Unicard is pleased to announce that it has received funding from Innovate UK to accelerate the development of Unicard Smart Mobility, an open transport data collection and visualisation platform. The next generation platform will enable UK Local Authorities to adopt micromobility services, in the form of dockless bikes, e-scooters, and electric vehicle rentals, and provide real-time data to support transport policy and urban planning, service integration, and inventory management.
This initiative is part of the UK Innovation Agency’s Sustainable Innovation Fund to develop more sustainable transport options, contribute to a cleaner growth strategy and help to minimise the impact of COVID-19.
Unicard’s existing transport data management, integration and payments technology platform is designed to support smart card-based travel schemes for Local Authorities and commercial transport operators. Unicard’s software and solutions are used by 40% of local and regional authorities across the UK.
Unicard Smart Mobility allows Local Authorities to extend their capabilities, and launch new mobility schemes, bridging the technical gap between traditional rail and bus operators and new micromobility service providers. It offers Local Authorities the opportunity to address the challenges associated with introducing new forms of transport into metropolitan areas.
Unicard Smart Mobility simplifies the process of collecting mobility data based on a new, open data sharing standard developed in conjunction with Local Authorities and commercial operators. It acts as a centralised hub that aggregates real-time data from multiple sources across transport networks. The data is easily accessible and provides customers with live and historical information that can be used for business intelligence, monitoring and reporting purposes. The data can also be used to develop customer-facing applications and services that show available transport options.
Besides contributing to developing more sustainable and greener travel options, the aggregated data from the Unicard Smart Mobility platform can be used to inform policy and decision making. It also provides Local Authorities with the ability to manage fixed assets and locations, in the form of bus stops and train stations, and floating assets such as dockless bikes and e-Scooters. The data that is generated by the platform can be leveraged to ease traffic congestion, improve pedestrian safety and minimise street clutter created by floating assets.
Unicard Smart Mobility integrates directly with traditional ticketing and data sources such as ITSO smart card transactions. It’s a scalable and flexible platform applicable to all mobility assets, including buses, drones, private vehicles, dockless bikes and e-Scooters, and smart parking spaces.
Sean Dickinson, CEO of Unicard, explained: “The collaboration with Innovate UK has been very productive and we’re delighted to be driving this initiative. Unicard Smart Mobility is optimised to support Future Transport Zones, Local Authorities and commercial operators, as they expand their travel schemes. The platform will help to define a new, open UK industry standard for sharing micromobility data. This data has applications for end-users, but crucially it can be used by national government, regional and local authorities for information gathering, policy and planning purposes. It will help to facilitate the introduction of new modes of transport, measure their social, economic and environmental impact, and inform new legislation”.
Dr Ian Campbell, Innovate UK Executive Chair, said: “In these difficult times we have seen the best of British business innovation. The pandemic is not just a health emergency but one that impacts society and the economy”.
He added: “Unicard Smart Mobility, along with every initiative Innovate UK has supported through this fund, is an important step forward in driving sustainable economic development. Each one is also helping to realise the ambitions of hard-working people”.
Innovate UK drives productivity and economic growth by supporting businesses to develop and realise the potential of new ideas. It connects businesses to the partners, customers and investors that can help them turn ideas into commercially successful products and services and business growth.