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i-Travel
i-Travel the connected traveller


State of the Art - Background

i-Travel was developed from the observation that the current market of online travel services is fragmented, most of the services only cover the pre-trip planning phase and many of the services cannot exchange information.

The vision was to allow the provision of end-to-end travel services covering the complete range of pre-trip planning, on-trip assistance and post-trip evaluation services. This should include any type of transportation means, providing information and services with different geographical coverage ranging from international air or rail transportation to local road or public transport services. In addition, the vision has to acknowledge the already existing services that are more or less vertically integrated with different geographic coverage and commercial policies. Therefore the idea was to build on such existing services and develop a set of rules, standards and best practices allowing each service or information provider to 'expose' their service on the eMarketplace where they can be 'consumed' by software travel agents.

i-Travel does not intend to build a centralised platform or database where all information or services will reside as this was considered not feasible, both from a technical and commercial point of view, and against the interest of existing service and information providers.

Objectives

i-Travel's main technological objective is to investigate the use of a Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) in the travel and transportation field of applications. The use of such a Service Oriented Architecture strategy facilitates and enhances the take-up of the i-Travel eMarketplace.

The specific objectives of the i-Travel project are:

- to describe a 'snapshot of existing travel and transport services, technologies and stakeholders;

- to identify the main traveller scenarios, multi-modal-use cases of i-Travel service platforms and requirements;

- to describe main stakeholder operational and business processes and the required co-operation;

- to evaluate standardised technological and architectural options for the i-Travel service platform to enable delivery of context-aware services;

- to create organisational models and business tools for the i-Travel supplier community, and begin acquisition of first community members;

- to make a feasibility and risk assessment, and propose a 'roadmap for seamless travel services' which sets out the milestones and development targets along the path towards deployment;

- to present 'virtual demonstration' of i-Travel results, and identify scenarios and strategies for i-Travel demonstrations in major European cities and cities in developing countries.

Description of Work

General business and institutional conditions will be analysed across European travel information markets. Today's technologies for traveller services will be reviewed. Requirements of the various profiles and scenarios of travellers who will be using these services will be described. The i-Travel project will analyse the aims, use cases and processes of the stakeholder groups.

In addition, obstacles to setting up online traveller services will be identified and potential solutions suggested, where required. Based on these analyses, a service framework will be developed which in turn will serve as the starting point for the demonstration concept. To present the different elements of these results in the most realistic way, and in order to have a tool for assessing user response, a 'virtual demonstration' will be created using the results of the various work packages. This will show how the personal travel assistant service might look on a user's portable terminal. It will also show the dynamics of the end-to-end service chain, as it extends from a travel-information or travel-service provider, via the i-Travel eMarketplace, to the traveller's agent who requests the service on the traveller's behalf.

Expected Results

A variety of stakeholder representatives will be involved in order to reach as high an acceptance rate as possible. The result will be a sustainable base for further technical development on a solid business basis with a reduced risk of failure.

The following deliverables will be achieved:

D1.1: i-Travel state of the art - a comprehensive collection of the current state of the art in travel services.

D2.1: Requirements and use cases - a review of the use cases that will be employed in the i-Travel concept.

D3.1: Process Analysis, Collaboration Environment and Service Assessment - a new business process will be suggested enabling partner companies to adapt their services for the i-Travel concept.

D4.1: High-level Architecture - a suggested architecture for the i-Travel platform.

D5.1: Conditions and outlook for establishing the suppliers' community - a review of the structure of the eMarketplace along with suggested terms of reference.

D6.1: Feasibility study and development roadmap of the i-Travel eMarketplace concept - a suggestion and roadmap to implement a reference implementation of the i-Travel concept. This is a key deliverable that will set the framework for real-world implementation.

D7.1: i-Travel virtual demonstrator strategy and recommendations - a demonstration that reflects the i-Travel concept.

The i-Travel service concept
The i-Travel service concept
© Ertico ITS Europe

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