MobiScope: Advancing Decision-Making in New Urban Mobility

Urban mobility is changing at an increasingly rapid pace.  In this context, stakeholders such as governments and mobility operators need tools that support data-driven and collaborative decision making. MobiScope offers a tangible platform where users can interact with a simulation model and see the implications of their decisions in real time.

In an era marked by rapid shifts in urban mobility, decision-making has become increasingly intricate. The past decade has seen the rise of ride-hailing services, the proliferation of shared micro-mobility options, and the emergence of autonomous vehicle trials, all transforming urban landscapes. For example, food delivery demand has surged six-fold, resulting in increased car miles and CO2 emissions. Additionally, vehicles often block roads and bike lanes, exacerbating congestion and safety concerns.  In this context, lightweight autonomous  vehicles have been proposed  as a more sustainable alternative solution to these trips.

As cities strive to adapt, the complexity of regulatory frameworks and operational strategies has intensified. Municipalities set criteria for new mobility such as the maximum fleet size or speed, seeking to balance fostering innovative mobility services and promoting public good. Similarly, mobility operators face strategic choices regarding fleet operations and management, with each decision carrying layers of complexity and trade-offs. Stakeholders, each with their unique concerns and priorities—be it environmental impacts, service quality, or profitability—navigate this landscape with divergent perspectives.

With the aim of addressing this complexity, MobiScope emerges as a decision-making tool for new mobility services. MobiScope is dynamically integrated with simulation models, allowing users to visualize the impacts of their decisions in real time within a virtual urban environment. By interacting with key design variables such as fleet size, vehicle specifications, and charging infrastructure, users receive immediate feedback on system performance metrics like CO2 emissions, user wait times, and fleet performance.

Inspired by the CityScope project, MobiScope has been integrated into a tangible interface that stakeholders can interactively modify. A horizontally projected map illustrates fleet performance, offering a city or neighborhood-scale perspective on the designed mobility system's behavior. Additionally, a vertical screen displays key performance indicators such as environmental impacts or service level metrics. Through this multi-layer analysis, stakeholders can collaboratively analyze different system configurations, gaining valuable insights into the implications of different decisions and their respective trade-offs.

While initially applied to a food delivery case study, MobiScope can address various new-mobility-related challenges, from optimizing bike-sharing station placements to devising the most effective rebalancing strategies for specific cities. By empowering stakeholders with the necessary tools to navigate the rapidly evolving urban mobility landscape, MobiScope fosters meaningful engagement and informed discussions, ultimately facilitating the development of innovative mobility solutions in a data-driven, consensus-based manner.

Simulations and visualizations were conducted  using the GAMA Platform.