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TfL launches programme to support SMEs using data for transport


Mark Say Managing Editor

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Transport for London (TfL) has launched an 18-month programme with technology and services provider Bosch to support the development of new transport solutions.

It will involve bringing together technical experts from the two organisations with small businesses within a new data lab to work on using data and technology to solve transport problems.

The programme will address issues including the need for more efficient, greener and safer vehicles, reducing congestion and encouraging more people to walk, cycle and take public transport across London.

TfL will also provide a wide range of datasets to allow companies to test ideas and understand patterns. They will be based on its existing unified API and open data platform, which already helps to power nearly 700 apps.

Bosch will provide urban mobility professionals to supply technical expertise, guidance and mentoring, along with the dedicated space for TfL and selected start-ups in its new Connectory facility in Shoreditch.

TfL said the data lab is the first of its kind with a primary focus on urban mobility, and will provide the forum for private sector partners, academia and public sector to work together.

It will also be used by other companies to encourage collaboration and knowledge sharing. TfL said it hopes this will support start-ups in developing a range of smart products and bringing them to market.

Further possibilities

Subject to the success of the pilot programme, similar approaches may be taken to other aspects of the Greater London Authority’s work including housing, environment and policing, with a focus on delivering objectives within the mayor’s London Plan.

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan, said: “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. I see London’s future as a global ‘testbed 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.”

Earlier this year, Khan launched the Smarter London Together roadmap, which outlines five missions to help make the city smarter and improve its ability to develop the best innovation created by the public and tech sectors across the city.

Image by Mai-Linh Doan, CC SA 2.0 France through Wikimedia


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