Kinto, Toyota’s mobility brand, has launched a new app-based service designed to help people plan and make integrated journeys and transport planners design more effective future strategies.
Produced in partnership with Derby City Council, University of Derby, Derby College and technology partner FOD Mobility Group, DerbyGo will provide easy and immediate access to journey planning, booking and payment via a single app on their smartphone.
The project has been developed as part of Derby’s Future Transport Zone programme, supported with around £500,000 of UK government funding. Toyota – and its Kinto operations – entered into a collaboration arrangement with the council to support its future mobility programme in March this year.
Cllr Chris Poulter, leader of Derby City Council: “This is a tremendously exciting project for the city and I’m delighted that we have been able to pull this together with Toyota, Kinto, Derby University and Derby College.
“DerbyGo will change the way people travel around the city, encouraging and allowing more flexible and efficient journeys, which will contribute to creating a greener environment.”
Initially operating as an 18-month trial, DerbyGo is being rolled out first to students and staff at the University of Derby and Derby College. At launch, the app will offer a basic level of capability, serving as a research and development element of Derby’s live lab approach to its Future Transport Zone.
As the wider concept evolves, DerbyGo will integrate a growing number of mobility features and capabilities to enhance travel in and around Derby, with users helping test, inform and optimise its potential.
The launch of DerbyGo today coincides with the arrival of around 10,000 new students on campus, together with thousands more moving to the city for the first time, following a year of remote studies due to the pandemic.
Initially the app will focus on the rail and bus services serving Derby and the university and college sites, providing real-time route information, ticket booking and payment. As a live lab, the trial will be constantly refined for ease-of-use and functionality, with further transport services, such as taxis and other bus operators, being added to enable more efficient, connected journey planning.
According to Kinto, this will also be the first MaaS platform to integrate transport accessibility information for people with special mobility needs. The app will provide a direct link to Sociability, a UK start-up business that collects, maintains and shares detailed, reliable and accurate accessibility information for local venues.
DerbyGo users will be able to research the accessibility features of their destination at the same time as ensuring that their transport mode of choice is equally accessible, all within the app.
Key developments targeted for the app’s evolution include monitoring parking availability and potentially introducing pre-booking priority for cars with more than one person on board, encouraging the uptake of car sharing. The app will also allow digital parking management and the introduction of electronic payment.
The future roadmap will also look at access to car sharing and access to rental cars at specific locations. Micromobility services, such as e-bike schemes are also planned for integration within the app, as early as spring 2022.
Richard Balshaw, Kinto UK group vice president, said: “Constant monitoring of performance will help plan better transport and parking provisions, bringing associated benefits of better traffic flow and less vehicle pollution.”