I think we speak for the entire planet when we say that this year went FAST! And boy was it a rollercoaster of a year. We started the year still in lockdown, working from home and missing our friends, family and colleagues but there was hope one the horizon. The vaccines were being rolled out and the government had laid out the pathway to reopening the economy and letting us all socialise again.
The year has certainly had its bumps and bends, but the team ploughed on, launching epic products, onboarding new customers and tackling transport challenges through innovative projects. This was all whilst welcoming a number of new employees and moving from our Eyre St Hill office to a buzzing and vibrant WeWork.
Phew! No wonder this year went fast!
Let’s reflect on this better than last, but still not quite normal year…
At the start of this year we announced our work with DfT and Valtech to help unlock future transport through standardised TRO data. We were fortunate enough to input into their data Alpha project that explored how a Traffic Regulation Order (TRO) data publication and distribution system could transform how traffic order data is accessed and published.
We played a vital role in the project, leveraging our extensive TRO data innovation experience garnered via previous DfT and Innovate UK projects and the development of our Traffic Suite.
In the middle of year AppyWay joined a cross-section of mobility including ride-hailing, logistics, electrification and tech, alongside leading campaigners from civil society and think tanks, in undersigning a letter urging the European Commission to create policies that fast-track the electrification of corporate and urban fleets. In the letter the coalition has argued that with the right policies fleet electrification can multiply emissions-saving benefits and trigger a virtuous circle for electric mobility, creating demand which can accelerate EV infrastructure rollout and reduce EV costs for professional drivers.
Elsewhere in the year we featured in the BestStartUp.co.uk’s list of Best Parking, Best Autonomous Vehicle, and Best Smart City UK Startups. We also attended our first in-person event, the Adept Traffic Managers Conference in October. The event returned to the Leicester Tigers Rugby Club, where we not only attended but also were given the opportunity to speak and share our expertise at the event. The agenda this year was varied and covered the crucial topics affecting traffic managers across the country as we emerge from this pandemic.
This year has seen us work with a number of innovative clients. Morrison Energy Services’ reached out to us to help reduce the pain of parking for their London-based Smart Metering team. By using our app their drivers have access to an accurate, quick and simple view of all parking options across the city. The information provided includes resident bay restricted hours, single yellow line restricted hours and paid bay maximum stay limits, ensuring that parking has become a pre-planned activity rather than an end of journey inconvenience.
We have been working with home delivery specialist BJS who have integrated with our Parking API. BJS, the family run delivery business that works on behalf of companies such as Made to deliver bulky items to customers’ homes, sought to improve the wellbeing for their 180 strong fleet and improve customer satisfaction through innovation. By integrating with our API, BJS’ drivers have been able to plan ahead, find parking options near their delivery location and in turn improve their wellbeing and the overall customer experience.
We have also onboarded a number of authorities to our Traffic Suite. The councils have ranged from densely populated London boroughs to large rural authority areas, all wanting to digitise their traffic and moving orders, and create efficiencies in their traffic order process. The councils have reported a raft of time and cost savings and we are excited to share these stats and the relevant case studies early in the new year.
To cap off the year in style we launched a solution that is benefiting drivers across London. In late November we released AppyParking+, allowing drivers across London to download the next generation of our driver app. Building on the award-winning AppyParking app, AppyParking+ includes new and improved features such as the ability to find free parking, to see the walking distance from parking bay to final destination, and payment links that take you directly to the correct provider. The downloads and reviews have been rolling in and we look forward to sharing more features and benefits with London drivers in 2022!
We’ve been thrilled to take part in more innovation projects this year. It’s a huge part of who we are at AppyWay, driving forward new ideas and new ways of moving around and accessing our towns and cities. This year we have been part of two 5G projects and a world-first EV charging initiative.
Expanding on our previous work with WM5G proving real-time availability of parking through live dashcam imagery, we wanted to develop a solution that goes beyond real-time availability by predicting the future availability of bays based on historical data. This is the project we called Predikt.
Through our app, drivers will be able to rely on accurate predictions and 3D mapping that will highlight the best parking options for them, before they set off on their journey. To create the predicted parking availability within the driver app the historical GetMapping sensed parking availability data from the original WM5G project and further data was tested and analysed to create predicted availability. Combined with real-time data, it paints a detailed picture of parking availability across the trialled area and displays within the app predicted availability of bays and predicted availability throughout the day.
In Wales with the 5G Wales Unlocked consortium we have been tackling a number of transport challenges with innovative solutions that are only made possible by the power of 5G. Our area of focus is Ebbw Vale where AppyWay and consortium partners BT and Cardiff University will be jumping on the town’s 5G rollout to provide 5G enabled multi-modal transport solutions. In Ebbw Vale we will be leveraging our recent experience in the West Midlands to process availability in rural car parks via CCTV cameras.
Finally in Dundee we’re supporting EV charging in the city with our bay sensors. At the multi-storey Olympia and Gellatly Street car parks we have installed sensors to monitor who is using the charging bays, when and for how long to enable the city to prevent anyone abusing the charging parking spaces. Sensors have also been installed to on-street charging where project partner Urban Electric have installed pop-up EV chargers. This project is part of the city’s mobility integration living lab and clean streets initiative.
It certainly has been a busy year! While the covid rollercoaster continues to twist and turn, the team have steadfastly continued on their mission to help cities thrive. It’s incredible what the team has achieved during what has been another tumultuous year.
To our colleagues and our clients, have a happy, healthy, and restful Christmas period!