March 15, 2021 – The widespread availability of smartphones and their improved performance in recent years have opened up new possibilities for implementing mobile applications. If smartphones are used to determine the movement behavior of users and to evaluate it anonymously, the process of demand assessment is automated, simplified and accelerated. For example, location-based services, such as the provision of traffic information, weather reports or timetables in real time, can make everyday travel more efficient and pleasant. However, some of these use cases are not purely location-based, but also differ depending on the chosen mode of transportation. If a user’s current mode of transportation is known, the information provided can be adapted directly and in real time (so-called Transportation Mode Detection and Travel Mode Detection).

Thomas Tregel, research associate at the TU Darmstadt and member of the LOEWE research cluster “Infrastructure – Design – Society”, is working on the differentiation of motorized transport modes using smartphone sensors in urban areas and has published an extensive study on this topic, which is also his dissertation. The goal of his research is to develop an approach by which the current mode of transportation of a user can be determined in real time on a smartphone using the smartphone itself. The focus is on the differentiation of means of public transport. This can be applied in the field of “location-based games”: Based on modality detection, apps are being designed in the LOEWE research cluster that are intended to promote environmentally friendly multimodal mobility behavior in a playful manner.