A team that won the Transport Systems Catapult’s (TSC) Hackathon competition in 2016 have gone on to receive a £100,000 (US$133,000) grant to develop their idea for use in the transport industry.
The Total Trip team of Andy Watt, Richard Jordan and Nico Contentin took first place in the TSC’s IMCreate 2 Hackathon in June last year, which posed a series of innovation challenges based on the needs of the UK transport network. The trio created a Bluetooth Beacon-based technology solution, which provides alternatives to smart ticketing on bus and train journeys. Their app uses Bluetooth on a passenger’s smartphone to identify the individual bus or train they have boarded, and automatically charges them, without using GPS or actively tracking their movement.
Earlier this year, the team entered a number of funding competitions organized by InnovateUK the UK government’s technology funding body which resulted in them winning the £100,000 (US$133,000) grant. An executive non-departmental public body, sponsored by the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BIS), InnovateUK was offering businesses the opportunity to apply for a share of up to £15m (US$20m) to develop innovative solutions to challenges in infrastructure and transportation systems.
Speaking at the conclusion of the 2016 Hackathon, the TSC’s marketing director, Stephen Lynn, noted, “All the judges were highly impressed with the solutions presented during the Hackathon. In a short space of time, Total Trip converted complex data and technology into an idea which can generate tangible improvements to the travelling public. Total Trip’s Bluetooth-enabled transactions will revolutionize how we travel, and I can’t wait to see this rolled out across the UK.”
Richard Jordan, Total Trip founder, said, “We were delighted to win the Hackathon and the support of TSC has been instrumental in getting the idea to the stage where we could submit the bid to Innovate UK. With the advent of driverless travel, and automation of the transport system as a whole, this type of technology will be essential. We’re looking forward to implementing the work set out in the bid and bringing true ticketless travel to the UK and across the world.”
The TSC’s next hackathon, HS2 Hackathon, takes place at the organization’s Milton Keynes headquarters on December 8-9, and is calling on students, entrepreneurs, data scientists, coders, creatives and business thinkers to team up and create solutions for one of the biggest modern infrastructure projects in the UK, the HS2 high-speed rail line.