UPBEAT - A sustainable travel companion

Personalising proactive framed messages through mobile devices to improve commuting choices with Transport for Greater Manchester.

Issues and Impacts

Solution

Context

Our excessive dependence on motorised road transport plays a big role in urban challenges such as congestion, pollution, and physical inactivity. Failure to address these challenges imposes significant economic, health, and environmental costs on society. We integrate the principles of behaviourally-framed feedback with mobile sensor data to create a unique sustainable travel solution for the most pressing commuting issues.

Solution

A good commute can change everything. Working with Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) and with the support of Innovate UK, we have built Upbeat, a revolutionary travel companion that helps people achieve the best commute, in a way that’s best for the planet. Using sensor data and behavioural science, Upbeat provides the right information at the right time to shift how people commute; from heavy car use to other, more sustainable modes of travel, such as public transport, cycling and walking.

We conducted the first ever randomised field experiment designed to empirically test the effectiveness of a mobile app that uses behavioural science combined with user-centered design, mobile sensor data, and city datasets to promote sustainable travel behaviour. Visit the Upbeat site to find out more about the trial.

The Results

The mobile app can be leveraged by virtually any organisation that wishes to better understand transportation systems and travel behaviour, engage commuters, and promote sustainable travel behaviour. We will continue to work with transport authorities and other partners in the sustainable commuting arena to improve and expand the solution.