Young Scots and smart tech provide integrated mobility service to revolutionise travel
Posted on 13/08/2018
KTN’s Complex Systems team has worked with a wide range of companies to help them combine systems and signpost them to Innovate UK funding. Some of the most notable examples have been highlighted in a series of case studies which will be published over the next ten days.
Complex Systems covers the key application areas of space, robotics and autonomous systems, data analytics and defence and security, with a focus on engineering best practice for systems, intelligent applications and large-scale infrastructure. KTN’s interests are in the scalability, adaptability, resilience and security of these systems.
Pick&Mix project team deliver NaviGoGo service, integrating transport options to enable seamless, end-to end journeys which outshine the car.
The Pick&Mix project team is a consortium of six organisations that have come together to create a Mobility as a Service (MaaS) platform for 16 to 25-year olds. The project team combines the expertise and insight from professional designers, user experience experts, technology services companies, behavioural experts and the public sector, alongside a team of young co-designers specifically recruited for the project from the 670,000 members of Young Scot, the Scottish youth information and citizenship charity.
The group of 14 young volunteers, recruited by Young Scot, formed the project’s ‘National Youth Team’ to collaboratively design the new service and report back to the consortium, before a further 98 young people set out to participate in a live 6-month trial of the service. The project started in June 2016, and will be complete by May 2018, having successfully designed and developed the new NaviGoGo service, which allows young people to plan, pay for and travel on trains, taxis, buses and bikes.
The consortium is led by ESP Group, a world leading transport and mobility services company who provided the smart ticketing, account fulfilment, and multi-channel customer support elements of the service. ESP Group,alongside Mudlark, National Entitlement Card (NEC), Route Monkey, SYSTRA and Young Scotreceived vital funding for the project from Innovate UK’s ‘Enhancing End-to-End Journeys’ competition to develop Scotland’s first MaaS platform.
The project hasn’t been without its challenges. Some of the transport operators in the trial area, although keen to be part of the trial, had difficulties integrating fully with the NaviGoGo service within the project timeframe. The operators in the trial area do accept a locally developed smart day ticket product called ABC ticket. However, the technical architecture for the ABC ticket would have needed to change to enable a third party (NaviGoGo) to retail and load the ABC tickets. This was not possible within the timeframe of the Pick&Mix project.
One of the great features recommended by the co-designers is the way all information served is specific to the user’s account profile. This means that the WebApp’s journey planner automatically only shows the prices that the user is eligible for by reflecting their concessions, such as railcard discounts, and age related ticket types.However, this feature flagged up one of the main project issues during the build phase associated with lack of standardisation and availability of pricing and infrastructure location data within the trial area. Sometimes even bus stop locations and names had changed or were inconsistent with other data sources, which made it difficult to reconcile map routes and prices from source to another.
A bright future for Maas
The 24-month project, finishing in May 2018, saw the start of 6 month user trials in October 2017 with 98 young people. The trials took place in Scotland and involved 98 young people in Dundee and Fife from a diverse demographic mix to ensure the outcomes were representative of all potential users. Dr Steve Cassidy, Director of ESP Group, said:
“Since the trial started in October it has been a great success and has seen our first group of young people benefit from its services. The trial marks a turning point for the transport industry: placing the young person at the heart of the project which was co-designed with 16 to 25-year olds. It is a revolutionary one-stop-shop for a young person’s travel needs.”
Logan, a 16-year old who has been trialling the app said:
“It’s been really exciting to be one of the first people in Scotland to try NaviGoGo out and I’m really looking forward to seeing and using the NaviGoGo bikes in Dundee.”
From a market perspective, a convenient MaaS platform that enables young people to use and combine travel modes and transport services to meet their lifestyle needs has undisputed value to this audience. It enables the user to plan journeys quickly and easily from their own phones or other internet devices, and find the best and cheapest routes and travel offers/discounts available to them, helping them to save money. It is designed to encourage young people to use public and shared modes of transport more and more as the service is continually improved instead of relying on, or purchasing acar and will therefore have a positive impact on the environment due to less congestion and pollution. Connected, shared transport will also mean safer travel as fewer vehicles on the road will inevitably mean less accidents.
For the suppliers and transport service providers, it represents excellent return on investment and a new, rich channel into the 16-25 year old market, as the available options become more visible through the app, and as more young people join the service. MaaS has the potential to transform existing, disjointed transport networks into a system whereby users can access a tailored bundle of transport modes and services via a single platform, using a single method of payment.
David Smith, Pick&Mix’s project manager says:
“This project has been a great success that has produced a one-stop-shop service for the traveller, tailored to their own needs and circumstances. The trial has given us a great body of evidence that will enable us to build on successful foundations and bring the app and service to market on a larger scale. The potential impacts of a full scale service will be modelled, and the opportunities for the 16 to 25 market to become the catalyst for Mobility as a Service in the UK is being explored.”
Together, the project partners and team of young co-designers have designed, built, prototyped, tested and refined the solution all thanks to the funding injection provided by Innovate UK. It’s a service created by young people for young people to ensure that it’s fulfilling real user needs and has real market potential to be rolled out across the UK.