Transport for NSW has stood up a “digital accelerator” with partners including CBA, AWS and Optus to explore future technology applications around public transport services.
The state’s transport minister Andrew Constance said in a statement that the “first focus area for the accelerator will be exploring mobility as a service for transport customers in NSW”.
“Mobility as a service is the concept that all travel options can be accessed through a single platform or app, allowing customers to have the ideal travel experience by empowering them to plan, book and pay for their travel in the one place,” he said.
“Out of this partnership we look forward to seeing what developers and innovators will be able to come up with, whether that’s better management of network capacity or improved mobility and connectivity.”
The accelerator is based at the Sydney startup hub at Wynyard Green, an 11-floor entrepreneurial facility set up by the NSW government with a $35 million investment last year.
CBA said it would offer the accelerator access to its “experts and a systematic approach to identifying opportunities, proven methods of working, and leading tools, methodologies and processes to support the incubation and acceleration of ideas to concepts to market services”.
The bank will also open its innovation centres of expertise and innovation lab facilities to test out any solutions that were created.
CBA said it had 10 centres of expertise around technologies including “blockchain, robotics, digital and big data”.
The NSW government has been shaking up the way public transport is delivered across the state.
Several areas across the state are trialling on-demand public bus services that are loosely based around an Uber-like service model.
Bus operators are also using their own software packages to better understand how passengers want to move within the Sydney metropolitan area.
Transport for NSW has also had some success with opening up transport data to third-party developers, who have used it to create real-time travel applications.
This has led to recent innovations including estimating how crowded newer trains are as they approach stations, giving passengers a better chance of finding a less congested carriage.
"Since the first hackathons in 2012 to the launch of the open data program in 2016, Transport for NSW has made a commitment to provide open data to the developer community to better serve customers and create digital transport solutions," Constance said.
“This has resulted in innovations for customers such as real-time apps.
“It would be hard to think about your daily bus or train ride to work without using your real time transport apps, so just imagine what these incubator partnerships could provide for the future of our transport network.”