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Data driven innovation

Technology as an enabler

Technology brings new service possibilities and government has a role as a technology ‘enabler’. Mobility is increasingly technology led, where data sharing and smartphone apps are matching customers with transport services in ways we have not experienced before.

Mobility as a Service (MaaS) Innovation Challenge

Mobility as a Service (MaaS) is a model that enables customers to plan and pay for their journeys using a range of services via a single customer interface, such as a mobile phone app. MaaS will enable customers to access integrated, easy-to-understand journeys in a broad market of transport services that gives them more choice in how they travel.

MaaS relies on sharing real-time information across different transport service providers to help customers optimise their journeys. It enables customers to plan and purchase their end-to-end journey from a retailer (most likely via an app), choosing from a range of travel options, such as travelling by public transport, rideshare or bike hire. In real time, the app then guides the customer through their journey.

In 2019, NSW launched a MaaS Innovation Challenge, seeking expressions of interest from industry to pilot innovative MaaS solutions in a trial program. Five industry partners were selected to take part in the trial. Through collaborative co-design, the Innovation Challenge delivered pilot trials of MaaS products, including the Uber FerryConnect, integration of public transport into the Uber app, and development of the data-sharing specification. The next phase of the program is focused on the implementation of a third-party MaaS app in collaboration with Waverly Council.

Find out more about the MaaS Innovation Challenge.


Real-Time Digital Twin

The NSW Department of Customer Services is developing a Spatial Digital Twin, which is a powerful data visualisation, simulation and collaboration tool that creates virtual replicas of buildings, cities, regions and systems, and helps to facilitate better planning, design and modelling for NSW’s future needs.

Transport for NSW will supply the Digital Twin with a growing range of rich datasets to improve transport planning, operations and delivery. It can also be used to trial and predict future events based on current input and options, as well as to create three-dimensional spatial representations that can visualise four-dimensional changes in real time and on historical data.

The Digital Twin will provide a state-wide real-time view of all freight, roads and public transport, mapped to associated infrastructure, and can visualise current and proposed transport scenarios for improving customer experience and network efficiency.

The Digital Twin enables more features to be added as layers, including data-driven precinct planning. We will also use eye-level mapping and visualisations of the stations and interchanges to help customers spend less time getting in and out of stations, buses and ferries. It also supports the development of Smart Places’ initiatives, by bringing together transport records with other localised data, to help inform and visualise options, such as the reallocation of kerb space.

Find out more about the Digital Twin

Sydney Coordinated Adaptive Traffic System

Sydney Coordinated Adaptive Traffic System (SCATS) is a traffic management system that provides real-time data to reduce congestion and increase road safety. Developed in Sydney, SCATS is now used in 187 cities and 28 countries globally, to optimise traffic flow. 

SCATS uses intelligent algorithms to process real-time data to make signalling decisions across town, city and state-wide networks, and adapt to real-time changes in traffic. In addition, SCATS supports vast time and cost savings, with a 25 per cent reduction in stops, 28 per cent reduction in travel times, 15 per cent reduction in emissions and 12 per cent less fuel consumed, adding up to around $24 million in economic benefits each day, in Sydney alone.

SCATS is undergoing a major upgrade that commenced in early 2020, to improve its flexibility and scalability for the future, with new decision-making, machine learning and artificial intelligence capabilities that can already integrate with new sensors and roadside controllers.

Find out more about the Sydney Coordinated Adaptive Traffic System


NSW Transport Digital Accelerator 

The NSW Transport Digital Accelerator facilitates public and private sector collaboration and co-design, and accelerates innovative solutions for customers through:

  • Extending existing customer channels or operational systems.
  • Intelligent application of technology to disrupt long established transport systems.
  • Innovative ideas piloted under ‘test and learn’ conditions, scaled up once they’re shown to work effectively.

Since its launch, the Digital Accelerator has facilitated projects to personalise customer interactions, transform the mass transit network, foster shared demand-responsive services, enable connected and automated vehicle (CAV) platforms, and create intelligent transport networks, managed with data.

Find out more about the NSW Transport Digital Accelerator


Open Data Hub and innovation challenges

The Open Data Hub is the central location for all Transport for NSW open data. It hosts more than 100 datasets that contain over 300 resources. 

The Open Data Hub frequently hosts Innovation Challenges through which we support third parties to develop new digital products for our customers. We do this through a process of identifying customer needs and sharing our findings with industry. We then offer participants the opportunity to submit applications and pitch their innovative products and ideas. 

The Open Data Hub has also run a 'Transport Pitchfest', seeking ideas for apps to improve the customer experience and a 'Congestion Hackathon', inviting industry, innovators, entrepreneurs, students and TfNSW staff to pitch ideas and build proofs of concept for dramatically improving congestion in and around Sydney. 

Find out more about the Open Data Hub

Other project highlights

Six principles for Future Transport

The Future Transport 2056 Strategy is focused on six key principles for the future of mobility in the state, which together aim to positively impact the economy, communities and environment of NSW.

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