xDataToGo - Experimental field "Digital Road Space" for the development and testing of a cooperative data infrastructure as a basis for inter-municipal mobility applications using the example of large-capacity and heavy transport (GST)

Since 1.10.2017, the German Research Institute for Public Administration (FÖV) has been taking part in the joint project “xDataToGo”, which is part of the federally sponsored programme “mFUnd” of the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI). The acronym “xDataToGo” embodies the objective of merging municipal data on the digital street area with that of the federal government and federal states and providing it in the form of a regional, jointly utilisable data infrastructure. The project partners plan that the municipalities in the Rhine-Neckar region will in future record information such as road widths, passage heights, curve radii and maximum permissible commercial loads, link it to data of the federal states and federal government and make it available in the form of a database for innovative mobility applications (e.g. via the mobility data space of the federal government “MDM”) The fact that the data needed so far is only available in heterogeneous form proved to be a challenge. In particular, the municipalities have so far not established any uniform database standards.

At the meta level, the project partners are developing a general procedural model for inter-municipal data market places, which will be available to the municipalities for comparable projects. The model is based on the actual use case of heavy load transport routing. The database infrastructure is intended to greatly simplify the extremely complicated and both resource- and time-consuming approval procedure. The goal is to carry out a test operation of the infrastructure in the Rhine Neckar metropolitan region, where several federal states meet.

Apart from the FÖV, the partners of the experimental research project are the University of Mannheim and the “GeoNet.MRN” association (Mannheim), and from the business world, Thales Deutschland GmbH (Ditzingen) and MTS Maschinentechnik Schrode AG (Hayingen). The project is being sponsored by the BMVI with 1.4 million euros.

The contribution of the FÖV to the joint project is its legal expertise in questions of legal certainty, data protection, operator model and possible liability. The configuration of a practicable operator model raises numerous questions for research and practice with regard to the multi-layered legal framework for the licensing and economic exploitation of public authority data. The FÖV will tackle these in several publications and provide practical solutions. For example, the project team intends to address the conceptional patterns behind the terms “data ownership” and “data sovereignty”.

In supplement to its publications, the FÖV is available to municipalities and project partners as the first contact for any legal questions arising and in addition will contribute its expertise to the project through workshops.

The project is sponsored by the funding line 2 "Applied Research and Experimental Development" of the Modernity Fund (mFund) of the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI).

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Prof. Dr. Mario Martini