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Mobility: How do you like your comfort?

An app that increases the appeal of sustainable mobility in and around Stuttgart

How can sustainable mobility become more appealing to the inhabitants of Stuttgart? Surveying 1000 people about how they choose to move around the Stuttgart region revealed four mobility comfort profiles. The next step in this research project is to develop an app demonstrator that will help measure the comfort of those on the move.

© rangizz, rukanoga, Olexiy Voloshyn -

As part of the “Urban Mobility Comfort – Stuttgart Region” project, last summer the Dialogik non-profit institute for communication and cooperation research asked 1000 people to rate the comfort of the various transport options available in and around Stuttgart. Participants gave their opinion of the comfort they experience when using public transport (light rail, suburban trains, buses), car-based services (taxis, car sharing), bicycle-based services and their own cars. Among the survey’s findings, the following four mobility comfort profiles emerged:

“Relaxers” put a premium on being able to take it easy and engage in a range of activities during their journey and therefore tend to opt for public transport. They prefer to change between services less often and accept that their journey will take longer as a result. Practicability is what steers their choice of transportation.

“Dashers” are also frequent users of public transport, but they are the ones who feel most limited in their mobility options. As this group tends to favor speed over comfort, “dashers” find excessive distances between journey legs and complicated route planning inconvenient.

“Discerners” see no real substitute to going in their own car, as that’s the only way they can satisfy their need for privacy, a guaranteed seat, a direct route and shorter traveling times. That’s why they are prepared to pay more to have greater comfort when on the move.

Short traveling times and flexibility are the order of the day for the “sporty” group, whose love of physical exercise means they are the group least likely to take the car. Their idea of comfort and mobility comes mainly with two wheels – they take advantage of bike sharing more than any other group.

Working with the Fraunhofer Application Center KEIM at Esslingen University of Applied Sciences, the next stage of the project will develop a cell phone app demonstrator based on the project’s scientific groundwork. This app is designed to allow sensor-based measurement of background factors related to comfort and offers users the chance to report in real time anything they feel is compromising their comfort on the move.

Steffen Braun
Urban Systems Engineering
Fraunhofer IAO
Nobelstraße 12
70569 Stuttgart, Germany
Phone +49 711 970-2022
Constanze Heydkamp
Urban Systems Engineering
Fraunhofer IAO
Nobelstraße 12
70569 Stuttgart, Germany
Phone +49 711 970-2342

Juliane Segedi | Fraunhofer-Institut
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