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Bristol technology company, Esoterix Systems, has launched an Innovate UK funded project to develop a new transport service. Project partners include Bristol City Council, University of the West of England, Transport Systems Catapult, and First.
The Mobility on Demand Laboratory Environment (MODLE) will develop, test and refine a service that combines the convenience of point-to-point journeys with the environmental and cost benefits of shared use. Think of it as a taxi-bus, intelligently routed by real-time and predicted demand.
Key features of MODLE are that it will explore innovative business models to keep the cost of the service down and that it will integrate with existing public transport to make it easier to get from A to B sustainably.
“There is a lot of clever stuff behind the service to make it efficient but from the point of view of passengers it will simply collect them from near where they are and take them to where they want to go quickly, reliably and – crucially – at an everyday price” says founder David Stewart.
“There’s no benefit to passengers in duplicating existing public transport provision,” says David, “our aim is to provide connections to scheduled rail or bus services as well as transport for journeys which are not well served by traditional public transport.” To do this, the project draws on the knowledge and expertise of its partners First Bus, University of the West of England, Transport Systems Catapult, Bristol City Council and South Gloucestershire County Council.
Professor Graham Parkhurst (UWE Bristol) emphasised the importance of the trial, noting that “Recent years have seen a rise in the development of ‘smarter’ mobility solutions which draw upon information-communication technologies to provide more personalised and flexible transport services. However, not all these new services are integrated in the existing transport market. MODLE’s innovative ‘business model’, applied in a way to support existing public transport services, holds the promise of not only providing a better service to travellers but also promoting more sustainable mobility”.
The project will start delivering commuter services in the notoriously traffic-troubled North Fringe of the city in early 2017, with expansion to other areas in Bristol later in the year.
If readers working in the North Fringe area are interested in being updated about the service they can email firstname.lastname@example.org
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Notes to Editors
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.
For more information see esoterix.co.uk
Or contact Liz Davidson 07977247362
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
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
About 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
Bristol City Council
Project to develop personalised and shared transport service gets underway