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‚mobisaar‘ – a technology-based service providing mobility for everybody in public transport.

Maurice Rekrut; Jan Alexandersson; Jochen Britz; Johannes Tröger; Daniel Bieber; Kathleen Schwarz
In: Elena Urdaneta; Brian Worsfold (Hrsg.). Ideas, Products, Services ... 'Social Innovation' for Elderly Persons. Chapter 2, Pages 147-157, ISBN 978-84-9144-106-9, Edicions i Publicacions de la Universitat de Lleida, 6/2018.


Mobility is one of the keys for participation in social life. Especially in older age, when people are dependent on regular visits to physicians or pharmacies, and mobility impairments cause them to face severe challenges, often resulting in social isolation. Regarding demographic change in Germany, these problems will soon account for a significant share of the German population and, also, in Europe. Relying exclusively on the use of cars in daily life is impossible for most elderly people due to various impairments. Additionally, ecological reasons have to be taken into consideration. Public transport offers an alternative but, in general, it is not really popular amongst this group of people, as it comes along with additional barriers like gaps between bus and bus stop, the use of complicated ticket machines, or cryptic timetables. In an ageing society, projects that aim at improving mobility for the elderly gain in importance. Within two recent German funding schemes by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) “Door to Door” (Tür zu Tür), and Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) “Mobile up until high ages” (Mobil bis ins hohe Alter), about twenty-five projects set out to address mobility issues within the scope of Ambient Assisted Living (AAL). The Compagno Project aimed at providing seamless mobility chains for the elderly by developing a companion application. This application offers help with planning a trip, including public transport and regional and supra-regional transportation providers, as well as offering information about the trip on the way to ensure a feeling of security on the road. Another travel assistant tailored to public transport was developed in Project NAMO. The application offers photos with directional arrows, station plans with marked paths, and contact to a service hotline to get direct support. The mentioned projects as well as most of its competitors in this field focus on plain technology development adapted to the needs of the elderly. Beside a call centre hotline, the service part is mainly done by technology, but this cannot replace real social contact which is of high importance, especially for elderly people.