS receiver (mostly due to multipath fading of the received GNSS signal), which is one that cannot be ignored at street level resolution. This is especially critical in urban environments as it impacts almost any shared mobility services in a cumulative way, where the GNSS signal is likely to be received multiple times with different power levels and time delay. To tackle these accumulated accuracy errors, GALILEO reduces the error component of the measures up to a few centimetres.
And, in particular, could you name any examples where the geolocation accuracy improvement provided by GALILEO will be able to be experienced by mobility providers and users?
Dr. Cohen: Of course, there are many! By improving the accuracy of received geolocation data, GALILEO will, among other things, help ensuring that MSPs adequate the availability of their fleet in accordance to observed demand, this representing a great opportunity to drive better usage of our cities’ mobility infrastructure. GALILEO will also support the achievement of the promised accuracy and precision needed for Autonomous Vehicles – it will allow users to assess the trustworthiness of the signals, making them more robust against spoofing attacks. And last but not least, do not forget about active travel: if we want to improve people’s health and at the same time promote sustainable travel, we need to provide accuracy to pedestrians and cyclists while navigating a city and GALILEO, again, plays a key role in this.
In conclusion, we can then say that geolocation data is a key enabler for high-quality mobility services and that, due to the improvements GALILEO has to offer in the context of the Molière project, we will see the new mobility paradigm become real through Iomob’s developed technology?
Dr. Cohen: Correct! The Molière project will be demonstrating the geo-positional accuracy of the GALILEO GNSS programme through the use of mobility services. Molière will partner with micro mobility providers and cities looking to demonstrate the use cases of higher accuracy GALILEO offers in order to drive better compliance and improve public safety. Also, Molière will make GALILEO data available to mobility technology developers and other partners who want to gain access to improved geo-positioning for related on-demand services (such as food and grocery deliveries, parcel shipping, and urban logistics). All this requires merging the GALILEO network with Iomob’s Blockchain technology though, but I will leave that for another conversation…!
Iomob Technologies is the first company in the world to offer a global decentralised, interoperable mobility marketplace network. Iomob’s world-leading solution enables businesses and governments to quickly and easily launch their own Mobility-as-a-Service solutions by adding individual mobility modes to their existing digital channels. Iomob has won numerous industry awards and has commercial customers in Europe and the US, serving millions of travellers. Iomob also has global partners who increase the reach of the IoM Protocol to more than 40 million daily users.