TravelSpirit Affiliates Trailblaze on the Smart City

…by open-sourcing the what3words addresses of all of Greater Manchester’s ‘Talkative’ Bus Stops ! TravelSpirit Partners BT, Republic of Things and Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) are starting to motor on their ‘Use Case’ development phase for Manchester’s smart cities demonstrator.

The CityVerve project is set to redefine the “smart” in “smart city” – by building and delivering a needs-driven, benefit-led, ‘platform of platforms’ Internet of Things infrastructure…

…within the ambition of Cityverve there is some good alignment with TravelSpirit: while the (Cityverve) project is not entirely open-source, it supports open innovation, and a number of use-cases that are led by TravelSpirit Partners, who are promoting Open-Source and Open-API’s throughout their work on the project.

For example, TravelSpirit affiliate tech start up, Republic of Things, is leading on the use case called ‘Talkative Bus Stops’.

From ‘flag and pole’ to interactive locations, we are rethinking the bus stop, to reflect and enrich the environment and communities in which they are located. Through the use of technology, including location based services and mobile apps, the bus stops will deliver location relevant content.

People will have the ability to ‘check-in’ to their bus stop, to let bus operators know they are waiting for their service, and where they want to get to, leading to a more responsive service and enhanced travel experience.

To get going, TravelSpirit has taken Transport for Greater Manchester’s open data and, with the What3Words API (free to use by non-commercial organisations), fuse the datasets to open-source the What3Words address for every bus stop in Greater Manchester…

Visit our new Gitlab to download the new dataset and find out more about What3Words. We don’t know exactly, at this stage, how useful this dataset is, so look forward to seeing what the community can do with it.

And, if you aren’t so sure about the open-source credentials of What3Words, don’t let that put you off our challenge.We’d be equally happy to see what you can do with alternative address systems such as Xaddress, GeoHash, What3Emojis or even What3Pokemon!

TfGM and BT will be releasing some more exciting stuff soon into the open, on another, yet to be revealed, use case – so watch this space.

The CityVerve project was established in July 2016 with a two-year remit to demonstrate the capability of IoT applications and address barriers to deploying smart cities, such as city governance, network security, user trust and adoption, interoperability, scalability and justifying investment. Combining technology and business model innovations, it will create a real-life blueprint for smart cities worldwide.

The consortium of 21 organisations – including Manchester City Council, Manchester Science Partnerships, the University of Manchester, Cisco, BT and other tech players – is backed by Government and Innovate UK.

For more information, please visit www.cityverve.org.uk or follow CityVerve on Twitter at @CityVerve

Mercedes lead the way on imagining the future role of bus within a MaaS landscape

What if a bus driver could spend his time helping his passengers, rather than driving the bus? This is the kind of market development innovation Mercedes-Benz are keen to get the UK bus industry to focus on, and plan for, in terms of fleet procurement strategies, in the light of the opportunities being presented by technology that will be ready over 2020-2025 to provide full automation of driving a vehicle on public roads. For more information see this article in the UK’s ‘Business Insider’.

Mobility as a Service (MaaS) hits the UK press

Today two notable UK publications released articles about Mobility as a Service. Local Transport Today has led with a story on “Mobility as a Service: don’t fragment the marketplace”, which features our partner, Carplus passionately advocating the approach taken to date by the rapidly growing TravelSpirit community. Click here for a snippet of the article, that you’ll need to read by finding a printed copy of the LTT. At the same time, The Independent has led with a story on “How owning a car might soon become as old-fashioned as owning a horse“, which features DriveNow, a partnership between BMW, which provides the cars, and Sixt, which brings the understanding of how to rent them to people. So, onwards, and upwards…

Ford announce their ambitions to enter the MaaS market by 2021

Ford has said it will mass-produce a fully autonomous self-driving car, without a steering wheel by 2021, for an ‘Uber-like’ ride-sharing service. The announcement, described as “transformational” by the company’s president, Mark Fields, signalled an era when Ford sees itself, particularly in cities, as a company that provides an ad-hoc service rather than focusing solely on selling the cars to the general public. “There will be a growing per cent of the industry that will be fully autonomous vehicles,” Mr Fields said. “Our goal is not only to be an auto company, but an auto and mobility company.” Check out the BBC for more on this news item.

Center for Automotive Research Sheds New Light on MaaS

Emerging trends in mobility technology, such as the rise of ridehailing and carsharing services, have led many industry analysts to offer their views on how these trends will affect the automotive industry in the United States. The reports stemming from these efforts have resulted in highly conflicting visions of the future, ranging from a dramatic decline in vehicle sales to a windfall in revenue and profits.Faced with this cloudy picture, researchers at the Center for Automotive Research decided to weigh in with their own analysis, one that is rooted in our cumulative knowledge of travel behavior, consumer preferences, and the operational characteristics of new mobility services.Our analysis, based on sound data and detailed in this report, sheds light on what we believe are likely future directions. We welcome feedback on this effort and will continue to refine our viewpoint as technology, society, and service offerings continue to evolve.

Download Report Here

TravelSpirit Runway, Launched!

Thank you all for your amazing support at our Manchester (UK) launch day on 28th June, where over 80 of us had from the feedback received to date, a most excellent time.

In particular, thank you for our international speakers, Sampo Hietanen and Gabriel Plassat, who in addition to representing on-going Finnish and French connections, provided such eloquent descriptions of how Mobility as a Service and Open Collaboration can work.

Post event we’ve been busy sifting through the output of our workshops and identified a prioritised set of next steps (our ‘runway’ for the community) for the next 2-3 months.

As we are open governed and here for the community, we’d love to hear back from you on your thoughts as to these foundation steps, how you could help us deliver them, and any additional ideas or enhancements to the current ones, that you would like to share with us.

Next Up: Welcome to our Runway!

With planning permission granted by Wuthering Bytes and ODI Leeds for take off in Hebden Bridge, the flight path then takes us from Hebden Bridge – London – Birmingham – Manchester – Paris – London – Barcelona – Montreal (see below).

Tuesday 6th September, Hebden Bridge, Open Smart Cities @ Wuthering Bytes

We partnered with: ODI Leeds, Leeds Data Thing, Things Network (Leeds and Manchester), OpenData Manchester and Calderdale DataWorks for a full day of exploration, show & tell, and collaborative work on creating the #opensmartcity.

Friday 16th September, London. Community Design Workshop Stage 2.

Register now for a follow up to our initial workshops from the 28th June with a whole day to really get ‘under the skin’ of MaaS, with support of the Geovation team.

Wednesday 21st September, Birmingham. MaaS conference.

Register now  for the next MaaS networking event, put on by our colleagues, the Transport Systems Catapult – a conference with TravelSpirit ‘headlining and championing’, with an emphasis on getting more Local Authorities educated and on board!

Thursday 22nd September, London. Smart Summit.

Register now for the Smart Summit, which is a 2 day conference and exhibition covering the Internet of Things (IoT) ecosystem and its impact on the digital society. Smart Summit are collaborating with TravelSpirit to discuss how MaaS can help transform urban service delivery, on the 22nd September, a day after our MaaS conference in Birmingham.

Saturday 24th September, Manchester. Big Data Hack.

Register now to support our founding partners Manchester Metropolitan University, who are following up our debate about the role of ‘big data’ with our first endorsed hack, with support from the UK Data Service and Digital Innovation and The Shed.

Tuesday 27th September, Paris. Open Source Asset Build.

Register now to support, hot on the heals of our Manchester Hack, our next technical solutions event, organised by our partners, FabMob. Click here for more info

If you cannot attend, then please still inform FabMob of relevant open source projects that should be considered at the event by clicking through and filling in the following survey.

Also, the FabMob Open Call is now live – click here for more details!

TfGM launch new ‘2040’ strategy to support MaaS

Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) have launched their visionary new ‘2040’ strategy – one that looks forward to the future with a completely open mind, and one that will see the end to silo’d thinking around individual ‘transport modes’, and will bring about the neccesary integration between traditional ‘private’ (planes, cars, taxi’s, bikes) and ‘public’ modes (bus, trams and trains) that helps bring new ‘sharing economy’ modes into the mainstream of public policy thinking; and will open up the doors for a much broader embrace of a rainbow of new vehicles, products and services within the mobility sector. Good news for Mobility as a Service, and raising the bar for TravelSpirit!

TravelSpirit organisation officially launched!

Today, we have formally launched our new organisation, with a real buzz, at the Community Design Workshop I, at Alliance Manchester Business School, UK. The day set off with a flying start with a key note talk from the “father of Mobility as a Service”, Sampo Hietanen, followed by an inspirational talk by Gabriel Plassat, of FabMob and then a scene setting run-through of TravelSpirit by our CEO, Alex Burrows. Lucy Yu, Mobility as a Service lead for Department for Transport, and our very own COO, joined a series of exciting ‘lightning talks’ from a number of tech startup’s.

Click here for more TravelSpirit.io TV!

TravelSpirit enables the Northern Digital Powerhouse !

The technology sector in the North of England is vibrant and growing rapidly, and yet it is still far from reaching its potential. A new report (download from here) commissioned by Tech North and published by the RSA in partnership with the Impact Hub, shows just how much potential there is. It details a number of recommendations for how greater collaboration could unlock a £5.7 billion boost to the Northern economy and how open source projects, such as TravelSpirit will be a key enabler. Read even more…

TravelSpirit Executive Board Formed

We’re really proud to announce that Rob Taylor, CTO at Codethink and secretary of the FOSSi Foundation, has been appointed our CTO, on a ‘pro-bono’ basis. Rob has been working commercially with Linux and Open Source technologies for over 15 years and has founded two successful companies delivering Open Source development. Rob joins Alex Burrows as CEO and Lucy Yu as COO, to form with Si Ho (Chairman) the new Executive Board for TravelSpirit, all working on a ‘pro-bono’ basis to set and oversee the strategic and technical direction for the community.