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Recognition for Research on Multimodal Mobility Solutions

An interdisciplinary team from Chemnitz University of Technology has received the Best Paper Award at ICoMaaS 2019 in Tampere

At the 2nd International Conference on Mobility as a Service in Tampere, Finland, an interdisciplinary team from Chemnitz University of Technology, consisting of academic staff from the General and Occupational Psychology research group (under Prof. Dr. Josef F. Krems) and the Professorship of Management Accounting and Control (under Prof. Dr. Uwe Götze), received the Best Paper Award for their contribution, titled “Investigating user attitudes and economic evaluation of different means of transport and underlying mobility service tools in a corporate multimodal mobility system”. This paper gives results from the ESF-funded ECoMobility project from 2018, which focuses on usage behaviour, acceptance and economic assessments of various modes of transportation as part of an in-house mobility solution.

Sustainable mobility concept via the example of Chemnitz University of Technology

Between 2015 and 2019, six junior scientists developed, implemented, evaluated and improved upon a sustainable mobility concept for short and medium-haul trips, using Chemnitz University of Technology as an example. For the purposes of research, interested members of the university community who have an employment relationship with the university were able to register for the project, and were provided with a multimodal mobility solution for their work-based commute. Thus, all participants in the study were able to use electric cars, electric bicycles or public transport free of charge for their work-based trips. As participants in this project, they were required to regularly fill out user surveys. Information from these surveys, as well as other data collected in the duration of the project formed the basis for this impressive article.

Pioneering research on corporate mobility solutions

The content-based focus and database utilisation that was developed played a special role in the recognition that this paper received. With the concept of “Corporate Mobility as a Service”, i.e. employees sharing and using vehicle pools that consist of different transportation modes (in this case, for work-based transportation by university employees), promising usage scenarios for multimodal mobility are addressed, and this is currently an underserved field of research that is of great international interest.

Interdisciplinary collaboration as a recipe for success

An important part of the ECoMobility project was that the paper was conceived as an interdisciplinary collaboration. This was an aspect that aided the five-person team of authors during the award process. Too often, issues from different disciplines, for example economic, technical or human-based issues, are worked out, answered and evaluated separately. The conference leadership particularly liked the integration of these perspectives, as well as the overcoming of the challenges that they posed.

Acceptance as the key to successful corporate mobility

In this context, Madlen Günther (from the General and Occupational Psychology research group) conducted research on user acceptance of sharing systems, electromobility and the individual parts of these models. It was determined that a higher acceptance of electromobility includes the creation of personal experience with the innovations and technological elements contained therein.

Economic advantages of various transport modes depends on the speed of travel

Benjamin Jacobsen (from the Professorship of Management Accounting and Control) examined the economic advantages brought by the concept of in-house car sharing and the various modes of transport. It was shown that solutions which rely on conventional ways to commute to work are more expensive than solutions that utilise their own fleet of vehicles, and additionally, high costs are able to be avoided. Furthermore, by incorporating opportunity costs that result from slower commutes (in the sense of a loss of effective time during the workday), another important facet of the work was developed, one which was key in the reception of the award.

Knowledge and skill application in new research projects

By presenting these results in Tampere, which is a partner city of Chemnitz, Marco Rehme (from the Professorship of Management Accounting and Control) was able to show that the knowledge and skills gained from this project will be applied in new projects that were presented at ICoMaas – projects that are mostly in the startup phase. The results will also be used in current and future research projects at Chemnitz University of Technology. In the current project NUMIC (New Urban Mobility Awareness in Chemnitz), the General and Occupational Psychology research group is developing a concept for building sustainable mobility behaviour among residents of Chemnitz. The Professorship of Management Accounting and Control is at work on the SRCC (Smart Rail Connectivity Campus) project, among others, in which the development of digitised, networked, highly automated and sustainable rail transport stands in focus.

For further information on the Eco-Mobility project and the contents of the article, please contact Benjamin Jacobsen, phone 0371 531-30084, e-mail benjamin.jacobsen@wirtschaft.tu-chemnitz.de.

(Article: Mario Steinebach / Translation: Jeffrey Karnitz)

Matthias Fejes
06.01.2020

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