Today Open Transport Initiative Founder Hayden Sutherland and Paul Coster, co-founder and CEO of Modal, presented at “Geospatial Data in Transport: A Snapshot of Innovative Projects”. This virtual event showcased innovative projects that were funded through the ‘SBRI: Using Geospatial Data to Solve Transport Challenges Phase 1’ competition. This was the culmination of a £2m fund from the Geospatial Commission, in partnership with Innovate UK, is to support the future of mobility for the UK.
The project we were involved in was a three-month feasibility study, based around the theme of “Enabling Mobility as a Service (MaaS)”, and focused on increasing the number of people that will use MaaS through real-time journey detection and Open Standards.
Here’s what Hayden said:
The Open Transport Initiative has previously worked with a significant number of different transport providers, authorities, MaaS Platforms and software vendors to create the first and only Open Standard API specification for transport & mobility account interoperability.
Based on the same principles as Open Banking, mobility data that is owned by the customer can now be shared across multiple accounts with their permission
(AKA UK Gov “smart data”)
Our standard enables the sharing of purchase data (e.g. tickets), usage (e.g. journeys made) and concessions (e.g. discounts & vouchers) – across any mode of transport – including bus, rail, ferry, taxi, air, parking and micro-mobility.
This project with Modal was the first real-world use of our API specification.
Our joint work on this challenge proved the standard. It also identified an opportunity to update our specification. Leading to a backward compatible change that now allows the richer & more useful exchange of UK Rail ticket data e.g. for better journey detection.
The Open Transport Initiative is now looking forward to the next phase of this challenge. And just today it was announced that up to £4m has been secured to enable the most promising phase 1 projects to progress development & trial solutions.