A new initiative in London aims to support the development of innovative transport solutions.
In an 18-month pilot programme, small businesses and start-ups will be paired with technical experts from Transport for London (TfL) and Bosch to help understand how data and technology could be used to solve key transport issues.
Solutions are expected to include more efficient, greener and safer vehicles, reducing congestion and encouraging more people to walk, cycle and take public transport across London, TfL said.
The transport body will provide technical knowledge and a wide range of datasets to allow companies to test ideas and understand patterns in more detail than has previously been possible. This data will be based on TfL’s existing Unified API and open data platform, which already helps to power nearly 700 apps used by 42% of Londoners.
Urban mobility professionals from Bosch will offer participants technical expertise, guidance and mentoring. Bosch will also provide dedicated space for TfL and selected start-ups within its new ‘Connectory’ facility, an urban mobility lab in Shoreditch that enables private sector partners, academia and the public sector to work together to tackle a range of problems facing Londoners.
Through the programme, TfL and Bosch hope to help steer a range of smart products to market.
“If we are to use data and smart technology to help solve the biggest problems our city faces, it’s crucial we take a more collaborative approach,” said Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan. “I see London’s future as a global ‘test-bed city’ for civic innovation, where the best ideas are developed, amplified and scaled. I’ve been clear I want London to become the world’s smartest city and this is a further step towards realising that ambition.”
If the pilot programme is successful, similar approaches may be taken to other aspects of the Greater London Authority’s work including housing, environment and policing.