By Stig Franzén, Chalmers University of Technology
The (Field Operational Test) FOT methodology of FESTA, must be adapted to freight transportation to clarify the different steps in the evaluation process. The evaluation approach must also consider that the AEOLIX functions and their impacts to be evaluated take place in a context which is the Living Labs. The co-creation element of living labs will put forward one stage in the FOT Methodology that is seldom highlighted, i.e. the iteration to be in play when use cases, hypotheses and PIs are determined. N.B. The iteration is omitted in the “FESTA V” (see figure) for reasons of clarity of all the other steps in the process.
A FOT is defined (FESTA 2016) as a study undertaken to evaluate a function, or functions, under normal operating conditions in road traffic environments typically encountered by the participants using study design to identify real-world effects and benefits.
However, the overall approach used is the Field Operational Test Support Action (FESTA) methodology, must be tailored to the needs of AEOLIX as AEOLIX is not specifically related to the road traffic environment. The AEOLIX evaluation framework follows the procedures outlined in the FESTA handbook. The sequence of activities for the FESTA evaluation methodology is shown in the figure below.
FESTA methodology for AEOLIX evaluation – The FESTA V. (FESTA 2016)
A horizontal bar on top of the diagram summarises in principle the context in which the FOT is supposed to take place. For instance, the choice of a function to be tested implies that there is either a problem to be addressed and that the chosen function is defined to solve the problem, or that a policy objective is stated and that the function tested can be used to reach the objective. An FOT can always be related to a wider perspective than is defined by just a description of the function to be tested.
The first step in the FESTA V is the identification of functions to be tested. Sometimes this may not be the best step to start with. When there is a large set of functions available from which a few need to be selected as candidates for testing, definition of the research questions may help the selection process. For example, a FOT may not be driven by the technical systems that need to be tested but by a research question or an impact area.
The next step is to state the situation in which the function/functions will be used, i.e. use cases should be identified. Each use case will explain how the function is used and what the expected effect will be. That will be the starting point in stating the research questions to be addressed and the related hypotheses to be tested. This will in turn lead to the identification of suitable (but ideal) performance indicators. To grasp the possibility to identify a baseline scenario for each impact area, models must be developed that make it possible to compare the different stages (e.g. before and after) in the evaluation process.
There will be several logistics services/functions with potential improvements through the implementation of the Living Labs. Each Living Lab may implement more than one logistics service/function. Each Living Lab’s actors should focus on different logistics services/functions according to their needs and fields of expertise (Terminal Operators, Logistics service providers, Technological companies). The evaluation framework is built to determine whether and to what extent user needs and requirements have been addressed by the services offered by the AEOLIX platform.
Examples from industry
FESTA Consortium 2016: FESTA Handbook, version 6