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‘Made to measure’ transport aim for UK's Greater Manchester

CitySpire model will see development of context-aware location-based services, built on anonymised data from multiple sources, including Bluetooth low energy and wi-fi networks

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Greater Manchester will benefit from a demand-based public transport system
Greater Manchester will benefit from a demand-based public transport system
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Cisco and its partners want to get Manchester moving with a demand-based transport system

CitySpire aims to harness the power of data to have a positive impact on the way we travel

Cisco and a group of industry partners have received funding from InnovateUK to deliver demand-based transportation services for the Greater Manchester city region.

 

The grant from the UK’s innovation agency is for the consortium to establish a proof of concept solution that will enable Transport for Greater Manchester to address the challenge of providing transport services to fit demand.

 

Other partners working on the initiative are: Purple; Proxama; Movement Strategies; Transport for Greater Manchester; and Sustainable Environment.

 

The so-called CitySpire model will see development of context-aware location-based services, built on anonymised data from multiple sources, including Bluetooth low energy and wi-fi networks.

 

Interpretation and analysis of that data will enable CitySpire to present groups of passengers to flexible and shared demand-responsive transport company, Simply Connect. The initiative will aim to prove the value of an enhanced booking capability not currently available to existing popular ride sharing services, such as UberPool and BlaBlaCar.

 

CitySpire will be led by CiscoCREATE, the tech giant’s collaborative research and emerging technologies division -- working with government, industry, research institutions and start-ups with a view to accelerate innovation. The aim behind the proof of concept is to ensure that passengers do not have to fit their mobility into, or plan their lives around, fixed schedules.

 

“Our Simply Connect on-demand, flexible, affordable travel service for everyone is only possible because of advances in ICT,” said Neil Brown, director, Sustainable Environment. “CitySpire will enhance this possibility, by proving the value of data in changing travel behaviour.

 

“CitySpire offers Simply Connect a means to both boost patronage of our services, both in Manchester and in other locations, and to make our service provision more personalised and beneficial to our users.”

 

“Our primary purpose is to keep this city region moving. The challenges that we face are not unique to Greater Manchester. Every city region around the world strives to provide transport services in more efficient and ecological ways,” added Simon Ho, senior innovation officer, Transport for Greater Manchester. “Our aim in CitySpire is to harness the power of data to have a positive impact on the way we travel in and around Greater Manchester.”

 

As part of the initiative, the proof of concept will also look to generate insight from data gathered to inform other crucial functions in Manchester, whether planning departments, large event organisers or agencies charged with public safety and security.

 

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