UWE service

Map of the initial UWE service zone
Initial UWE service zone

As part of the MODLE project, Esoterix is launching a new service for UWE staff serving the Stokes and Parkway and Frenchay campus. The initial service area is the area shaded in blue.

The service will be available to all UWE staff and particularly beneficial to those living within the service zone and travelling into the area by train. It is due to launch mid August.

To find out more or be kept updated on developments of the service, please contact liz.davidson@esoterix.co.uk

Providing mobility to Venturefest

IMG_0367VFFuture Space, the new innovation centre at UWE hosted Venturefest Bristol and Bath earlier this month. The theme for the event was Smart City Technology: Challenges and Opportunities and Esoterix were pleased to support the event with transport to and from Parkway Station and the UWE bus hub.

We could tell you how well it went, but we’ll let Jen Jackson, from event organisers Invest in Bristol and Bath, tell you instead:

“Esoterix were key to making our Venturefest launch event such a success. Transport and parking are common concerns for events, particularly in North Bristol.

We wanted to hold the event at Future Space, UWE as it’s a great venue for a large event with its modern hub area, and whilst they offered us a good number of parking spaces, this was still only available for half the number of delegates.

Esoterix were able to offer a solution, by providing their dynamic bus service which we offered to delegates from Bristol Parkway to UWE. The service proved really popular and was a great sustainable alternative to bringing the car.

It also fitted with the theme of our event – Smart Cities; Esoterix are a great example of using smart technology to improve the city for Bristol residents.”

If you’re organising an event and would like to explore how this service could support sustainable travel for your delegates, please get in touch

Virtual simulation will vigorously test new mobility services before putting vehicles on the road


As part of the Mobility on Demand Laboratory Environment (MODLE) project, Transport Systems Catapult, University of the West of England (UWE Bristol) and Esoterix Systems are developing a micro-simulation platform. The MODLE Simulation Platform gives new, dynamic insight into where people are moving to, from, how and why at a much finer granularity than previous transport modelling systems.

Traffic congestion and related air pollution cause 10,000s of premature deaths and cost billions of pounds every year in the UK alone. However, car use will only go down if alternative options are good enough. The MODLE Simulation Platform uses technology to find and test new services taking some of the risk out of new service implementation.

“The agent based approach is what makes this project exciting” says Kristoff van Leeuwen of the Transport Systems Catapult. “This simulation can drill down to an agent’s movements whereas most similar modelling is at the macro-level”.

The simulation is populated with ‘agents’ which can be thought of as personae generated from various data sources (mobile network, Census and employee postcode data) rather than actual people. The data is anonymised to protect privacy but gives an accurate overall picture of movement around the city.

“The MODLE Simulation Platform is more than a moving picture,” says David Stewart, Esoterix CEO, “it’s a virtual test bed. The agents respond to new options. So the platform first finds pockets of demand that can be met by sustainable transport services and then tests proposed services against other ways of making the same journey. Would new services be sufficiently quick, convenient and cheap to challenge car use?”

The agents are informed by a human behaviour model calibrated by the Centre for Transport and Society (UWE Bristol) .  “We know people choose different transport options for a range of reasons. We look forward to better understanding how people weight those choices and using that behaviour to calibrate the MODLE Simulation Platform,” says Professor John Parkin of UWE Bristol, “Being able to virtually test proposed routes against consumer preferences will help operators develop and offer sustainable services people want.”

A short video about the MODLE Simulation Platform is available here [https://youtu.be/Cllu7mhQ7h0]

The simulation is being developed as part of the MODLE project in Bristol but the platform is transferrable to other cities. To find out more, please contact liz.davidson[at]esoterix.co.uk

###ENDS ###

Notes to Editors

MODLE – Mobility on Demand Laboratory Environment

MODLE is a project led by Esoterix Systems with partners Bristol City Council, First Bus, Transport Systems Catapult, and University of the West of England. It is supported by Innovate UK.

Esoterix Systems

Esoterix Systems is a Bristol based technology start-up working in intelligent mobility. The Mobility on Demand Laboratory Environment builds on previous Innovate UK funded projects including proof on concept and feasibility studies.

Innovate UK

Innovate UK is the new name for the Technology Strategy Board – the UK’s innovation agency. Taking a new idea to market is a challenge. Innovate UK funds, supports and connects innovative businesses through a unique mix of people and programmes to accelerate sustainable economic growth. For further information, visit www.innovateuk.org

Bristol City Council

First Bus

University of West of England – Centre for Transport and Society

The Centre for Transport & Society (CTS) specialises in research and knowledge exchange on travel behaviour, transport policy analysis and technological change in the transport sector. CTS’s contribution to the MODLE project draws upon several of our activity themes:

  • How society and the motor vehicle coevolve
  • Travellers’ experiences of the travel environment
  • Understanding the barriers to more inclusive, lower-carbon, active travel
  • Supporting and evaluating sustainable mobility strategies
  • ‘Smart Mobility’: how information-communication technologies interact with transport systems.

During the project CTS will assist with: understanding the demand for MODLE in different market niches; evaluating the services offered in terms of their transport sector impacts and the experiences of users; sharing the experiences of the trials and enabling adoption in other relevant locations beyond Bristol.

Transport Systems Catapult

The Transport Systems Catapult is the UK’s technology and innovation centre for Intelligent Mobility, harnessing emerging technologies to improve the movement of people and goods around the world. We are here to support business growth, increase the UK’s share of the global Intelligent Mobility market, and attract investment – creating jobs and generating long-term economic growth.

We will help sell UK capability on the global stage, while also promoting the UK as a superb test bed for the transportation industry. With a clear emphasis on collaboration, we are bringing together diverse organisations across different modes of transport, breaking down barriers and providing a unique platform for meeting the world’s most pressing transport challenges.

The Transport Systems Catapult is one of an elite network of not-for-profit technology and innovation centres established and overseen by the UK’s innovation agency, Innovate UK. All Catapults obtain their funds from a combination of core Innovate UK support and competitively won business and public sector funding. In addition, the Transport Systems Catapult is receiving substantial funding from the UK’s Department for Transport.

For more information, please visit www.ts.catapult.org.uk


Benchmarking Total Transport Solutions

Point the way to success. businessman concept
Making it easier for local authorities to identify the best total transport solution for their needs

ESOTERIX has secured funding from the Department of Transport to ‘Benchmark Total Transport’! 

Total transport, the idea of taking an integrated approach to the provision of multiple transport services by a local authority, has become a bit of a buzz phrase in recent years. The idea is to identify new and better ways to deliver joined-up local transport, remove duplication and save public money.

The Department for Transport (DfT)’s Total Transport Pilot Fund is providing £7.6m of funding to 37 local authority schemes to do this.

Schemes typically look to integrate transport for schools, Special Educational Needs, adult social care and non-emergency patient care with public demand responsive transport services, but there is currently no objective assessment of how well the integrated demand is routed and scheduled for delivery.

This matters because the success of schemes in delivering cost savings and other benefits depend on the performance of the routing and scheduling component.

Customers like to use some form of benchmarking when procuring products or services. But Total Transport solutions are difficult to benchmark during a procurement cycle since the integration has not yet happened and there is no data to work with.

Esoterix has secured funding from the Department of Transport’s T-TRIG competition to create a benchmark suite which covers a wide range of total transport scenarios. Local authorities will be able to choose the scenarios most relevant to their requirement and benchmark the performance of suppliers’ solutions against them.

By using the Total Transport Benchmark suite local authorities will be able to compare supplier solutions against scenarios matching their policy priorities and geographies.

There’s an adage that ‘what’s measured improves’ – and we’re excited to move forward with this project to ensure publicly funded total transport schemes have measurable benefits from the outset.