Smart Journey Planning

What is real time information?

Each bus is fitted with a tracking device in order for the Real Time Passenger Information system to know where it is.

The system calculates how long it will take to arrive at each of the stops along the bus’s route.

Using mobile phone technology, the system then communicates the bus information to a display at the bus stop.

MotionMap Travel App

Where can I get the app?

The app can be downloaded FREE from both the iOS/Apple or Android app stores by searching for MotionMap (one word)

Does it only show buses?

Unlike bus-specific apps, the MotionMap app shows different modes of transport including buses and trains, cycling and walking.

It also has a carbon counter to show CO2 emissions.

Does it work everywhere?

The app has been developed as a journey planner for Cambridge and surrounding areas, however some of the data, such as bus times, is available more widely.

Can I plan a journey for tomorrow or another day?

Yes you can. The app will still inform you of the upcoming options for reaching your destination.

You can save your ‘home’ and ‘work’ locations as a quick way to find the best route when you are ready to travel.

Is it in real time?

Where possible, real time bus times are used to give accurate predictions of arrival times.

The display will revert to the scheduled timetable when this information is not available.

The displayed information is shown as either the real time predicted arrival time, with the number of minutes counting down until it is ‘due’, or the scheduled time, eg. ’11:06′ which then disappears as it assumes the bus is running on time.

Will it tell me if the bus or train is delayed?

The real-time data shows when buses are delayed and how many minutes, however the train times are the scheduled timetable.

As the system can track each bus location exactly, it can tell whether the bus is running on time, early or late.

This information is then displayed on the screen at the bus stop. It also gives the operator chance to make dynamic changes to the bus whilst on route.

Will it show me the quickest route?

Yes, it will give a range of options using real time data to predict the fastest route, and if it is quicker to walk or cycle.

Do I need to know the bus stop nearest my destination?

No. The app will show you the nearest bus stop when you put in the address or postcode or you can use an address or generic name such as ‘Science Park’ and app will find it.

It will also tell you if the bus stop is on the same side of the road or opposite. 

Why does it show CO2 emissions?

The carbon counter shows the environmental impact of the journey and is designed to encourage people to use more sustainable transport.

How can I give feedback?

We welcome feedback to refine and improve the app via the Feedback page under Settings on the app. To navigate to this, go back to the MotionMap ‘home’ screen.

On the top left you will see a blue circle with three horizontal white lines. Click on this and then select “User Questionnaire”

Digital Wayfinding Screens

Where can I see the screens?

A digital wayfinding screens has been trialled at Cambridge railway station in Station Place.

A wayfinding screen was incorporated into a ticket machine at Trumpington Park and Ride during summer 2018.

What are the screens for?

The digital wayfinding screens are intended to provide useful information to commuters and visitors to find the best route to their destinations, plus other useful information about the city.

At Cambridge railway station, staff are sometimes able to help visitors, but they are often very busy and cannot be available all of the time.

We have installed the screens in response to feedback that better signposting around the city is needed for people arriving in Cambridge by bus or train, and to encourage people to make sustainable transport choices.

Why do we need the screens given that people have mobile phones?

Many people will find the information they require from a mobile phone but not everyone.

For some users, the screens will provide easily visible information about buses and tailored information about Cambridge all in one place without having to hunt for it. The large screens are easier for some people to navigate than a phone.

For foreign visitors worried about data roaming charges, there is no cost to using the screens.

The screens also work hand in hand with mobile phones since users can download maps, using QR codes.

Will you put the screens in other places?

During the trial, we will improve the content of the screens in response to feedback received and observe how the screens are used.

We will then decide whether the screens are an effective way of providing information to travellers and this will determine whether more screens are installed in the city.

How can I feedback my suggestions for improving the new digital wayfinding screens?

We are keen to hear your feedback to help us to refine and improve the information provided.

You can submit your feedback using the touchscreen or email smart.cambridge@cambridgeshire.gov.uk.

I can see the bus information at the bus stop so why do we need this screen?

Visitors arriving at Cambridge Station may not know where the buses go or where to catch them from, so the screen will help them find the right bus and bus stop – they can then use the bus times information at the bus stop itself.

If you notice that any bus information is wrong, please email us via Smart.Cambridge@cambridgeshire.gov.uk advising of the time and date, your location and the problem itself. We will then investigate.

Unfortunately, problems do occur with respect to the availability of real time bus information, and we will try to get our suppliers to resolve these problems wherever possible.

Autonomous Shuttle Trial 2021

What is an autonomous shuttle?

An autonomous shuttle (also known as a self-driving or driverless vehicle), is a vehicle that uses a range of sensors to understand its surroundings – allowing it to move around safely with little or no operator input. For our trial there will always be a safety operator onboard.

Who organised the Autonomous Shuttle Trial in 2021?

The 2021 autonomous shuttle trial was a collaboration between Connecting Cambridgshire’s Smart team, the Greater Cambridge Partnership, and Coventry-based engineering firm Aurrigo Driverless Technology who designed and built the shuttles.

Where and when did the trial take place?

Shuttles were trialled on the University of Cambridge West Cambridge site, off Madingley Road, from April 2021 until the end of June 2021.

Who went on board?

Engineering trials happened first – which involved mapping the route.

When the route was fully mapped, interested passengers were invited to book a place on board via an Eventbrite booking page.

How was this trial funded?

The total project budget was £3.2m and was funded by a £2.45m grant from InnovateUK and £0.75m of investment from Aurrigo.

How were the shuttles powered?

The shuttles were fully electric and had a range of 100 miles. The vehicles were charged at the end of each day.

How fast did they go?

The shuttles were capable of operating up to 20mph, obeying the maximum speed limit on the West Cambridge site at all times.

Why was there a driver on board?

Two safety operators were on board at all times during the trials.

Although the safety operator had the ability to take control of the shuttle in an emergency, they were not operating the shuttle on the majority of the route. The route was pre-mapped so the vehicle was aware of its environment – this meant it had the ability to stop itself in an emergency or if there was an unexpected hazard in the road.

The goal for this sort of technology is to remove the need for a safety operator within the vehicle in the future, instead allowing them to be remotely monitored using CCTV from a control room.

How did the shuttles sense pedestrians and cyclists?

These types of shuttles are aware of their environment via their many sensors – this means a shuttle will have the ability to stop itself in an emergency or if there is an unexpected hazard in the road.

There was also a safety operator on-board at all times who was able to take full control of the vehicle at any time.

Does this mean we will see Autonomous Shuttles in Cambridge soon?

The success of these trials will provide knowledge and experience of self-driving vehicles in a real-world environment, meaning that they could be rolled-out elsewhere around Greater Cambridge in the future, for example, to link some of the science and business campuses to each other or to rural travel hubs.

If one day a commercial service provider then comes forward, self-driving vehicles could be rolled-out around Greater Cambridge and the service provider would then determine the pricing and ticket-booking structure.

Smart Places

What is a Smart Place?

Smart Places is the term used to describe a village, town or city using data and emerging technology to address common local challenges in areas such as transport, connectivity and air quality.

Data from sensors and other devices around the local area will be processed and analysed providing the smart place with information to help them influence behaviours and improve economic strength, sustainability and quality of life for the local residents.