RISE ICT stories: Helping People Make Sustainable Travel Choices

Many attempts have been made to encourage people to work toward a more sustainable lifestyle. A key area of focus for making sustainable choices is everyday travel. UbiGo is an innovative service for personal mobility that was tested in Gothenburg for six months in a very successful field trial.

The project GO:SMART aims to reduce the gap between private and public transportation, encouraging commercial operators to tailor mobility services and rewarding customers for sustainable travel choices. Within the project, a new service - UbiGo – was developed. RISE Viktoria contributed previous research to develop the concepts behind the service and was responsible for designing the architecture of the functionality, as well as the aesthetic design of the service.

UbiGo combines public transportation, carpooling, car rental, taxi and bicycle pools in one app, with billing in one combined invoice, support around the clock and bonus points for sustainable choices. Over six months, 71 households subscribed to UbiGo, and the result of the six-month field trial was very positive.

“UbiGo can be seen as a charter operator for daily trips or a Spotify for mobility. It works like a flexible mobile phone subscription, but with units for public transportion, cars, taxis etc. instead of call minutes, number of SMS or GB Surf. It is available for all members of the household and acts as a digital punch card in the cloud,” says Per-Erik Holmberg, Business Manager, Transport Group, RISE Viktoria.

The evaluation of the field trial shows that there is a market for a service like UbiGo, and that it is technically and commercially feasible. The business model tested is essentially durable, but commercialization process has just started. A business - UbiGo AB - has been formed, and also a process of a pre-commercial procurement has been started in the region of Västra Götaland - a kind of innovation procurement to take the step from research to market.

Go:Smart was a two-year project led by Lindholmen Science Park, where VINNOVA accounted for almost 10 million Swedish crowns within the Challenge Driven Innovation program.

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