German automotive technology giant Bosch has opened a new innovation hub in London to tackle city transportation challenges and co-create and develop smart mobility solutions for the UK capital with multiple public and private partners.
London is one of the most visited cities worldwide and has been developing advanced solutions to tackle the ever-increasing demand for mobility for decades. However, while public transportation has been upgraded continuously, there are still some issues the average London commuter has to deal with, such as overcrowding during peak times, or a lack of accessibility options.
Bosch believes that the key to overcome some of these challenges lies in the development of automated, electrified, connected and personalized mobility. Located in Shoreditch, the company has opened its new London Connectory, a co-innovation space that is open to partners from the public, private and academic sectors, from startups to multinational organizations, with a dedicated goal: to develop smart mobility solutions for London.
For this, Bosch has partnered with Nitrous, a platform facilitating projects between the private sector, startups and government.
Based at the heart of London’s ‘Tech City’, the Connectory will play host to a network of startups, workshops, mentors, investors and developers. The first partner to sign up is Transport for London (TfL), which has begun an 18-month collaboration with Bosch to explore how the goals set out in the mayor’s Transport Strategy can be addressed.
These include seeing more efficient, greener and safer vehicles on the capital’s roads, reducing congestion and working toward 80% of all trips across London being made on foot, by bicycle or by public transportation by 2041.
As part of its wide-ranging strategy to develop mobility service propositions, Bosch created its Connected Mobility Solutions division last year, which brings together about 650 associates from across the world to develop and sell digital mobility services, including vehicle sharing, ridesharing, and connectivity-based services for car drivers.
The Connectory is part of an evolving global brand, with offices established by Bosch in Chicago (USA), Stuttgart (Germany), and Guadalajara (Mexico), focused on solutions for future urban mobility challenges.
“We are constantly looking for ways to improve London’s transport network and our customers’ experience of it,” commented Michael Hurwitz, TfL’s director of innovation. “This collaboration with Bosch will allow us to work with the next generation of innovators and small businesses early on. By working with market leading innovators, we aim to tackle some of the crucial issues that the city faces, from greener and safer vehicles to encouraging more active lifestyles.”
London’s chief digital officer, Theo Blackwell, added, “London’s longstanding leadership in transport and city-wide open data creates the perfect platform for new collaborations with the tech sector. We want to do even more to utilize data and smart technology to meet the needs of our citizens.
“To do this we need to be bold and think big, and this involves being willing to try new ways of doing things. I’m confident that Connectory will be an important part of London’s future as a global testbed for civic innovation, where the best ideas are developed and scaled.”