Shared operator Beryl and technology giant Fujitsu are trialling new digital rehearsal tech to improve the efficiency and sustainability of Beryl’s shared e-scooter scheme on the Isle of Wight.
The project will aim to help Beryl increase vehicle availability, while reducing operational costs and carbon emissions.
Known as Social Digital Twin, Fujitsu’s technology combines behavioural economics models and AI, allowing for simulations that mirror the behaviour of people in the real world.
These simulations can not only reproduce biased behaviours, including overestimation of losses, but also indirect factors such as the weather.
They can also more accurately predict the impact of initiatives and incentives on people’s transport choices, and how changes to transportation will affect operating costs and carbon footprint.
Beryl’s Chief Technology Officer, Sacha Manson-Smith, told Zag Daily: “By combining these models with an accurate digital reproduction of the island, we can more accurately predict how changes in human behaviour interact with evolving conditions in the environment to better inform decision-making.
“We can use this to better estimate how the usage of e-scooters instead of cars will affect CO2 emissions in local areas, or how far measures such as discounted fees for users who return e-scooters to specific places will affect people’s behaviour or choice of transport.”
The model will use statistical data such as the population by area on the Isle of Wight, as well as open data, including weather data of the island, data on movement of people between specific areas, and on the movement of e-scooters provided by Beryl. No personal data will be used in this project.
Fujitsu Research’s Fellow and Head of Converging Technologies Laboratory, Daiki Masumoto, said their ultimate aim is “to bring business benefits to Beryl, reduce the damaging environmental and social effects of car use, inform transport policy on the Isle and positively contribute to the Isle of Wight’s wider economy.”
This initiative is part of a wider plan which Fujitsu is running as Lead Technical Partner for a National Digital Twin programme, which aims to develop techniques to use Digital Twin models to benefit society, the economy, business and the environment, supported by HM Treasury. The Isle of Wight programme is a fundamental element of the socio-technical change aspects of the wider project.
Fujitsu will showcase this technology at the Fujitsu ActivateNow Tech Summit held in Madrid, Spain on April 20, 2023, and the G7 Digital and Technology Ministers’ Meeting held in Takasaki, Gunma Prefecture, Japan from April 28 to April 30, 2023.