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TfL provides data for digital start-up support



London’s transport authority is working with the Nitrous programme to support a handful of companies developing digital tools for new approaches to transport

Transport for London (TfL) has begun to work with the Nitrous programme to help a group of start-up companies use its data to develop digital solutions to support new, environmentally friendly approaches to transport in the city.

It has been working on the initiative since April, providing access to its open data hub and supporting a handful of firms in tapping in to its other data resources, and expects to conclude this stage during July.

A spokesperson for Nitrous, which is run by the Tech City Ventures network of companies, told UKAuthority: “They are developing working partnerships with TfL. The main goal is help the start-ups refine their propositions and take them to market.”

She added that the solutions could possibly be used by TfL and other transport authorities when they are further developed.

Masterclasses and networking

As part of the programme, the start-ups will be able to take part in masterclasses, one-to-one sessions and networking opportunities with representatives of TfL and Nitrous.

Six companies have been selected from several hundred applications:

  • Alchera Technologies is creating a computer vision and machine learning platform that uses real time data to provide intelligent infrastructure and transport systems.
  • Bluebel is a cycling navigator described as “satnav in a bicycle bell”, that uses input from cyclists to find the safest routes.
  • Faxi is a smartphone app and platform for encouraging ride sharing through incentivised priority parking.
  • NumberEight is developing artificial intelligence software to contextualise the next generaton of mobile and internet of things devices. The software senses and uses data from the devices to “tailor and personalise user experiences”.
  • Pedals provide on-demand deliveries by bicycle, ensuring zero emissions.
  • TravelAi crowdsources and analyses travel behaviour data to provide insights for transport managers and tools to support customers. Its smartphone software detects routes and modes of transport without user input, and applies machine learning and modelling techniques to build transport analytics.

The spokesperson said: “They are working with the TfL team on specific questions and needs for data, and may be able to identity data that then goes into the hub.”

Stuard Reid, director of travel demand management at TfL, said: “As London grows and changes, we are continually looking for new ways to help our customers and extract better value from our open data feed. I look forward to seeing the innovation and ideas that these start-ups generate and develop through this exciting initiative.”

Nitrous was set up by Tech City Ventures to support effective collaboration between start-ups and local government.

Image by Tejvan Pettinger, CC BY 2.0 through flickr

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