FS Group and the MORE project to define predictive models and sustainable travel

Rome, 6 February 2024

A new research laboratory located on the premises of the Santa Maria Novella station in Florence, which uses Big Data and artificial intelligence to analyse mobility from a sustainable and safe perspective. The project, named 'MObility Holistic Research - MORE', is the result of the synergy between the University of Florence, Ferrovie dello Stato Italiane and the European University Institute (EUI) and has a duration of three years.

The initiative sees the participation of approximately eighty researchers from ten departments of the University of Florence together with experts in mobility, transport and innovative technologies from the FS Research Centre, and the FS Group in-house high competence centre for the development of studies and research on mobility and related issues.

Coordination is in the hands of Adriano Alessandrini, professor at the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering (DICEA) of the University of Florence, who makes up the laboratory's steering committee together with Juan Montero, director of the Transport Area of the Florence School of Regulation of the EUI, and Mario Tartaglia, head of the FS Research Centre.

‘The research – explained Adriano Alessandrini, professor of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering (DICEA) – will bring together professionals from different fields for the first time. It will examine not only the engineering and technological aspects, but also urban planning and environmental issues, as well as the legal implications of innovation processes, without neglecting the social and economic reasons at the basis of the movements of commuters and travellers. Through the programming of new algorithms and artificial intelligence that integrates technical information with social elements, we will attempt to come up with a tool that not only offers a comprehensive overview of the behaviour of commuters and travellers, but also allows predictive dynamics to be worked out as in the case, for example, of the construction of a new attraction in the city, such as a theatre, a gymnasium or a school.’

In bringing together the experiences of the disciplines involved in the project, the project aims to collect considerable amounts of data from 'traditional' sources - interviews or traffic monitoring sensors - and from unconventional sources, such as information provided by mobile phone cells and smartphone apps on people's movements.

‘The mobility of people and goods represents a crucial aspect of everyday life and, at the same time, the area where all major societal challenges are concentrated, such as sustainable transition,’  
Mario Tartaglia, Head of FS Research Centre. ‘This is precisely why the new laboratory was set up, to carry out studies and scientific research on the topic through an unconventional approach by pooling and integrating the disciplinary perspectives on this complex and multifaceted subject.’

If MORE's most immediate goal, therefore, is to innovate the science of transport and land-use planning, the goal will be to deliver to local institutions - municipalities and metropolitan cities - a tool that reduces the overall impact of urban mobility from an environmental, energy and social point of view, promoting a culture inspired by the principles of sustainability and safety.

The FS Research Centre

FS Research Centre is the FS Group in-house high competence centre for the development of studies and research on mobility and related issues, focusing in particular on sustainability and climate change, green transformation and the decarbonisation of transport, the digital revolution, big data and the Internet of Things, innovative transport systems, the sharing economy, the socio-economic and environmental impacts of transport systems, governance, ethics and equity in mobility.

The Study Centre boasts a team of experts in mobility, transport, socio-economics, environment, territory, data intelligence, geographic information systems and innovative technologies, who develop and use state-of-the-art mathematical models and data analysis systems. The FS Research Centre is also the FS Group focal point towards universities and research institutes with regard to scientific collaboration and towards institutions and industry stakeholders with regard to official statistics.

Florence School of Regulation
The Transport Area of the Florence School of Regulation (FSR Transport) of the European University Institute is dedicated to political dialogue, research and training in the area of transport regulation in Europe. It deals with the regulation of all means of transport and a wide range of other topics related to digital and sustainable mobility.