Report on the second WE-TRANSFORM workshop
Workers in the transport sector are undergoing great changes, bringing challenging situations, but also new opportunities. The WE-TRANSFORM second stakeholder forum workshop unveiled many potential barriers and gaps brought about by transport automation and digitalization. It also highlighted initiatives and potential ways to deal with the new situations and make opportunities out of them. In the end, the most important remains the well-being of the workers, transport users, and all citizens.
In this second workshop, nearly one year after the kickoff of the project, an update on the research advancement was given. Considering the project duration is 3 years, and investigation as well as stakeholder consultation is the core activity, this work is still ongoing, and results are not yet public. Therefore, the workshop partners firstly reminded the structure of the research process and stakeholder involvement, before announcing first results, and finally stimulating knowledge creation in focus groups.
RESEARCH PROCESS AND TOOLS
The project coordinator, Cristina Pronello from POLITO, described the method to shape the research process, the Living Hub: it is a space (both online and in meetings) for key stakeholders of all transport modes to gather knowledge on best practices, understand challenges, and collect sectoral labor requirements. These key stakeholders include researchers, decision makers, trade unions, workers’ associations, and industry representatives, among others.
A very important tool used in the living hub is the Artificial Intelligence Tool. It leverages on artificial intelligence to collect papers and scientific resources in massive quantity, gathering a large amount of existing knowledge related to transport workers’ transitions. This tool has been developed and is already being used by the POLITO research team involved in WE-TRANSFORM.
Another key tool was announced during the workshop introduction: a survey to collect more inputs from stakeholders, launched during the second workshop. The survey focuses on stakeholders’ perceptions of gaps, barriers and opportunities for transport workers related to services automation and digitalization. It includes questions on individual experiences and more general aspects. The link to fill out the survey is still active on our website.
PRELIMINARY RESULTS OF THE RESEARCH
Yannis Tyrinopoulos from the University of West Attica presented the preliminary findings of the inventory analysis of actions and initiatives related to transport automation.
- He first defined the different transport and related sectors investigated, and the sources of knowledge used (the AI tool outcomes, WE-T partners inputs, results from the 1st Stakeholder Forum workshop).
- He then gave a few examples of transport automation processes:
- Border control systems in airports
- Baggage handling at airports
- Container management in port terminals
These examples were confronted with the 5 automation stages in intralogistics systems developed by logistics researchers in 2021. This highlighted the common features in automation processes across various goods and person transport services.