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CoMotion kicks off with Open Mobility Foundation MDS 2.0 launch

The Open Mobility Foundation (OMF) announced a major upgrade to its globally adopted Mobility Data Specification (MDS) on the first day of the CoMotion MIAMI summit.

OMF is a non-profit open-source foundation that brings together cities, mobility companies, and software vendors to collaboratively develop open source tools to manage mobility.

The digital infrastructure created in this process helps cities to adapt regulation and allow new mobility services to be scaled up as needed.

MDS 2.0 is designed to assist cities in managing the public right of way, including sidewalks and streets.

One of the updates is its flexible data formats for new modes, allowing for easier adoption and use cases across different regions.

Policy improvements – which allow cities to set and digitally share rules for how and where different shared services can operate – are now expanded and refined to meet common use cases. 

The new version also standardises communication and data-sharing between cities and private mobility providers – such as e-scooter and bike share companies – and allows cities to share and validate policy digitally, enabling vehicle management and better outcomes for residents.  

Zag Daily spoke with Angela Giacchetti, Member Engagement Manager at the Open Mobility Foundation, on the product’s significance. 

“As technology continues to intersect with transportation, the way we move around our cities is constantly changing. As a result, public agencies need to manage streets, sidewalks, and other public spaces that are more complex and dynamic than ever before.”

That is why, since 2018, MDS has become a key digital tool that many cities rely on to manage shared micromobility. 

“We developed MDS 2.0 with the goal of making it more flexible and inclusive of additional modes of transportation like passenger services, car sharing, and even delivery robots,” said Giacchetti. “That flexibility is what’s exciting – MDS 2.0 allows the public sector to invite innovation into cities in more significant ways.”

The upgraded version is already available for public agencies and companies around the world – including Europe.

”More than a dozen organisations are dedicated to upgrading to the newest version of the specification, including the cities of Bergen (Norway), San Francisco, Portland, Los Angeles, San José, Denver, and Miami-Dade County to name a few, plus technology companies and operators including Kiwibot, Populus, Lacuna, Blue Systems, and Ride Report. We expect to see this list grow in the weeks ahead to include more international stakeholders.”

Scott Shephard, Head of Policy and Government Affairs at Drover AI, told Zag the company helped OMF develop aspects of the platform.

“MDS 2.0 contains three Drover AI recommendations: qualitative description of vehicle position based on surface type; parking validation using camera; and tip over reporting via MDS,” said Shephard.  

CoMotion Day 1 highlights

The first day of CoMotion MIAMI welcomed keynotes from CoMotion CEO John Rossant and Mayor of Miami-Dade County, Daniella Levine Cava.

Miami-Dade County has opened its doors to the transportation and technology industry looking to test cutting-edge products that align with the County’s priorities.

New York’s Transportation Commissioners Ydanis Rodriguez also took to the stage to discuss how his city is making big investments in transforming public spaces by opening up and pedestrianising streets.

Then Billy Thalheimer, CEO and Co-Founder of seaglider manufacturer Regent, shared insights on how the company’s electric vehicle could revolutionise coastal transportation.

The conference also hosted the first-ever Miami-Dade Department of Transportation and Public Works Mobility Champion Awards. It honours individuals and organisations that made outstanding contributions to advancing mobility in the region.

Mobility Champion
Mayor Daniella Levine Cava getting her award from Eulois Clerkly, CEO and Director of Miami-Dade County Department of Transportation and Public Works.

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