This pilot study concerns the provision of intelligent assistance to deal with the complexities of multi-sensor environments for long-distance and cross-border trips. The study will involve camper vans and trailers, but the transferability of outcomes to other modes (i.e. freight transport) will also be analysed. These particular vehicles were chosen because they are bigger and slower than other vehicles, thus they contribute to congestion on roads and in parking areas — especially during the holiday season. Camper vans and trailers are also suitable for cross-border studies because they are generally used for taking long trips.
These vehicles resemble cars in many respects, although other complexities are involved. Their presence on certain roads, parking areas and campsites is often restricted or prohibited. They require additional infrastructure at petrol stations (e.g. for waste disposal and electricity supply) and present unique hazards. Users of these vehicles are often connected via informal networks or frequently travel together, which makes them good candidates for testing the OPTIMUM platform’s crowdsourcing elements. Another aspect unique to such vehicles is the need to optimise their internal autonomy (e.g. gas, wastewater, clean water and battery levels), which are prone to fluctuation depending on weather and traffic density.
From the service consumer point of view, camper vans and trailers are ideal for showcasing the benefits of various data sources involved in complex mobility systems. For instance, similar predictive algorithms developed for traffic and complex events can be used to monitor a car’s battery or gas level.
On the service data provider side, Adria Mobil already has a fleet of 18 camper van prototypes, some with 60 sensors and actuators for feeding data. Data feeds include internal sensors for water, gas for heating, electricity, etc., as well as external sensors that measure the vehicle’s temperature, air humidity, light level and global navigation satellite system (GNSS) data. Socially networked travel plans and destinations will also be available. While mobile home users are the primary intended recipients of this information, the services are also targeted at other drivers operating in an unfamiliar environment.