On the 21st of May 2019, a workshop on “Optimal Management of the Public Service Fleet” was successfully organized by the Department of Electromechanical Services of the Ministry of Transport Communications and Works and the KIOS Research and Innovation Center of Excellence (KIOS CoE) at the University of Cyprus, within the framework of their wider cooperation agreement.
Opening remarks were delivered by the Minister of Transport Communications and Works, Mrs Vasiliki Anastasiadou, the Rector of the University of Cyprus, Professor Tasos Christofides, and the Deputy Director of the Electromechanical Services Department, Mr. Markos Markou.
In her welcome speech, the Minister of Transport Communications and Works, emphasized that the optimal management of the public service fleet is one of the primary goals of the Ministry of Transport Communications and Works. A central element in this effort, she said, is the research collaboration between the Electromechanical Services Department and the KIOS Research and Innovation Center of Excellence, the largest research and innovation center on Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) for critical infrastructures at the University of Cyprus. The expertise of the KIOS researchers, she added, will contribute to the analysis of all the data produced by the fleet management system, whereas the development of intelligent algorithms will eventually contribute to the improvement of the management of the public service fleet. In her conclusion, the Minister, expressed her commitment for future research collaborations with the KIOS CoE at the University of Cyprus, pointing out that “these research initiatives will help the Ministry to address its key priorities and challenges”.
The Rector of the University of Cyprus, Professor Tasos Christofides, said that the University of Cyprus places increased emphasis on the collaboration between the University and the Public Sector of Cyprus in order to provide added value to the society, pointing out that this research collaboration is one such a great example. This research collaboration, he added, will bring multiple socio-economic benefits to the Public Service of Cyprus, since the expertise of the KIOS CoE will help the Electromechanical Services to achieve the optimal management of the public service fleet.
The Deputy Director of the Electromechanical Services Department, Mr. Markos Markou, referred to the overall benefits of the utilization of the fleet management system, which include the savings in the fleet’s operational cost and fuels, increase of safety standards, and improvement of drivers’ behavior. Mr. Markou concluded by adding that this research initiative between the two parties will help the Department to suggest corrective measures in order to achieve the optimal management of the Public Service fleet.
The event continued with the technical presentations from the officers of the Electromechanical Services Department, the Department of Forests, the Audit Office of Cyprus and the KIOS researchers. The representatives from the Public Sector presented the fleet management system and explained how this is been used in several use cases.
The KIOS researchers highlighted the importance of the collection and analysis of the data that fall under the Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) application, in order to study road transportation problems and achieve efficient fleet management. Towards this end, they demonstrated the tools that will be used for the analysis of data collected from the fleet management system of the Department of Electrical and Mechanical Services, which are statistical analysis, artificial intelligence techniques (e.g. machine learning, data mining), and mathematical optimization.
It is foreseen that this collaborative approach will considerably enhance research synergies between the KIOS CoE and the Electromechanical Services Department with an end goal to facilitate technology and knowledge transfer as well as improve public services.