IKERLAN participates in the European ELASTIC project to develop the technological basis for future intelligent mobility systems

This technology will make it possible to reduce accidents and maintenance costs and to improve traffic in towns and cities.
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May 28, 2020

The IKERLAN technology centre is participating in the European project ELASTIC, aimed at developing a new software architecture to efficiently exploit data from public (tram, metro and bus) and private transport systems and to lay the foundations for future autonomous and safe mobility systems. This technology will make it possible, for example, to reduce incidents, accidents and maintenance costs, as well as to improve city traffic. All of which helps to improve response times and communication security.

The starting point for ELASTIC is the mobility sector, but the technology to be developed within the framework of this project will also enable industry 4.0 to improve its efficiency and productivity.

ELASTIC has a budget of 5.9 million euros for three years, provided by the European Commission through the Horizon 2020 Programme, a programme that finances research and innovation projects in a few different fields. 

Greater flexibility and security in data processing

Today, Big Data technology processes huge amounts of information from multiple data sources in the cloud. Also, in applications related to smart cities or advanced manufacturing, where data analysis is of major importance, information must be processed in real time and securely while ensuring energy efficiency, something that is not feasible with the cloud technology available at the moment.

 The new software architecture that ELASTIC will be developing will help us to meet this challenge.  Cristina Zubia, an IKERLAN researcher involved in the project, explains that “We will use the computational resources spread throughout the city's traffic network (at stops, trams, control centres, in the cloud infrastructure, etc.). These will distribute, in a fast and intelligent form, the workload associated with the analysis of data collected on a massive scale by the vehicles themselves and by sensors scattered around the city, such as cameras, radars or environmental sensors. This form of distributed data processing is known as fog or edge computing." The application of the concept of elasticity and the fog computer model (fog computing) will allow us to decongest data networks, while optimising response times, increasing system security and reducing energy consumption”, adds Zubia.

Knowledge in areas such as artificial intelligence, secure communication systems and advanced computing, as well as experience in software architecture development and data processing in Big Data environments allow IKERLAN to participate in all phases of the project and to lead the work package related to the development of the fog computing architecture. This is one of the focal points of the project, in which the flexible and customisable fog computing platform offered by IKERLAN KONNEKT will have special relevance with its range of scanning solutions that can be adapted to the specific needs of each company. 

Useful technology for mobility and industrial digitisation

The potential of ELASTIC technology is being tested in a real use case of intelligent mobility, the tram network in Florence, Italy, equipped with sensors and connectivity equipment that make it a representative case for testing this technology.

In addition to public transport systems, this technology will also be useful in companies that are investing in the digitisation of their products and services. Thanks to ELASTIC, industry 4.0 will be able to improve its efficiency and productivity, as well as optimise its maintenance by means of connectivity and mass data exploitation, in aspects such as machine monitoring, system sensorisation and predictive maintenance. For example, a company will be able to improve the maintenance management of its production line, monitoring in real time the performance, durability and safety of the products it produces.

In short, it is a market-oriented technology that responds to the challenges and growing needs of our society and our industry, a priority feature of the projects in which Ikerlan participates”, says Cristina Zubia.

The project is coordinated by the Barcelona Supercomputing Centre (BSC). In addition to IKERLAN, it includes the participation of technology centres and organisations from seven European countries such as the Instituto Superior de Engenharia do Porto (ISEP, Portugal), Information Catalyst for Enterprise LTD (ICE, United Kingdom), SixSQ SARL (Switzerland), Thales TRT SA (France), Thales Italia SPA (Italy) and the Italian mobility companies Gestione ed Eserizio del Sistema Tranviario SPA (GEST) and Citta Metropolitana di Firenze.


Technology and Innovation for the improvement of the competitiveness of the Services Sector