Activities and Researcher's Reports
Finding new forms of transportation
Jan-Dirk Schmöcker
Kyoto University, Department of Urban Management, Graduate School of Engineering, Associate professor
Destination:
- Karlsruhe (company)
- Vienna University of Economics and Business (WU)
- Technical University of Munich (TUM)
Duration of stay: March 2018 (2.5 weeks)

Duration of stay: March 2018 (2.5 weeks)

Aims:

  • Building a research network in Germany
  • Preparation of joined project proposal

Motivation for AI DA application

My research in the last years has shifted from mainly theoretical work on modelling flows in transportation networks towards using large data sets such as those from electronic ticketing in public transportation (smart card data) or from ETC data and mobile phone data.

The goal is to understand travel behavior of people better, which can in turn feedback to network flow models. I applied for AIDA funding as some German researchers also recently focus on such research directions. Furthermore, I am German but have left Germany 18 years ago during my undergraduate studies in order to pursue further education in the United Kingdom and then to move Japan. Therefore, I thought the AIDA funding would provide me with a good opportunity to reestablish contacts to the German transport society.

Results

Networking with German and Austrian researchers

My first stop was at a world leading transportation software company located in Karlsruhe. We discussed my ongoing research and possibilities for practical implementation. I obtained positive feedback and clarified next research directions. I also visited the Kyoto University European Center’s office in Heidelberg, had a meeting with KURA staff and obtained specific information regarding funding opportunities.

The next stop on my journey was Kitzbühl, Austrian Alps, where I participated in the annual “Winter seminar” of German, Swiss and Austrian research groups. This one-week seminar provided me with excellent opportunity to meet key figures in the German transport society and to discuss new research ideas.

I left the seminar a few days early in order to then travel to Vienna where I attended a workshop related to modelling the demand for electric vehicles.

My final week was spent in Germany where I visited the research groups of three Professors at Technical University of Munich and University of the Armed Forces in Munich. I am convinced these contacts will strongly help me in my future research, especially since the groups have close contacts to industry.

Opportunity for Preparation of research proposals

The workshop at WU Vienna has led to some ideas on how to bring this research forward. We will consider a joint application for bilateral funding on demand modelling for new forms of transport. The meetings in Munich also led to some specific ideas as to how to extend some existing research. Furthermore, on the topic of “shared transport” we identified several research directions.

Attract Interest of Student and staff exchange

Some of the doctoral students at the universities in Munich expressed in interest in coming to Kyoto for some joint research activities. Vice versa, the professors would welcome a visit of my PhD students. Furthermore, a renowned professor from Switzerland expressed his interest in coming to Kyoto for his sabbatical.


Role play discussion during winter seminar with German and Austrian researchers

Presentation during the “Winterseminar”

Outlook

In conclusion, this has been a very good opportunity for me to reconnected to German researchers. A short follow-up visit to TU Munich after I attend a conference in Europe later this year is already planned. Specific project proposals with participation of German and Austrian researchers are further likely to follow.