Facility will provide collaborate space to explore new solutions

 

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Cubic Transportation Systems this week opened its Cubic Innovation Centre in London. The new facility is intended to drive mobility innovation and solutions that address the future’s global transport needs.

The company, which is a business unit of San Diego-based Cubic Corporation, is famous for its role in delivering London’s Oyster card, but the opening of the innovation centre reflects its desire to explore and develop solutions to a wide range of transport challenges.

The new innovation centre is based in Farringdon, close to London’s ‘Silicon Roundabout’ tech hub. It will offer a collaborative space for Cubic to work alongside partners and start-ups.

A number of leading edge technologies were exhibited at an event to mark the opening of the centre. City University Knowledge exhibited a proactive journey planner they are developing, while Abellio showcased NextAgent, a new ticketing machine it is piloting at Stansted Airport that combines digital and personal experiences. Cibo (Cubic Germany) profiled it’s ‘Check in Be Out’ mobile solution for ticketless travel,  while Urban Insights and MasterCard showed how new data analysis is combining anonymised bank card and travel information to help retailers to locate in the optimum location.

“The future of transportation infrastructure hinges on effective application of technology and responding with practical solutions to mobility issues,”
said Matt Cole, president of Cubic Transportation Systems.

“We selected London for the Innovation Centre because of the city’s reputation for ground-breaking developments, including work by our customer Transport for London. Through the Centre’s work, we aim to improve services and reduce costs for more customers while enhancing the traveller experience in line with NextCity, our strategy for integrating payment and information systems across all transportation modes.”

 

‘We don’t want to be behind the curve’

Sir Peter Hendy, chairman of Network Rail and former commissioner of Transport for London, welcomed Cubic’s decision to locate its new Innovation Centre in London and said it showed that the city was at the forefront in applying new technology.

Speaking at the launch of the centre this week, Hendy said that Cubic – which helped to deliver London’s Oyster payment system – had been “TfL’s best contractor by some margin”.

“They’ve taken enormous pains to understand not only what we wanted but our whole business model, and what the city wanted,” he explained.

“They don’t sell you what they’ve got, they do what you need.”

Hendy said that he hoped that the new centre would help the transport industry to keep up with the growth of technology.

“We don’t want to work in an industry that is constantly behind the curve,” he said. “I’m really proud of the fact that retailers came to TfL to learn how the growth in contactless payments was achieved. That’s unthinkable in the transport industry for nearly 150 years.  It was constantly behind reality and this innovation centre, this drive for utilising the latest technology and mining this huge collection of data that now exists about our world … is absolutely essential in keeping transport at the forefront of driving life in the cities and the country.”

 

This article appears inside the latest issue of Passenger Transport.

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