Digital infrastructureSmart CitiesSmart city data start-up wins pioneer of the year award

Smart city data start-up wins pioneer of the year award

Citi Logik, a recent recipient of an Innovate UK loan, has won a UK Business Tech Award for helping make cities smarter.

Insights and predictive analytics company, Citi Logik, has won the data pioneer of the year’ award at the 2018 UK Business Tech Awards, following a series of projects that assist urban planners.

Its technology – CitiAnalytics – creates a detailed analysis of road and transport movements using anonymised 3G and 4G mobile network data. It then provides a transport model to help with future infrastructure planning and development around vehicles, walking and public transport.

Citi Logik Chief Executive Officer, Stephen Leece said it’s important that companies that use data for public good are recognised: “We’ve taken a very specific decision to work in a very precise area of the smart city market, by working with data for a public benefit.

“The award is recognition that that’s a good thing to do and that this is the way forward for managing data.”

Ongoing support

Citi Logik has benefitted from various funding and support from Innovate UK. In 2011, small-scale grants from Innovate UK and Transport for London led to high-profile contracts to analyse traffic flows around the Heathrow and Gatwick airports.

Further funding in 2017 enabled the company to test its platform in a real-world environment with the city of Hull. This year the company received an innovation loan – Innovate UK support designed for businesses close to market – to help them commercialise their innovation.

Making sense of cities

The CitiAnalytics tool works by using the mobile phone network along with other big data sets to gather anonymised, census-quality information on the movement of people.

Following successful trials with Hull, Citi Logik is now analysing the city’s urban transport systems to spot patterns, record trends and predict future use.

This information can replace traditional roadside surveys, GPS and Wi-Fi data to allow local authorities to more accurately track and predict demands on public infrastructure.

Leece commented: “We’ve worked on a wide range of projects over the last two years including analysis of car parking and movement of people through railway stations.

“What’s very apparent is the way people are moving around urban spaces is changing dramatically. People aren’t commuting in a linear way anymore – they don’t go back in forth in one direction and they avoid commuting at rush hour.”

Using the insight CitiAnalytics provides, local authorities will be able to better identify issues and work on solutions. This includes encouraging active travel, which requires the individual to be active or exercising while moving from one destination to another.

Leece continued: “One thing we’ve found is that in many urban areas the speed of motorised movement is lower than the speed of cycling. If people are encouraged to use active travel we can ease pollution and congestion.”

New contracts, new projects

Citi Logik, which is now based out of the Future Cities Catapult in London, has followed its success at the UK Business Tech Awards with new contracts to evaluate the core data of travel models in two cities in Yorkshire and the north east.

The first will provide a similar model to the Hull project, using anonymised mobile data, while the second will look at air quality.

Leece continued: “Local authorities are now mandated to identify areas that need attention and they need a plan to reduce the impact.

“We’ll be providing statistical data of people’s movements by their own vehicles, foot and public transport to help them build a strategy based around it, whether that’s persuading people to take different routes or to charge vehicles within certain zones.”

Understanding how people move around cities today will help with future infrastructure planning and development for vehicles, walking, cycling and public transport. It can also allow commuters to reach their destinations safely and more efficiently.

5G push

The forthcoming 5G mobile broadband technology should offer many additional capabilites and benefits to UK cities.

report by Deloitte, commissioned by The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, suggests that it has the potential to offer much quicker and more efficient web services, as well as opening up the possibilities of connected and autonomous vehicles.

For Citi Logik, the arrival of 5G means data will be even more accurate and sharper – making its tool even more appealing for city planners to effectively shape their urban environments based on the real-time movement of those within it.

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