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Smart transport in rural areas

SINTEF has developed Mobility-as-a-Service adapted to scattered rural areas. The main idea is a system for transport planning that coordinates needs for passenger and goods transport in order to use transport resources optimally.

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Goods transport services are essential for sustainable development of rural areas. A main challenge is to provide good and efficient transport services for everyone, with low costs and a low environmental impact. This is particularly demanding in the rural areas with large distances and limited transport resources. Rapid developments in the sharing economy and innovative concepts such as Mobility-as-a-Service (MaaS), enable new and better solutions. MaaS integrates different mobility services into one service that is available on-demand (in real time).

We have together with users, developed and evaluated several MaaS solutions adapted to sparsely populated rural areas. These services are designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to contribute to the sustainable development of the rural communities by providing good transport services.

Concepts and prototypes developed in the project, as well as the insight into user needs, can be used for:

  • the development of new services
  • the specification of new functions in existing systems
  • as a decision-making basis in planning new transport initiatives.

The following tools and prototypes were developed and evaluated together with users:

  • The STD planner which is a planning tool for MaaS operators.
  • TiD, which is a mobile application for citizens in rural areas that can be used to plan and order carpooling and picking up packages.
  • Fram and TiD for the elderly which are travel coordination services for the elderly who live in rural areas which stimulate social activities.
  • STD simulator that can examine and compare different scenarios for transport, for example real and imagined scenarios for patient transport for Innlandet hospital.

Tools and prototypes developed in the project, as well as the insight into user needs that we have gathered from different user groups, can be used for the development of new services, to specify requirements for new functions in existing systems, and as a basis for decision-making in planning new transport initiatives.


Karahasanovic, Amela; Culén, Alma Leora; Skjetne, Jan Håvard & Hasle, Geir (2020). Key Performance Indicators in design for sustainable rural transport. IADIS International Journal on Computer Science and Information System. ISSN 1646-3692. 15(2), s. 107–122.

Prillard, Ophelia (2021). The Design and Creation of an ICT Transportation Management Service to Increase Mobility for Older Adult in Rural Areas, Master’s thesis in Engineering and ICT, NTNU.

Lund , Silje Helene & Johansson, Maria Løvland, Designing Human-Centred AI Interaction in Mobility-as-a-Service Applications for Young People in Rural Areas (2022), Master Thesis in Informatics: Design, use and interaction, Department of Informatics, Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences, University of Oslo.

Presentation of results, March 29, 2022 

Recording from presentation of results, March 29, 2022

Key Factors

Project duration

2019 - 2022


The Research Council of Norway, TRANSPORT 2025, project number 296639 (partially financed).

Cooperation Partners

Innlandstrafikk (project owner)
Folldal Municipality, Innlandet Hospital, Entur, and SINTEF (partners)

Project Type