Data Sharing for urban mobility

The International Road Federation (Geneva) and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) are co-leading a new work stream on data sharing within the Sustainable Mobility for All (SuM4All) initiative led by the World Bank. This new piece of work looks specifically at addressing the issue of policy making for enabling data sharing in urban mobility. The interim report on this new work stream co-led by the IRF and WBCSD was presented on 2nd June at the Sustainable Mobility for All Virtual Consortium MeetingThe event which saw the participation of more than 100 stakeholders from leading transport organisations and major development banks focused on the opportunities and challenges that the current crisis offers to define a “new normal” for the transport sector. IRF and WBCSD updated Members about their work–focusing on  progress since January 2020, and how the COVID-19 crisis impacts the issues under study.

Shared mobility data from diverse sources including different modes of transportation, smart infrastructure, smart-phones, and banking will constitute the nervous system of future sustainable urban mobility systems. Data sharing will underpin some of the most critical use-cases in mobility including mobility as a service, real-time optimization and management of freight and passenger fleets, regulation, operation and control of smart city infrastructure, and enabling EV charging across networks and optimization using telemetric data.

Further, data sharing will assume a critical role in ensuring a transition towards a safe, accessible, efficient, green, and resilient urban mobility system post-COVID. For example, data sharing can drive modal shift in commuting towards lower-impact, right-sized vehicles; help cities to deploy new access rules for private and public transportation and identify new streams of revenues; and support resilience and efficiency of the last mile urban freight.

However, multiple barriers prohibit the sharing of data including concerns around privacy, cybersecurity, competition, liability, unclear regulatory environment, and interoperability. While multiple data sharing initiatives have organically taken form over the last few years, there is limited consistency or replicability in terms of governance, data standards, rules for accountability, and third-party access.

Policy making and regulations, at the national and sub national levels will be essential to harmonize and scale these data sharing initiatives.

A sound policy framework for data sharing may involve national and subnational policymaking bodies to weigh-in on the key layers, including Data Collection and Aggregation, Data Standards, Communications Infrastructure, Governance and Accountability, and Use and Analysis. Articulation of policy decisions at each sub-layer naturally impacts how the following layer is structured.

It is anticipated that the policy elements in each layer embody Data Sharing Principles as set forth in WBCSD TUM’s Enabling Data Sharing: Principles for Transforming Urban Mobility, where applicable, to ensure a thriving, competitive and innovative data sharing ecosystem.

Going forward, this joint initiative co-led by WBCSD’s Transforming Urban Mobility project and its business members, and the International Road Federation, collectively hosted at SuM4ALL, will:

  1. Validate and confirm the key elements of the policy framework for data sharing.
  2. Assess existing data-sharing initiatives against the policy framework to identify key gaps and best practices. 
  3. Articulate how regulators and policymakers may constitute such policies against the backdrop of existing data and digitalization policies such as GDPR, EU data strategy and the California Consumer Privacy Act.

In a subsequent phase, targeted pilots in local geographies will be conducted to test and validate findings.

Contact IRF Secretariat at info@irfnet.ch if you wish to get involved in the data sharing initiative. You can also read more on SuM4All new work streams here: http://sum4all.org/news/lets-hold-ship-steady