Innovating in London: TRANSPORT Smart Class, London & South East England 2022 Retrospective


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As Head of Open Innovation, Rikesh Shah leads Transport for London’s award winning market innovation activity to create new value for London by working with start-ups, corporates, academia, accelerators and venture capitalists. He was responsible for creating TfL’s first Innovation Hub which has delivered pioneering projects in areas such as air quality, road safety, active travel, enhancing customer experiences, retail and property development: “The Hub sets out the organisation’s key challenges and problem statements, bringing in the best innovators from across the world, piloting and scaling innovative solutions with the potential to commercialise, as well as establishing the right culture in the company focusing on agility and design thinking to work with market innovators who either have a new mobility product or an innovative idea to help solve an existing city challenge through new technologies by doing things better, quicker or cheaper”. Rikesh was also previously responsible for TfL’s world leading open data programme which has 17,000 registered users, 700 apps powered by TfL data, is used by 42% of Londoners and which, according to an independent review, has a worth to London of £130m per annum.

Three years on from the “Innovating in London” keynote that he delivered as TfL’s Head of Commercial Innovation, we were delighted to welcome Rikesh back to present the opening keynote at TRANSPORT Smart Class, London & South East England 2022 and update us on how TfL – as the integrated transport body for the Capital – is working with market innovators who can work with the city to help deliver the outcomes of Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan’s, Transport Strategy:

“At its heart is a bold aim for 80% of all trips in London to be made on foot, by cycle or using public transport by 2041”.

This strategy is underpinned by three main pillars: a healthier London (Rikesh highlighted challenges around air quality, obesity, type 2 diabetes and traffic fatalities), supporting mode shift and Covid recovery “away from car travel” and achieving mobility that is “doing more than moving people around”.

Rikesh’s insightful keynote addressed…

  • TfL’s rich history of innovation – from steam locomotives on the Metropolitan line and the first traffic light in the world (The Westminster street semaphore) in the 1860’s through to modern day innovations like smart ticketing, best use of data from assets, digital signalling and Crossrail;
  • What TfL’s customers want;
  • TfL’s 3 step philosophy and the guiding principles behind their exploration, influence and management of new transport services in London;
  • Applying emerging technologies such as AI/machine learning, cloud, VR/AR and data from external innovators to eliminate barriers and achieve cheaper, better and quicker city outcomes;
  • Challenges facing the public sector around innovation e.g. routes to market, effective scouting, test bed and iterate, sponsor and buy-in, defining the right problem statement and culture;
  • London RoadLab – invited innovators to transform London’s roads to make them safer, smarter and more inclusive during roadworks;
  • Civic Innovation Challenge – sought solutions to encourage active travel and won by ‘Go Jauntly’ who created digitised walking routes and station-to-station walking maps;
  • Bus Safety Innovation Challenge – will provide a route to rapidly test and evaluate new innovations to improve safety on our bus network;
  • London Freight Lab – innovations that can make use of a number of varied land sites to achieve a significant reduction in the number of freight vehicle KM’s travelled in London;
  • Driver Fatigue Lab – innovators will partner with bus operators to develop innovations that can reduce incidents of fatigue;
  • Vision Zero Lab – innovations to reduce the number of killed or seriously injured vulnerable road users (pedestrians, cyclists and motor cyclists);
  • Cycle Lab – innovation to increase the number of people cycling in London, specifically targeting the under represented demographic groups (women and BAME);
  • Selected innovation/testbed case studies – Samdesk, NSO, Humanising Autonomy, FH Fernhay, appyway, Bosch, Daimler, Ford;
  • TfL’s Innovation Collaboration Framework – ground-breaking new procurement invites partners to co-create, scale and co-commercialise innovative solutions to London’s most challenging problems;
  • Applying high value innovation in the least obvious places e.g. re-thinking bus stops and lamp posts;
  • New mobility – learnings from TIER, Slide Ealing, lime, dott and GO Sutton E-Scooter trials;
  • Innovation beyond transport e.g. VU.CITY exploring further development opportunities around building homes; Urban Intelligence using big data and AI to identify locations for new EV charging points; Sook exploring the re-purposing of car park spaces.

If you meet our regular delegate qualification criteria but were unable to join us at Browns Courtrooms, Covent Garden, for the live in-person event on October 6th, CLICK HERE and complete the short “Download form” (located at the bottom of the post) to receive a unique link enabling free access to the presentation video recordings and slides (including the film footage and slides from Rikesh’s keynote).

Those qualifying to receive the rich presentation content from this event include commissioning, procurement, trialling and partnering leads, senior influencers, strategic decision makers and planners from local authorities (e.g. city, borough, metropolitan, district and county councils); public transport operators; regional transport partnerships, sub-regional transport bodies, combined authorities, integrated transport authorities and passenger transport executives; highways authorities and road operators; government and supporting national transport agencies; fleet operators, parking operators, prime contractors etc.

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TRANSPORT Smart Class, London & South East England 2022

On October 6th we will be casting a spotlight over London and South East England, hosting our speakers discussions on how the latest digital innovations can help overcome the transport and mobility challenges faced by the capital, it's hinterland, burgeoning smart city-regions of the South East and East Anglia, and beyond.


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