NSW launches Future Transport Digital Accelerator

‘Mobility as a service’ first innovation challenge for Sydney-based accelerator

The New South Wales government has backed an initiative that transport and infrastructure minister Andrew Constance said could help put the state “on the map globally as the capital for transport tech”.

Transport for NSW has partnered with cloud giant Amazon Web Services, the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, Optus, MasterCard and the City Innovation Foundation for the Future Transport Digital Accelerator.

The NSW government today revealed details of the first innovation challenge hosted by the accelerator.

The accelerator is based at the Sydney Startup Hub. The initiative is intended to faciliate collaboration between the agencies within the NSW government Transport cluster with industry, researchers and startups.

“We are partnering with some of the most innovative banks, technology and telco companies in the world, continuing our commitment to opening up the communication lines between innovators and government,” Constance said.

“The City Innovate partnership allows us to connect the best entrepreneurs and innovative practices from Silicon Valley and San Francisco with Sydney to forge a global alliance around solving transport problems.”

The accelerator says it will run a regular “innovation challenge” to address real-world problems. The challenges will “encourage startups and the greater business community to work through these problems, pitch solutions and build products to trial and scale”.

The first challenge will focus on “mobility as a service” or MaaS. The idea is to deliver “an ideal door-to-door mobility service experience and seamless combinations including the first and last mile options” through a single app or platform.

“Out of this partnership we look forward to seeing what developers and innovators will be able to come up with, whether that’s better management of network capacity or improved mobility and connectivity,” Constance said.

A MaaS information session will be held at the Sydney Startup Hub at 6pm on 6 June.

Transport for NSW has undertaken a range of digital initiatives in recent years including in 2017 making some of its key Opal data sets available to developers through its open data hub.

The $35 million Sydney Startup Hub is based in York Street in Sydney’s CBD. As well as the Future Transport Digital Accelerator, the hub, which launched in February, hosts Microsoft ScaleUp, Stone and Chalk, Fishburners, Tank Stream Labs and The Studio.