Zipabout are an Oxford-based tech start-up who have just announced plans to give away their smart city technology. It will be given to all local authorities in the country, which will turn British cities into intelligent transport hubs. Zipabout are doing this to allow the public sector to utilise this new technology and consequently deal with overstretched budgets and address the air quality.
The Zipabout Transport Graph was developed and trialled in Oxfordshire. It is essentially a large data and communications platform which will incorporate dock-less bikes, Park&Ride and lift shares into the existing public transport network. It makes use of innovative demand mapping technology and data technology pioneered by Facebook. Passenger demand is then matched up to the supply and it all happens in real-time.
The great thing is that there is no capital investment required, yet it operates on one platform, bringing together all the local and national mobility-as-a-service programmes. This cutting-edge technology will even support autonomous vehicles and community transport schemes.
Zipabout utilises the Amazon Web Services cloud infrastructure and was originally developed using technology developed for the online advertising sector. It will be the only platform to communicate with transport users in real-time, delivering bespoke information using any channel. It will allow local authorities to use social media and other channels that use direct messages to engage with those using transport in their area.
Air quality and traffic congestion are addressed by local authorities by aggregating data from various sources. The platform will monitor and predict pollution levels and disruptions and offer motorists, pedestrians and cyclists a tailor-made routing alternative.
Oxfordshire County Council worked alongside Zipabout on a trial of the platform across Oxfordshire and it was found to be successful. Zipabout is going to be rolled out and made available to any local authority in the UK in early 2018. It is being offered for free to these local authorities which is being touted as a breakthrough for public sector smart city planning, giving councils the chance to deliver smart city programmes without spending vitally important public funds.
Daniel Chick, Zipabout’s Technical Director, said of the launch: “By making this unique and powerful platform available to local authorities free of charge, we are helping to ensure that they can provide sustainable transport and other smart city initiatives that can compete on a technical level with the likes of Uber, CityMapper and other global technology giants. We are helping to ensure that these services are delivered in an integrated fashion, and for the benefit of their constituents, not a tech giant’s shareholders.”
Llewelyn Morgan, Service Manager Infrastructure, Innovation and Development at Oxfordshire County Council, commented: “We have been working with Zipabout to develop new ways to inform customers about travel options and planning in Oxfordshire, and it is clear that they have created a platform which truly looks to future behaviour and market demands. Through layering of multiple data sets from operators and traffic to social media and consumer data, the platform enables a real personalised experience that enables us to work with partners to better manage the transport network. This user-focussed platform also provides a base for Oxfordshire to support development of a mobility-as-a-service offer, as it covers off many of the tricky data integration issues we have experienced in the past.”
Zipabout will be available on the Amazon Marketplace from early 2018. For more information, visit www.transportgraph.co.uk.