The interoperability of contactless city services has been emerging as a topic of discussion at many recent events and projects. Looking simply at technological interoperability does not help sufficiently when mapping service opportunities or analyzing city services. There was, therefore, a need, in the context of the Smart Urban Spaces (SUS) European project, to define a framework (expanding the focus to other aspects of city services) to help understand the environment of contactless city services to analyze the relations between the different stakeholders and to provide relevant information concerning the level of interoperability that can be reached.
Interoperability framework for mobile contactless city service
The conducted research allowed for the proposal of a framework dedicated to the definition of interoperability and its evaluation in the context of mobile contactless city service. The proposed system consists of an interoperability matrix and a set of forms highlighting the requirements regarding the possible relation for each cell of the matrix. In this respect, the framework is relevant to companies and representatives of public authorities as it provides a practical tool for analyzing the possible interactions of mobile services to be deployed (or already deployed) in a given urban area.
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Interoperability in the context of the Smart Urban Spaces (SUS) project
The work was part of the SUS European project. During the project, more than ten workshops on how to delineate the contactless services in European cities (partners of the project) were organized. This effort allowed the main entities of the considered ecosystem to be identified, namely the Mobile, the User, the Service, the Infrastructure, the City, and the Country. Each of these high-level entities can be mapped with another and analysis can be made in the crossroads of this mapping. A set of dimensions has been chosen to give a structure to the analysis. These dimensions are Business, Legal, Usability, Social and Technical aspects.
Possible evolution of the ecosystem dedicated to NFC-based mobile ticketing
Some partners of the SUS project started to use the first available forms, thus demonstrating that it is a practical tool because it allows, among other things, potential problems to be identified or similar services compared. The forms of the framework include quite simple questions (with yes/no/maybe answers), and the process that leads to the evaluation results is easy to achieve (with a clear view of the results through a Kiviat diagram). This tool helps to improve the business model related to the deployment of given contactless city service and, in this respect, it could represent a competitive advantage for companies.