Damascus Mile in Canterbury proposes shopping to be left in-store and delivered home later

The days of lugging around heavy bags of shopping in the high street could soon be over, say bosses behind innovative new proposals.

Their scheme would allow visitors to Canterbury to leave their purchases in-store – and have them delivered to their homes or hotels later.

The ‘You Shop, We Drop’ service will be free for customers – within a five-mile radius of the city centre – and participating shops during a trial period.

The goods would be delivered to homes across the district by a fleet of electric vans and bikes operating out of special hubs.

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Green delivery hub project could help cut pollution in Stratford-Upon-Avon

WORK has started on a project that could see the introduction of a green, last-mile delivery service in Stratford with the aim of cutting vehicle emissions.

If successful, delivery companies would stop at a hub on the outskirts of town to unload and goods would then be taken to homes and businesses by electric vehicles or possibly cargo bikes.

Entitled Project Damascus, the initial feasibility research, which is being funded by the government’s Geospatial Commission, will focus on consolidating the deliveries from 16 national companies.

The project is being led by the TravelSpirit Foundation and is supported by Stratford Climate Action and Stratford Town Council.

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Geospatial Commission awards project to TravelSpirit and Iconic Blockchain to explore net-zero carbon logistics solutions for Canterbury and Stratford Upon Avon.

With the Covid-19 pandemic accelerating a trend towards home-working and online shopping, in excess of 2.5 billion parcels were delivered across the UK over 2020. 25% of the UK population stating that they will now continue with their new online shopping behaviour, even when things return to normal.

Therefore, e-commerce and home deliveries are set to continue to grow beyond a current 30% share of total retail expenditure. At the same time, the customer experience of delivery services can be below our expectations, and not as convenient as we thought. Some are also debating whether online shopping is a ‘greener’ choice than driving to the shops.

For this reason, the UK Government Cabinet Office Geospatial Commission has funded a research study to understand the opportunity to create an integrated local mobility hub for parcel and food deliveries in market towns, such as Whitstable, Canterbury, Stratford-upon-Avon, Leighton Buzzard and Buxton.

A proposed hub for each town would be served by a fleet of electric vans and electrically powered bicycles designed for couriers (known as e-cargo bikes) and enable a more efficient system for organising the deliveries of goods to your home. This could include goods you have ordered online, by telephone, or in-store for home delivery.

In practice this would require national parcel carrier firms to drop off their parcels at the hub, for automatic sorting and assignment to local courier delivery schedules. It is hoped that home deliveries can be arranged in a way that generates less pollution, reduced traffic and improves the experience of consumers and suppliers alike.

To achieve this, TravelSpirit and Iconic Blockchain have combined forces, under ‘Damascus Mile’ to research both the technology and real-world impact opportunities for fusing blockchain and Galileo satellite technologies together to allow the parcels to be tracked and consolidated in a secure, transparent and auditable way.

Blockchain technology and its Smart Contract capabilities is already well- established as a promising solution for governments and the supply-chain; to enable shared business processes that require high levels of trust, transparency and accountability. This includes major government backed programs by the EU, US, India and China.

The Galileo program is Europe’s initiative for a state-of-the-art global satellite navigation system (GNSS), providing a highly accurate, guaranteed global positioning service under civilian control and the first to offer authenticated navigation messages to all civilian users in the world. The program also provides higher levels of accuracy and authentication for commercial applications.

To research and validate the business and operational model for the local hub and deliveries, Stratford-upon-Avon Town Council and Canterbury City Council have lent their support to act as case-studies for the research, as part of their wider agenda’s to develop net-zero carbon plans.

Janet Godsell, Professor of Operations and Supply Chain Strategy at WMG University of Warwick is providing expert advice to the project. She said “This is an important piece of research. It has strong alignment with the government’s Green Industrial Revolution strategy and could have a widespread positive impact on many UK towns outside the larger metropolitan cities.”

Stratford and Canterbury will also be the focus of our ‘user research’, to better understand the needs and service value propositions for residents and businesses receiving the parcels, local courier drivers and retailers offering a home delivery option to their customers.

The role of E-Bikes for the Recovery from Stroke – Whitepaper 9

New and innovative approaches are needed to overcome the barriers to engaging people in physical and leisure activity after stroke. Outdoor cycling, including the use of adapted or electric bicycles, may be one approach. However, perceptions of stroke survivors on this topic have not yet been explored.

To explore a sample of stroke survivors’ perspectives, who expressed an interest in cycling, about cycling and the use of electric bicycles, data was collected from 21 stroke survivors, seven of whom were current cyclists. 

Our Whitepaper, authored by the University of Central Lancashire, and in full support of the work of our community member, Disability Cycling Charity EMpowered people, concludes that outdoor cycling may be a worthwhile approach to increasing physical and leisure activity after stroke. However, barriers still exist and need to be addressed to provide inclusive opportunities for adapted and electric cycling for stroke survivors.

EMpowered people is a registered charity and a member of the TravelSpirit community. Their aim is to enable all adults with disabilities, from all backgrounds, to improve their health and wellbeing through cycling.

This Whitepaper is the outcome of an Industrial Call for Collaborative Research, initiated by TravelSpirit’s Electric Bike Research Executive (EBRE), via the National Institute for Health Research Clinical Research Infrastructure (NOCRI).

Download Whitepaper 9

Read more about the Electric Bike Research Executive (EBRE)  

ITS America partner with TravelSpirit to drive discussion about Data Sharing in US Cities

ITS America have partnered with the TravelSpirit Foundation on an event in Los Angeles, as a joint action to both promote the MOD Alliance program and to further embed the principles of openness, in particular data-sharing, into city mobility eco-systems.

Cities, regions and states use mobility data to manage their transportation system to reduce congestion, improve mobility, and enable greater accessibility to mobility choices. Private mobility and transportation information providers rely on data to provide services to their customers, power fleets and continue to grow the mobility marketplace.

The influx of new mobility on demand choices have resulted in large amounts of data being generated, some of which has begun to flow between the private companies and cities/regions/states.

The event has been designed to drive a larger discussion on data sharing in all forms of Mobility on Demand, including micro-transit, micro-mobility and city-wide data systems.

Featuring a series of keynote speakers including Laura Bliss from Citylab, Seleta Reynolds from LA DOT and Jascha Franklin-Hodge from Open Mobility Foundation, policy discussions and Data Demonstration Talks, these interactive sessions will build on takeaways from the previous ITS America Data Series and TravelSpirit Conference and Community Design Workshop events, to discuss road forward with the public and private sector as we prepare for the new scale of data sharing, access and utilization.

To attend please register at the MOD Alliance website.

An Open Future for Cities – Whitepaper 8

Preparing cities for the necessary transformation and organisational changes needed for an open future

In the midst of the uncertainty surrounding Brexit, the UK’s TravelSpirit Foundation Executive team organised an Open Mobility Conference in Brussels, April 2019, to spearhead long overdue public and corporate policy developments for a new open paradigm for city transportation.

As a follow-up action to the conference, this white paper establishes TravelSpirit’s global position around openness in mobility, and the impact this could have on shaping the new mobility frontier.

In this paper, we place emphasis on drawing upon voices from diverse aspects of our city transport ecosystem, with the key purpose of encouraging further debate, and a call to action for building an open eco-system, open protocols and developing a global strategy for openness in cities.

Download Whitepaper 8

Read our online case studies on Open Mobility

Open mobility – without cooperation we’re going nowhere fast

After the Open Mobility Conference TravelSpirit publishes city and industry case studies to facilitate open collaborative mobility.

Use the link below or #Open Mobility to navigate the case studies.

Why publish these now?

Technology already exists to make it possible for people to have a single transport account enabling them to use the train, hire an e-scooter, access a self-driving pod, book travel insurance and take a flight. However, the reality is that we’re not seeing this happening on any kind of scale in the world today.

Last month, TravelSpirit and MaaS Alliance hosted a conference on Open Mobility at KANAL, a former Citroën car factory turned art gallery, in a regeneration zone of Brussels. It was an exciting event that brought together diverse voices in the mobility sphere – from Amsterdam City Authorities to International Air Transport Association, IATA, investment fund SGInnovate, and Porsche. But the simple message was that whilst technology exists that can enable a truly simple, open and seamless multi-modal transport – the mobility as a service that could replace the personal car – it will only reach its potential if the industry becomes much more open and collaborative.

TravelSpirit believes that business models will need to become much more collaborative – with a diverse mix of operators including automakers, bus companies, taxis, bike share and trains working more closely with cities so that the best use of our streets is determined by the public interest, not the most aggressive business model or the one with the deepest pockets.

“Currently we are seeing that, at one end of the spectrum, some companies are calling for new thinking from policy makers and corporate leaders  – with businesses like Europcar looking forward to a completely open transport system, or “mobility as a service” bringing economic benefits to cities in a sustainable way. Whilst at the other, some companies work in silos, annexing their part of people’s journeys or attempting to keep them within their service group for multimodal trips.” According to TravelSpirit Chairman, Simon Herko.

“At the broadest level, we have been debating how to restructure the entire transport industry, to become a lot more “open” in its approach to satisfying growing consumer expectations for transport options that are more flexible, easy to consume and that can be bundled into a single customer offer or subscription-based service. 

This involves traditional transport companies being prepared to open-up to competition and accept they don’t own the complete customer journey and/or travel requirements of a customer over the course of a year. It also requires industry silos such as airline, public transport, tech platforms, to better interface and collaborate with each other for the benefit of the customer. 

This is a controversial stand-point, given the context of existing automotive firms and public transport companies feeling threatened by the new tech-platforms (aka Uber, Mobike, Google etc etc) and the implied “winner takes all” race that is being foreseen as we move into an autonomous vehicle future.”

At TravelSpirit, we believe that we need to reconfigure the transport space. An ‘if it uses public roads (and rails) it should be open’ attitude would go some way to developing open mobility. But cities too need to be able to see how the roads (and often rails) they build and maintain are used. Mobility providers need to share usage data with cities in return for public authorities to be sure that the infrastructure they provide is being used efficiently and beneficially.

It’s a drawn out process, with many stages and patchy adoption. The important lesson is that cities, public authorities, private innovators and transport operators all need to share their experience. This is a complex transition which will require collaboration and negotiation. The more information and case studies we have to inform the debate the better.

Case studies from the Open Mobility Conference here:

Cities for Open Mobility: Singapore – investment and innovation

Cities for Open Mobility: Antwerp – the open ecosystem

Cities for Open Mobility: London – open live transport data

Cities for Open Mobility: Los Angeles – data for access and the MDS

Cities for Open Mobility: Helsinki – the open data law

Standards for Open Mobility: New Distribution Capability

Standards for Open Mobility: Minimum Interoperability Mechanisms

Companies for Open Mobility: Europcar

Companies for Open Mobility: Skedgo

Companies for Open Mobility: Tranzer

Call for innovators: €25,000 Open Challenge to transform the Digital Customer Experience in Rail

TravelSpirit invites you, in collaboration with public transport giant, Deutsche Bahn, and Crowd-Teaming platform, Ekipa to shape the future of mobility through an open team challenge, with a prize of €25,000 and collaboration with Deutsche Bahn to propel your new start-up forwards and upwards!

Deutsche Bahn is looking for ideas and solutions on how to make the Customer Journey more efficient and better for rail travellers through technical innovations and especially AI.

The best participants will not only be rewarded with €25,000 per winning team but will also be given the opportunity to test their own solution in a three-month test run in direct cooperation with Deutsche Bahn and to set up their own Start-up.

Click through to here to learn more and take part!

about Ekipa
Companies and organizations need new approaches and ways of thinking in order to stay in touch with the times in the digital world. Direct input from the new “digital generation” makes it possible to meet the economic and social challenges of the (digital) future.

We create platforms that connect the digital generation and the economy. We tap untapped potential and create added value for companies, universities and the digital generation.

We empower people to become effective solution providers to master complex challenges in heterogenous teams.

We are reaching out to the digital generation to provide them the opportunity, as students, graduates or founders, to directly experience real problems and positively contribute to solving them.

With the involvement of young people who have too few opportunities to get involved in socially or economically relevant topics, we create the conditions for new thinking. That way, together we can take the right steps into the future.
This special invitation to the TravelSpirit community has been enabled through the affiliation of Epika with TravelSpirit Foundation. If you want to find out more about becoming a TravelSpirit Affiliate, click here!

TravelSpirit champions open transportation protocols for Europe

In launching TravelSpirit Europe – which will include the UK, Switzerland and other non-EU countries – TravelSpirit Foundation is calling for a new approach to the strategic interplay between transport and technology that focuses on achieving system interoperability, data portability and seamless outcomes for people and goods on the move.

With support from industry, including our strategic partnership with Europe’s Mobility as a Service (MaaS) Alliance, TravelSpirit Europe will curate an open ecosystem of cities, disruptive thinkers, tech firms and transport operators – drawn from all transport sectors.

James Gleave, Executive Director of TravelSpirit Foundation

It will act as an investment and common infrastructure platform to develop the necessary open protocols and encourage open technology development by its ecosystem, to common MaaS industry standards . This will ensure seamless handover across borders and across various modes – including automotive, airlines, public transport and sharing economy / new mobility services.

In this way, the strategic goal of TravelSpirit Europe will be to enable the faster scaling up of innovative service solutions – many of which emerging from European start-up hotspots in Helsinki, Barcelona, London, Amsterdam, Paris and Berlin – for enabling more efficient cross border movements and trade.

Stefano Mainero, Regional Chair of TravelSpirit Europe

TravelSpirit Europe will formally launch on 11th April 2019, in Brussels at Open Mobility Conference 2019 – the world’s first open ecosystem development event for the future of mobility. This event is being supported by a range of organisations, including the International Air Transport Association (IATA), SGInnovate (Singapore), Autonomy & the Urban Mobility Summit, the City of Antwerp and Europcar Mobility Group.

Cross border movements will be a theme for one of our workshop sessions, co-facilitated by Iconic Blockchain CTO and Global Chair of TravelSpirit Foundation, Simon Herko (aka Si Ho) and Chairman of the Share & Charge Foundation, Dietrich Sümmermann.

Open Mobility Conference 2019

TravelSpirit Foundation and the MaaS Alliance announce Open Mobility Conference 2019

New Brussels conference will examine how to build an open ecosystem of mobility and lay the foundations for seamless Mobility as a Service (MaaS)…join us for our unique day event on 11th April 2019.

Click here for Full Programme Agenda

Use our routeRANK widget to find the best public transport option to the event!

  • How can we create new mobility services that can be easily deployed, scaled and integrated seamlessly with existing provision?
  • What does an open ecosystem and Internet of Mobility look like and what opportunities does it create?
  • Why is openness so important?
These are the questions on the table at the Open Mobility Conference 2019. This one day conference, in Brussels on 11th April, will bring together innovators, disruptive thinkers, transport authorities, mobility operators, technology providers and infrastructure developers in a unique co-creative environment to start building answers these questions.

Continue reading “Open Mobility Conference 2019”