South African Transport Mobility Platform Wins International Innovation Award

By Peter Pedroncelli Published: June 6, 2017, 2:37 am
Transport mobility - WhereIsMyTransport provides data on formal and informal transport. Photo: rnw.nlWhereIsMyTransport provides data on formal and informal transport. Photo: rnw.nl

An open digital transport mobility platform founded by students of the University of Cape Town in South Africa won the 2017 Promising Transport Innovation Award at the annual summit of the International Transport Forum (ITF) in Leipzig, Germany.

WhereIsMyTransport has been recognized for innovation used within the platform, centralises mobility data, allowing anyone to build upon the transport information or use it to develop software products such is mobility apps for transport users, while the metrics can be further analysed to improve transport provision.

For these reasons, WhereIsMyTransport has potential applications for both private and public enterprise, as the data can be utilized in a variety of ways on numerous devices for personal use, by businesses, or to address urban challenges at government level.

The platform provides invaluable data about transport mobility, and currently supports 20 cities in 10 countries in Africa and the Middle East, according to Fin24.

Launched in August 2016, after securing an investment of $1.5 million, the South African startup provides information on formal and informal transport services via the platform.

Transport mobility data simplified

In May WhereIsMyTransport was the only startup from Africa named by NewCities Foundation as the 2017 Global Urban Innovator, according to DisruptAfrica.

The platform has now been acknowledged by the International Transport Forum for its innovation, as the platform accepts data in any format and live coordinates from any kind of device.

International Transport Forum secretary general Jose Viegas was one of the jury members that selected WhereIsMyTransport for the award.

“Among the many transport related Big Data projects, it stands out in that it considers informal transport, empowers user choice and encourages developing countries to start thinking about data collection and planning,” Viegas said, according to the ITF.

Madeline Zhu, head of partnerships of WhereIsMyTransport, revealed that the platform is already being used by individuals and companies who are developing their own products.

“For us it is about enabling critical decision-making and for cities to be able to leverage existing infrastructure they already have,” Zhu told Fin24.

“We think openness is crucial for going forward and more than 300 people have already signed up to work with our platform to develop their own products since August 2016. Because we are open, we have a modular licensing structure and the platform is run like a business,” she added.

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