Tomorrow today

Networked mobility offers benefits for travelers, mobility providers and cities, as Simone Köhler explains.

Demographic change, urbanization and climate change will in future characterize our society, confronting us with global challenges. In relation to the topic of mobility in cities, this means that by 2050 the annual distance traveled per person in cities will have trebled. In order to cater for growing traffic volumes, new and attractive transportation concepts are called for, which will shift the modal split in favor of environmentally friendly mass transit and at the same time combine intelligently with individual transport. The need is for solutions that are convenient and make it simple to reach any given destination in major cities.

Efficient and economical mobility solutions are thus the key area for action for cities and communities around the world. Because they represent a key to overcoming traffic gridlock, air pollution and the shortage of parking spaces, and safeguard the attractiveness and competitiveness of cities worldwide. It is essential that we work towards the intelligent networking of transportation resources, facilitating the realization of universal mobility chains and smooth traffic flows within urban areas.


One response to the challenges facing passenger transport today is eTicketing. Electronic tickets are not just a replacement of paper tickets. They offer a range of additional functions and, what is more, can be used across all modes of transport. Passengers can change flexibly between different modes of transport without losing time in purchasing individual tickets and selecting the correct fare. Siemens therefore pools different modules of eTicketing solutions and areas of expertise to provide intelligent, electronic ticketing systems, which will in future allow an individual journey to be conducted and billed on a multi-modal basis. The key component in the networking of the different means of transportation is the eTicketing access media such as smartphones or smartcards. The Siemens-developed smartcard, designed in credit-card format features one active and one passive RFID chip, and serves to register the individual journeys, whether by subway, intercity train, tram or bus.

77 Tomorrow today 2In future it will basically be possible to use one card on an intermodal basis for different means of transport, with interoperability between different transit companies and tariff consortiums, as well as connected service providers. It will, for example, be possible to use it to pay for chargeable parking spaces or to hire cars. Thanks to its dual functionality, the Siemens smartcard not only supports common “Check-in/Check-out” (CiCo) access control systems, for which the card must be actively read in , but is also designed to put the enhanced “Be-in/Be-out” (BiBo) approach  with their high levels of passenger convenience into practice. The contactless BiBo principle eliminates the need for any action on the part of the passenger. The card does not even have to be visible, so it can be carried in a pocket, wallet or jacket. The system automatically registers the routes traveled as well as any breaks in the journey and transfers between service classes, and charges the passenger accordingly.


eTicketing with a smartcard or cellphone is thus an important component in the move towards multimodal networking of the traffic and transportation offerings, which also takes account of individual travel by integrating parking or incorporating car-sharing. To leverage these developments, Siemens is currently working on an integrated Mobility Platform, that enriches ticketing with additional functionalities for information, route planning, reservation and navigation. The integrated Mobility Platform s designed to achieve the most comprehensive possible networking of transportation users, mobility providers and urban traffic management centers. The B2B platform makes it easier for operators to integrate complementary mobility services into their own portfolio. A taxi company could, for example, bundle its mobility services with those of a rail operator via the IT platform. In the same way, the operator of a parking lot would be able to offer its services in conjunction with a car-sharing provider.

From this will emerge bundled mobility offerings which simplify the planning, booking and billing of multimodal travel from door-to-door. By means of apps, road-users, for instance, will receive precise information about traffic situations and recommended routes, as well as help in selecting the best means of transportation. Thanks to the “networked mobility” concept it is possible not only to plan an individual journey, but also to perform bookings and reservations taking in a number of different providers. For clearing of all mobility services used the B2B platform supports central billing processes between all mobility providers and users. The various transport services and traveled routes could be registered via mobile or card-based ticketing solutions. In that way billing can also be based on the most favorable tariff.


For transportation users, networked mobility enables convenient, multimodal travel, transparent, real-time travel information and, thanks to the cooperation of multiple providers, a wider and simple-to-use mobility offering, as well as attractive price models. Transportation providers can design their offering to be more demand-oriented, enhance the service for existing customers, dismantle obstacles to access and boost passenger numbers. In addition extra revenue can be generated via the complementary offering of mobility services augmenting those described. In future it will also be possible to optimize travel according to ecological and economic aspects, benefiting quality of life and the environment, and ultimately also bringing improved positioning within the urban competitive scenario.


Simone Köhler, Siemens Mobility and Logistics Division, Road and City Mobility IT

Siemens is a strategic partner of the Thinking Cities multimedia project