A new smart city partnership in Manchester plans to create the foundation for a connected transport system across the city.
Led by Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM), the TravelSpirit joint venture brings together high-tech computing research and travel industry partners to create open-source code that will underpin a technical travel ecosystem to provide seamless and integrated travel across different modes of transport.
The concept, described as Mobility-as-a-Service (Maas), will include new transport services such as e-hailing taxis and ride sharing.
The software platform will allow users to plan their journey and make any necessary bookings, such as calling a taxi, reserving a train seat or buying a tram ticket, for whatever means of transport is required.
TfGM is working with partners including Manchester Metropolitan University, the Department for Transport, Satellite Applications Catapult, BT, Accenture, Tech North and the Institution of Engineering & Technology on the TravelSpirit project.
Keith Miller, head of the Department of Computing, Mathematics and Digital Technology at Manchester Metropolitan University, said: “Manchester will provide an excellent use case for the platform once built and it has the potential to provide a template for improving travel in major cities around the world.
“TravelSpirit is still in the early stages of development, but it is a novel approach to transport management and will create a technical ecosystem for transport providers and users. We’re now imagining how the open-source architecture might work.
“TravelSpirit will facilitate greater use of public systems and alternative modes of travel across the globe, thus generating more environmentally sound global transport solutions.”