Expert article
Edit 17 June 2023
by Josep Maria Salanova Grau

VoxPop open call for urban mobility innovation

VoxPop open call for urban mobility innovation
VoxPop open call for urban mobility innovation
People, Processes & Technology towards the digital transformation of the urban mobility system of Lisbon (VoxPop) is the project that will foster digitalization and collaboration between private and public mobility actors in the Portuguese capital. VoxPop is funded by the Urban Innovative Actions (UIA) initiative under the Digital transition topic.

The project foreseen an open call for innovators to develop solutions to improve accessibility and safety of people with reduced mobility and other vulnerable groups as well (persons with disabilities, elders, children, pregnant women, and others), supporting inclusive people-centred mobility services and decision-making processes.

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The open call for urban mobility innovators

VoxPop is currently in the 4th phase of the open call for innovators, after the preparation of the call terms, its launch on the 10th of August 2022, and the evaluation and selection of proposals (October-November 2022). The delivery date for the proposals is June 2023.

Phases of the open call for innovators

The challenges included in the call were [1] Seamless Route Planning; [2] Autonomous Navigation; [3] Inclusive Ticketing Services; [4] Safer Journeys; [5] Wholesome Liveability of Public Spaces; [6] Community Solutions for a more Inclusive Mobility; addressing 8 target groups: [a] Visually Impaired; [b] Hearing Impaired; [c] Physically Impaired; [d] Cognitive Impaired; [e] Children; [f] LGBTQ+; [g] Elderly people; [h] Other.

A total of 117 proposals were received from around the globe, including 47 coming from Europe. As expected, most of the proposals, 39, came from Portugal, while Spain, Italy and the UK follow with 9.

The extension of the deadline (from 25/09/22 to 9/10/22) gave a boost to the teams working on the proposals.

Accumulated number of proposals created

From the 117 submitted proposals, 53 were complete, and from these 47 eligible for funding (18 from Portugal, 7 from Spain, 6 from Italy and 4 from the UK). The members of the selection committee (23) were mostly from the project partners, while 4 external members were included (4 NGOs and 1 private consulting organisation representing the vulnerable communities). The selection process included assessment of the proposal texts and interviews when needed to end up in the final ranking. The criteria were excellence, impact and quality/implementation plan.

With regards to the challenge and target group addressed, most of the proposals were related to “community solutions for inclusive mobility” and “seamless route planning” for the physically impaired and the elderly.

Proposals per challengeProposals per target group

 

From the 47 eligible submitted proposals, 18 were selected for funding. The ranking of challenges remained the same while the target groups were slightly re-ordered (the major change was on the other target groups category, which depicts the priority of the tender in the pre-identified target groups).

Selected proposals per challengeSelected proposals per target group

The detailed list of proposals is presented below, including the challenges and target groups addressed.

Name

Challenges

Target groups

CIDADE CICLÁVEL

[1], [4], [5], [6]

[e], [f]

SAFEJOURNEY

[1], [2]

[a], [c], [g]

ANDYAMO

[1], [2]

[a], [b], [c], [e], [g], [h]

3FINERY

[2], [4], [6]

[a], [c], [d]

INCLU

[2]

[a]

lisbonhub

[1], [4], [6]

[c], [e], [g], [h]

willeasy

[1], [5], [6]

[a], [c], [d], [e], [g]

enterprise bot

[1], [2], [3]

[a], [b], [c]

lisbon on wheels

[1], [2], [5], [6]

[c], [g]

space4all

[5]

[a], [b], [c]

smart path

[1], [4], [6]

[c], [e], [f], [g]

skipit

[3]

[c]

lisMove

[1], [4], [5], [6]

[c], [g]

takeme by famility

[6]

[c], [e], [g]

ajuda+

[6]

[g]

childfy

[1], [6]

[e]

cycle4lisbon

[4], [5], [6]

[h]

popstore

[6]

[b], [c], [e], [f], [g]

On average, each proposal addresses between 2 and 3 (2.3) challenges and between 2 and 3 (2.8) target groups. More concretely:

  • Four proposals are both below the average values of challenges and target groups
  • Five proposals are above the average values of challenges and target groups
  • Nine proposals are above average values on one criteria and below average values on the other criteria
Target groups versus challenges

Exceptional cases are those of 1 proposals addressing only 2 challenges but related to 6 target groups, and those of 3 proposals addressing only 2 target groups but related to 4 challenges.

With regards to the concrete combinations of challenges and target groups, challenges [1], [2] and [6] applied to target group [c] and challenge one applied to target group [7] are the most common ones.

Target groups/Challenges

[1]

[2]

[3]

[4]

[5]

[6]

[a]

5

6

1

1

3

3

[b]

2

4

1

0

0

2

[c]

8

9

1

2

2

8

[d]

1

1

0

0

1

1

[e]

6

3

1

2

3

6

[f]

2

1

0

1

2

2

[g]

7

2

1

0

1

3

[h]

2

0

0

0

0

0

Expectations

The awarded companies are requested to provide a demo on the 10th of July, a few weeks before the end of the project. This will allow the local community to be aware of their developments and facilitate the adoption or scalability of these in other cities or by other operators. The solutions are open-source so they can be replicated/scaled elsewhere easily and the project partners, even if no adoption targets were set, aim to facilitate the scale-up potential of niche market solutions. The goal is to populate the existing market of digital solutions with new services defined with a user-centre approach and strong social dimension, effectively answering the needs of particularly underserved users such as accessibility and safety of vulnerable persons.

Appendix

The Selected proposals are the following:

  • CIDADE CICLÁVEL: The project aims to contribute to achieving greater social and gender justice in cycling. To this end, we propose, through a collaborative platform, to provide information about the infrastructure, the registration of road harassment incidents and danger zones.
  • SAFEJOURNEY: Using satellite and street images, we propose to automatically calculate a pedestrian mobility index for people with reduced mobility at street level (eg crosswalks and services without a ramp, tactile pavement), for use by external services and municipalities.
  • ANDYAMO: We propose to improve the current GPS of the City of Lisbon by proposing 100% pedestrian & multimodal routes that are fully adapted according to the level of mobility of its habitants / tourists (in wheelchair, visually impaired, in stroller with children or elderly people)
  • 3FINERY: 3FINERY LTD proposes a tool that would allow citizens with visual, cognitive and physical disabilities to obtain an accurate verbal description of their environment using Augmented Reality with geolocation services.
  • INCLU: Inclu is a visual positioning system capable of delivering multimedia information relevant to the physical location of its users. The product resorts to AI to automatically recognize the position of users by analyzing a video stream captured through the users' smartphones.
  • lisbonhub: Development of a multimodal transport application to aggregate and process public transport and micromobility data. The app will suggest the safest, fastest, and cost-effective trips. Additionally, users can report incidents for rapid assessment and resolution.
  • willeasy: A digital ecosystem to collect, process and make available information on the accessibility of places and routes, the use of innovative inclusive mobility means and a web app for seamless navigation, creation and constant update of open data.
  • enterprise bot: Enterprise Bot creates AI-powered chatbots to automate customer interactions and provide enterprises with a readily accessible digital agent that improves customer experience and reduces operational costs by up to 40% and allows users with disabilities to be more autonomous.
  • lisbon on wheels: Collecting accessibility data about public buildings, public space and public transport and to adding it to our On Wheels app and Openstreetmap. All data will be available as open data for everyone to use. We want to built a management platform to link with the city.
  • space4all: Creation of a digital solution for GPS navigation and displacement in public spaces (squares, gardens, parks, cemeteries, monuments), with predefined routes and relevant information for individuals with reduced mobility and visual, auditory and motor impairments.
  • smart path: SMART-PATH is a web-based platform that uses public transportation real-time and historic data as well as its characteristics to offer its users a simple way to find the best mean of transport to move around in Lisbon and understand which transport will match its specific needs.
  • skipit: Our app allows the physically impaired tourist to buy a ticket, see transport maps, identifying the accessibility points of each station in a new city. Information and services that are usually scattered across various locations, with various obstacles and contact points.
  • lisbora: Lisbora is a gamification smart city system to encourage mobility around the city of Lisbon for physically impaired citizens. Rewards (vouchers to spend in local trade shops) will be issued for the kilometres travelled by users with any means of transport except the car.
  • takeme by famility: We propose an Assisted Mobility Platform for mobility-dependent people. The platform provides an Assisted Commute Service, individual or grouped, on foot, by bicycle or on public or shared transport. Services can be recurrent or on-demand.
  • ajuda+: The Ajuda + app aims to connect the elderly living alone in the Lisbon municipality with registered volunteers who will accompany the elderly in performing tasks, from charging a pass, bringing groceries, or just keeping them company.
  • childfy: Parents spend lots of time driving their kids around to attend school, extracurricular activities, birthday parties etc becoming their “taxi drivers”. With our solution we create a community of families to share and request trips facilitating their travel logistics.
  • cycle4lisbon: Cycle4Lisbon intends to encourage the use of environmentally friendly means of transport, promote healthy habits and support people with reduced mobility.
  • popstore:  PopStore empowers users to create a weborder page in 2 minutes, and share with their environment. Anyone with limited IT skills can make e.g. shopping lists for neighbours, friends, family members. This makes "social commerce" (informal business among friends) extremely simple.

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