Transport Systems Catapult launches data sources catalogue

Intelligent Mobility Data Index could push forward smart transport innovation in the UK

Virgin Pendolino Train

Transport Systems Catapult, the government-backed innovation centre for intelligent mobility, has launched the UK's first catalogue for transport-relevant data sources.

The Intelligent Mobility Data Index, as it has been called, is available online and is designed to help organisations access useful data more easily, driving innovation in the transport sector. Information available to companies will include where the data is held, who it is held by, how they can access it and how much it might cost.

Dr Paul Zanelli, CTO at the Catapult, said: "There are a considerable number of data sources out there that may or may not be transport specific, but which could all support the development of new intelligent mobility products and services if we can show people where they are and how they can be accessed.

"Many of these are held by organisations that may not realise their data could be incredibly valuable to the transport community. From weather trends to social media usage statistics, the spread of data which has the potential to support new transport technologies is vast."

The index offers information on more than 200 data sources, with an estimated 70 per cent of them open access.

"Our job is to facilitate access to as much of that as we can so that people working on new technologies for intelligent mobility have an easy way to apply what is already out there today," Zanelli added.

"That is why we are appealing to as many organisations as possible to let us know what data they can offer and to consider opening up access to that data so we can all benefit from its applications to the innovation process."

Transport Systems Catapult is a private organisation that works with government, academia and the transport industry to aid invention, with chairman Will Whitehorn expressing his optimism about Britain's position in the future of mobility innovation at last week's Imagine Festival.

"There's not enough space now to continue building new railways all over the place, and it's very expensive, so making the existing ones work better is an important ability," he said. "Britain has that ability in spades, so I think the Catapult working with the industry can actually help Britain become a world leader in the future of intelligent mobility."

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