Leeds motorists to test sustainable travel app

People who commute to Leeds by car are being invited to test new smartphone software to record and analyse their travel habits.

The SUNSET Research Project want volunteers to download tripzoom, a free social media-based app, and use it for three months.

Participants will need to own a smartphone, work in the centre of Leeds and regularly commute to the city by car.

The app works by collecting information on where and when they have travelled. This information is then mapped and processed so that users have access to their own travel patterns including their routes, means of travel and some summary statistics about the costs, the calories used and the CO2 emitted. This information will help inform decisions about future trips.

Users can choose to take on a series of challenges to accumulate points. Challenges are designed to encourage commuters to reduce car travel by substituting walking, cycling, or bus travel for car journeys and to work from home if possible. For instance, a user might get points for walking a certain distance in a week.

Challenges are designed to be achievable and commuters have control over how quickly or slowly they wish to collect points. They can choose to share their results on Twitter and Facebook and with the tripzoom community, including the number of points collected, costs of travel, calories used in travel and the CO2 emitted. Feedback will be gathered via a series of short ‘experience questions’ delivered to the smartphone, which are designed to evaluate users’ experience of the application, and also a traditional questionnaire about travel habits and the usefulness of the system.

Anyone interested in taking part in the testing process should email sunset(at)its.leeds.ac.uk

SUNSET is a European Commission-funded research and development project, with a focus on smart cities and sustainability. ITS is one of 9 consortium partners from 4 European countries. For more information about the project visit http://sunset-project.eu/