IDSA8: NPM, RealLabHH and DT introduces IDSA

Mobility with IDS: Adding the “N” in NPM to RealLab HH

By Prof. Dr. Chris Schlue­ter Lang­don

Who would have thought it would hap­pen so quick­ly? Just a few weeks ago, we repor­ted on the meta­mor­pho­sis from auto­mo­ti­ve to mobi­li­ty (link) and how governments are taking a more acti­ve role in secu­ring the vita­li­ty and the mil­li­ons of jobs in this important sec­tor of the Euro­pean eco­no­my. And now you have alrea­dy near­ly mis­sed it! New, future, or next mobi­li­ty is hap­pe­ning.

Two ministers are launching Europe’s data space initiative

On July 15 Federal Minis­ter Scheu­er kicked off new mobility’s real-world labo­ra­to­ry, Reall­abHH, with a cere­mo­ny at the ministry’s grand Erich-Klau­se­ner-Saal in Ber­lin. It was a mere three weeks after his col­league, Federal Minis­ter Alt­mai­er, tog­e­ther with his French coun­ter­part, Le Mai­re, announ­ced GAIA‑X (link). GAIA‑X will acce­le­ra­te the much-nee­ded buil­d­out of data infra­st­ruc­tu­re in Euro­pe to crea­te “a secu­re, fede­r­a­ted sys­tem that meets the hig­hest stan­dards of digi­tal sov­er­eig­n­ty while pro­mo­ting inno­va­ti­on” (BMWi, link). Mobi­li­ty will be just one part of this new data space, but a very important one at that. So how fit­ting that the Natio­nal Plat­form Future of Mobi­li­ty (NPM, link) has initia­ted the first real-world labo­ra­to­ry to pilot the inter­me­dia­te results of its new mobi­li­ty plan, which has a lot to do with data. Well, timing is ever­ything, as they say.

Figure 1: GAIA‑X launch with Federal Minister Altmaier (Source: Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy, link)

Another minister is kicking of a mobility data space for NPM

The Natio­nal Plat­form Future of Mobi­li­ty or NPM was crea­ted by the Ger­man government just two years ear­lier with the aim of invi­t­ing all of Germany’s key auto­mo­ti­ve sta­ke­hol­ders to chart a new cour­se from auto­mo­ti­ve to mobi­li­ty (link). Sin­ce then, six working groups (WGs) have deve­lo­ped their first recom­men­da­ti­ons, all orches­tra­ted under the lea­ders­hip of Prof. Dr. Kager­mann, who spent around ten years working as the CEO of SAP, Germany’s lea­ding com­pa­ny based on mar­ket capi­ta­liz­a­ti­on. One of the working groups, WG3 on digi­ta­liz­a­ti­on, led by Mr. Klaus Fro­eh­lich, mem­ber of the Board of Manage­ment of BMW AG, respon­si­ble for deve­lo­p­ment – and a real car (link) – pro­po­sed they stop tal­king and start doing, tes­ting out the first recom­men­da­ti­ons in real life. This idea ulti­mate­ly beca­me Mr. Scheuer’s Reall­abHH initia­ti­ve.

Figure 2: Federal Minister Scheuer, NPM chair Prof. Dr. Kagermann and key stakeholders from BMW, Deutsche Bahn, Deutsche Telekom, DLR and Moovel (BMVI/Deckbar, Berlin)

NPM working group for digitalization

For­tu­n­a­te­ly, the Deut­sche Tele­kom Data Intel­li­gence Hub team was part of WG3, in Focus Group (FG) C on data & arti­fi­cial intel­li­gence, run by Niklas Velt­kamp, an expert on digi­ta­liz­a­ti­on and inno­va­ti­on and mem­ber of the board of manage­ment of Bit­kom, Germany’s digi­tal asso­cia­ti­on, repre­sen­ting more than 2,700 com­pa­nies of the digi­tal eco­no­my (link). FG‑C had been approa­ching data infra­st­ruc­tu­re from various angles for some time. The auto­mo­ti­ve indus­try had, for examp­le, pro­po­sed a “NEVADA Share & Secu­re” or “neu­tral ser­ver” con­cept writ­ten under Gra­ham Sme­thurst of VDA (Ver­band der Auto­mo­bil­in­dus­trie e. V., Ger­man asso­cia­ti­on of the auto­mo­ti­ve indus­try, link). In addi­ti­on, the Inter­na­tio­nal Data Spaces Asso­cia­ti­on, IDSA, had the oppor­tu­ni­ty to pre­sent its Inter­na­tio­nal Data Spaces (IDS) refe­rence archi­tec­tu­re model, RAM (Otto et al. 2019b).

Both Prof. Dr. Boris Otto and Lars Nagel, Depu­ty Chair­man of the Board and the CEO of IDSA respec­tively, were given the oppor­tu­ni­ty to lay out just how IDS could enab­le a fede­r­a­ted data space. So when Mr. Froehlich’s idea tur­ned into pro­po­sals, we were able to sug­gest try­ing it out in a real-world sce­n­a­rio and kick­star­ting it by pro­vi­ding our IDS-based imple­men­ta­ti­ons, which inclu­ded an “IDS_ready” con­nec­tor (link).

Figure 3: RealLabHH results for the 2021 ITS World Congress in Hamburg (Source: ITS world congress, link)

RealLabHH: “Hamburg is putting the digital mobility of tomorrow to the test” (link)

Now 30 of the lar­gest Ger­man com­pa­nies and inno­va­tors such as BMW, Con­ti, Deut­sche Bahn, DLR, Fraun­ho­fer Gesell­schaft, Moo­vel, SAP, Sixt, Swar­co, Tele­kom, the three Tech­ni­cal Uni­ver­si­ties of Ber­lin, Ham­burg and Munich (TU B/H/M), and the Urban Soft­ware Insti­tu­te are part of the new real-world labo­ra­to­ry. It is loca­ted in Ham­burg, Germany’s lar­gest sea­port and second lar­gest city with a popu­la­ti­on of around 1.9 mil­li­on. RealL­abHH is run by Ham­bur­ger Hoch­bahn under the aus­pi­ces of its CEO, Hen­rik Falk. The choice of Ham­burg is no sur­pri­se – the city is a hot­bed of mobi­li­ty inno­va­ti­on, for one thing. “Ham­burg has deve­lo­ped into a hub for intel­li­gent, future-ori­en­ted mobi­li­ty solu­ti­ons” (press release, HH-Hoch 2020, link (in Ger­man)).

Examp­les inclu­de ear­ly auto­no­mous vehi­cles, such as shut­tles (Heat) and sub­ways (U5). Ano­t­her rea­son is that, thanks to its mobi­li­ty inno­va­tions, Ham­burg will be hos­ting the 2021 ITS World Con­gress, the world’s lar­gest con­gress for intel­li­gent trans­port sys­tems (link). It was the­re­fo­re con­ve­ni­ent and fit­ting to use the ITS World Con­gress as a plat­form to pre­sent the RealLabHH’s results: “The RealL­abHH takes it to the next level,” says Hen­rik Falk (press release HH-Hoch 2020).

Using IDS to bring the “N” in NPM to RealLabHH

The one con­cern of any tri­al or pilot is being able to gene­ra­li­ze the results. Con­si­der a sam­ple for a sur­vey: we want to make sure that it is repre­sen­ta­ti­ve so the results will pro­per­ly reflect the con­di­ti­ons of the lar­ger popu­la­ti­on. With a pilot, it is important to ensu­re that fin­dings and bene­fits are not limi­ted to the pilot’s foot­print, i.e., Ham­burg, but can be gene­ra­li­zed and app­lied to other regi­ons in Ger­ma­ny, like Ber­lin and bey­ond. This is whe­re IDS comes in. The Inter­na­tio­nal Data Spaces (IDS) tech­no­lo­gy blue­prints could be a solu­ti­on.

Natu­ral­ly, the­re are near­ly always many dif­fe­rent ide­as, con­cepts, and methods for how to get some­whe­re and we would hope that all lead more or less to the same desti­na­ti­on. IDS has cer­tain­ly star­ted from a diver­se set of rese­arch insti­tu­tes. By now, IDSA and its more than 100 mem­bers have refi­ned it into a stan­dard, DIN Spec 27070 (link). It uses open tech­no­lo­gy and the first imple­men­ta­ti­ons are avail­ab­le. This is whe­re the Deut­sche Tele­kom Data Intel­li­gence Hub comes in with its exper­ti­se of imple­men­ting IDS (link).

Figure 4: Making intermodal mobility seamless and sustainable (Schlueter Langdon 2020)

Kickstarting the first “Mobility Data Space” prototype powered by IDS

Deut­sche Tele­kom is an acti­ve par­ti­ci­pant in RealL­abHH. One pro­ject is exami­ning the natio­nal aspect of the NPM initia­ti­ve and aims to show how the new IDS data stan­dard can help to enab­le new, sus­tainab­le mobi­li­ty offers that requi­re inter­ac­tion bet­ween many dif­fe­rent mobi­li­ty ser­vice pro­vi­ders and plat­forms. A demons­tra­tor is plan­ned for this pur­po­se con­sis­ting of two key com­pon­ents: one visi­ble and one hid­den com­po­nent, that is, hid­den from an end user’s point of view. The visi­ble com­po­nent is an app with a new mobi­li­ty offer for selec­ted citi­zens in Ham­burg (Figu­re 4 depicts the first illus­tra­ti­on). The second com­po­nent is the data lay­er bene­ath the app that makes the offer pos­si­ble in the first place. The app will offer true inter­mo­dal trips from point A to point B across dif­fe­rent modes of trans­por­ta­ti­on: use your car, park it near a train sta­ti­on, board a train, exit the train, hop on an electric scoo­ter and ride to your desti­na­ti­on.

Inter­mo­dal mobi­li­ty is exci­ting becau­se it is an asset-light busi­ness con­cept, which “on average gets a bet­ter return on invest­ment” (Kacha­ner & Why­brew 2014). Think Uber: the cars have alrea­dy been purcha­sed by dri­vers; all that is left is the orches­tra­ti­on of exis­ting ele­ments into a cohe­rent ser­vice offe­ring. For this to hap­pen and in order to make it easy to use and seam­less for the end user, dif­fe­rent and often com­pe­ting par­ties have to come tog­e­ther and share their data. This is whe­re IDS stan­dards will be employ­ed to ensu­re that data can be shared such that the data sov­er­eig­n­ty of the data sup­pliers is gua­ran­te­ed.

This pro­ject is a joint endea­vor of Deut­sche Tele­kom and the Urban Soft­ware Insti­tu­te, [ui!] (link). [ui!] is an expert in smart cities, foun­ded by Prof. Dr. Lutz Heu­ser, for­mer head of rese­arch at SAP – Lutz is also an alum­nus of TU Darm­stadt, like the aut­hor, and both of us are and have been pro­fes­sors at our alma mater. The pro­ject will bene­fit from [ui!]’s exper­ti­se with cus­to­mer-facing apps (see, for examp­le, its Bad Hers­feld Urban­Pul­se city cock­pit, link) while Deut­sche Tele­kom can con­tri­bu­te IDS and mobi­li­ty ana­ly­tics com­pe­tence.

Plea­se check out our “Mobi­li­ty Ana­ly­tics” seri­es, which reve­als how data is trans­forming auto­mo­bi­li­ty and how it can actual­ly be used for com­pe­ti­ti­ve advan­ta­ge using simu­la­ti­ons and our Ber­lin digi­tal twin: micro­si­te (link) with Mobi­li­ty Ana­ly­tics #1 – #5 (link).


Federal Minis­try for Eco­no­mic Affairs and Ener­gy. 2020. Peter Alt­mai­er and Bru­no Le Mai­re pre­sent the Euro­pean data infra­st­ruc­tu­re pro­ject GAIA‑X. (June 4), link

Ham­bur­ger Hoch­bahn. 2020. Start­schuss für RealL­abHH: Ham­burg erprobt die digi­ta­le Mobi­li­tät von Mor­gen im All­tag. Press release (July 15), link

ITS World Con­gress. 2020. ITS Con­gress high­lights 2021, link

Kacha­ner, N., and A. Why­brew. 2014. When “Asset Light” Is Right. Bos­ton Con­sul­ting Group (Sep­tem­ber 30), link

NPM. 2020. Launch of RealL­abHH: Ham­burg is put­ting digi­tal mobi­li­ty of tomor­row to the test. Press release (July 15), link

NPM. 2020. User-friend­ly design of mobi­li­ty ser­vices through plat­form-based, inter­mo­dal solu­ti­ons. Press release (July 16), link

Otto, B., S. Stein­buß, A. Teu­scher, and S. Loh­mann. 2019b. Refe­rence Archi­tec­tu­re Model Ver­si­on 3.0. Inter­na­tio­nal Data Spaces Asso­cia­ti­on (April), Dort­mund, link

Schlue­ter Lang­don, C. 2020. Quan­ti­fy­ing inter­mo­dal mobi­li­ty: A par­si­mo­nious model and simu­la­ti­on. Working Paper (WP_DCL-Dru­cker-CGU_2020-06), Dru­cker Cus­to­mer Lab, Dru­cker School of Manage­ment, Cla­re­mont Gra­dua­te Uni­ver­si­ty, Cla­re­mont, CA, link