TravelSpirit, a new collaboration between transport authorities, transport providers, university researchers and software experts, has initiated a platform to encourage mobility-as-a-service projects using open data. It aims to ‘join the dots’, to promote and distribute open data with full permissions granted in advance to use, improve and share for commercial and community solutions with no further negotiation required.
By encouraging open access to such data TravelSpirit hopes to help connect transport services such as Bike Sharing, Car Pooling, Crowd Funding services and Small Vehicle Transport Systems.
According to TravelSpirit, open data has enabled innovations such as multi-modal trip planners but has done little to promote collaborative implementation, resulting in truly integrated mobility services remaining out of reach.
TravelSpirit was conceived in 2015 following discussions between the Open Source Initiative and Transport for Greater Manchester, about solving some of the ‘Smart City’ problems predicted for Manchester. Through collaboration with University of Salford, Manchester Metropolitan University and ethical hacker, Patch Penguin, this initial challenge led to an engagement with the wider community, that envisioned an open source project, to tie a global community together.
This and further research led to launched the TravelSpirit website on 2 March 2016, with support from a range of partners.
TravelSpirit intends to host an official launch in MediaCityUK, Manchester, on 3/4 May with a design event to capture the best ideas for an open source Mobility as a Service (MaaS) platform together.
The event, with invitations awarded by competition, will publicise the business plan for TravelSpirit - expected to be a global vision for a community diverse businesses with a common vision.
Competition to kick-start the TravelSpirit community
To encourage business to get involved - and help get a Community established, TravelSpirit has launched a competition, to attract the interest and engagement of the best minds across the world – centred around a key competition prize of a place at the launch event in Manchester, UK on 3 & 4 May that includes a place in its ‘procurement framework’ for follow up contract work and grant prize opportunities.
Where: The Landing, MediaCityUK, Manchester
When: 3 & 4 May 2016
Registration Date: 8th March 2016
Closing Date: 16th March 2016
Winners Announced: 24th March 2016
Four themes to the competition
There are four separate themes to the competition:
Best Business Plan - Championed by partners, Satellite Applications Catapult and Alliance Manchester Business School, this theme seeks innovation in how new products and services could be generated through a ‘code commons’ for mobility. Entrants should address concerns about how money can be made through an open and sharing culture of source code development. It is interested both in business plans with high venture capital investment potential as well as those that could more reliably turn a profit in the near future.
Best UX - championed by The Landing and Manchester Metropolitan University.
Best Hack - championed by Patch Penguin and transportAPI.com.
Best Architecture- championed by Institute of Engineering and Technology and University College London.
A formal registration process for the competition will go live on 8t March 2016. Before then, to receive the competition brief please contact TravelSpirit.