Midlands First To Pilot ‘Personalised Travel Assistant’


A unique transport data collaboration is set to ease congestion and help put the UK economy on the right track.

People in the West Midlands will be amongst the first in the world to get chance to try out the latest Internet and personal information management technology, tailored to their travel needs.

The new technology, being launched later this year in Singapore, will initially be used in the West Midlands to keep people updated about transport options for their own circumstances and plans, intelligently matching available services to their specific needs for scheduled journeys. It will cover all modes of public transport as well as walking, cycling and driving, providing personalised travel advice before people set out as well as en-route, whilst preserving their privacy.

The groundbreaking initiative, named 'MyJrny', combines scheduled journey information with real-time transport network information to make better use of available transport network capacity, helping people avoid disruption and over-crowding. (You can test it and provide feedback by downloading the MyJrny mobile app, launched in app stores this month.)

The project has been led by Centro, the public body responsible for West Midlands transport services and Stratford-upon-Avon based Enable iD, who specialise in personal data management. It underpins ambitions to establish the region as a test-bed for innovation and experimentation supported by Digital Birmingham. Chiltern Railways and London Midland are also involved in the pilot, equipping selected trains and key stations with the new 'smart city' technology.

"In addition to regional and national transport network information, MyJrny polls sensors located in and around public spaces, such as train and bus stations, that we can used to detect footfall, air quality and even noise pollution. We can use this data to provide people with highly tailored journey advice." explains Centro's Head of Sustainable Mobility, Chris Perry.

Denys C. Shortt OBE, Chairman of Enable iD and founder of DCS Group, one of Europe's largest distribution companies, adds, "MyJrny is based on Hub-of-All-Things (HAT) research, a unique approach to personal data management developed by some of the UK's leading Universities, led by Professor Irene Ng. The technology makes sense of people's personal data, reason for travelling and
transport requirements, so we can save them time, money and improve the overall travel experience whilst preserving their privacy."

Plans for MyJrny, which represents a unique Government body and private sector-led commercial collaboration don't stop with the mobile app. Its stakeholders see it as a new eco-system, heralding a positive shift in the delivery of many services, all based on managing our personal data more effectively.

Neil Crockett, CEO of the Digital Catapult, a national centre to advance the UK's best digital ideas, is also championing the pilot; "This is a great example in transport of the innovation that can be created when personal data and trust are put at the heart of the customer offering. MyJrny and the HAT system are benchmark developments set to drive economic growth and UK exports."

According to Yvonne Gilligan, regional director for sustainable transport charity Sustrans, "MyJrny will enable personalised journey forecasts and real-time travel advice to be delivered through transport and customer relationship management platforms. It will enable people to use their data to have transport more effectively tailored to their real needs, to work, leisure, the delivery of health and social care, environmental services and the creation of greener travel districts."

For more information or to join the community driven MyJrny pilot visit www.myjrny.uk.

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