Smart Cambridge awards travel app contract to Cambridge firm

Building Intellect Ltd beat stiff competition to be awarded the contract to build a new journey planning app, funded by the Greater Cambridge City Deal.

Due to be launched in spring 2017, the mobile app will be free to download. It will use real time local information to suggest optimum travel itineraries for travellers – combining walking, cycling, bus, train and car travel.

As the Smart Cambridge programme continues to develop it will also have the potential to provide additional useful information such as how full the buses are, car-parking availability and weather conditions, together with a carbon counter to show the environmental impact of their journey.

This work forms part of the City Deal’s Smart Cambridge programme, which is working with academic and business partners on a range of cutting edge ‘Smart City’ projects to address City challenges transport, congestion and air quality challenges.

The City Deal Assembly and Executive Board will hear more about Smart Cambridge progress at their next meetings on November 3rd and 10th, with papers published on Thursday 27th October.

Vice Chair of the Board, South Cambs District Cllr Francis Burkitt, champions a technological revolution in the city commute:

“The Smart Cambridge programme is a key element in the Greater Cambridge City Deal’s integrated plan to invest in transport infrastructure to support future economic growth,” he said.

“The app will help keep people moving, make journeys in the city less of a headache and, importantly, encourage more people to use sustainable travel – that is public transport, cycling and walking trips – which is key if we are to continue to grow and prosper.

“I’m a big fan of Smart Cambridge and in innovations such as this to bring about a step change in the Cambridge commuter experience.”

Building Intellect Ltd, based in Charles Babbage Road on the West Cambridge site, was selected as a leading business in the field, having successfully researched and developed a leading edge MotionMap system for Milton Keynes’ Smart Programme, which is attracting interest from other smart cities.

In an open and competitive tender process, the company held off bids from other well-known technology companies for the £65,000 contract.

Ernst Kretschmann, Chief Operating Officer for Building Intellect and technical lead for the project, said: “We are very pleased to have been awarded this contract by the City Deal, which builds on our expertise in developing mobile travel apps for other smart cities. Travelling becomes an automatic and habitual process, and travellers are often unaware of alternative means of getting from A to B. The provision of better information about likely costs and travel times has the potential to encourage travellers to explore alternative times and modes of transport.”

The City Deal’s Smart Cambridge team is also collaborating with the University of Cambridge and a wide range of technology businesses to develop a smart city management platform taking real-time and static data from around the city to create Smart City solutions.

Find out more here.

At the same meeting, the City Deal Joint Assembly (3 November) and Executive Board (10 November) will also consider the following reports:
• Recommendation to move to construction of the Chisholm Trail cycleway, subject to planning approval
• Request from the Greater Cambridge Greater Peterborough Local Enterprise Partnership for further investment in the Signpost2skills programme which brings employers, training and education providers together in the Greater Cambridge area to develop a workforce for the future.
• An update on progress from the recently formed Housing Delivery Agency.

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