UrbanThings wins grant to develop social distancing system for public transport

Mistral social distancing

UrbanThings is developing its own social distancing platform to assist operators provide safer public transport during the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic, with the help of a grant from Innovate UK.

The social distancing and contact tracing platform will allow public transport networks to enforce social distancing by capturing and sharing vehicle occupancy data, then feeding it back to operators and passengers. The data will allow operators to adjust fleet capacity to meet demand.

The system will integrate with external sources of passenger boarding data such as smart card tap-in data. Being account based, the solution has the potential to integrate with emerging contact tracing applications.

Carl Partridge, CEO at UrbanThings, says: “We’re delighted to have been awarded this grant from Innovate UK. With the nation slowly returning to work, we will begin to see the number of passengers using public transport steadily increase.

“This poses a huge challenge. Our technology will help operators manage their fleets based on demand, making it easier for them to ensure social distancing on their vehicles.”

The development of the technology is made available by the announcement of £40m for UK businesses earlier this week (20 May) by Business Secretary Alok Sharma as part of the Fast Start Competition.