The world around us is changing fast and one of the key forces shaping our future is the way we move around our cities. Today, around 55% of the world’s population live in urban areas, a proportion that is expected to jump to 68% by 2050, according to the UN. As rural dwellers continue to move to urban areas in search of better education, jobs, health and other facilities – and as the world’s population continues to swell – the global urban population could rise by another 2.5 billion people by 2050. This rapid urbanisation presents new economic opportunities, but also puts heavy pressure on the infrastructure of cities, not to mention the environment. With environmental awareness on the rise, new modes of transportation such as ride-sharing, bike sharing and e-scooters are popping up. In order to fully reap the benefits of population shifts, we must urbanise smartly and sustainably. An important part of this will be effective and efficient mobility across all modes of transport.
All systems AI
We are firm believers in the transformational potential of Artificial Intelligence and big data for the future energy system and beyond. The exponential growth of available data, along with improved analytics, is accelerating this transformation but in the field of mobility there is one resource that has been nearly impossible to understand or utilise due to its complexity and scale – mobile network data. Mobile devices are the most accurate indicator of people’s movement. And that brings us to our latest investment.
Through innogy Ventures, our venture capital investment arm, we have invested in Teralytics, a Zurich-based technology company that uses the billions of signals captured every day by mobile network operators to deliver new insights into human mobility and advance understanding about the journeys people are taking, all in real-time. innogy Ventures participated in the $17.5 million funding round led by Robert Bosch Venture Capital GmbH, the corporate venture capital company of the Bosch Group. Other participants included Deutsche Bahn Digital Ventures, LBBW Venture Capital and Liil Ventures, as well as existing investors Atomico and Lakestar.
Using data science and proprietary machine learning algorithms, Teralytics translates anonymised, GDPR-compliant cell tower data into actionable insights, combining it with other behavioural data to help cities and transport services understand, predict and improve journeys across all modes of transport.
Inclusive, not intrusive
As cell towers don’t discriminate based on device or software, telecom data is truly inclusive and therefore allows cities to make better informed decisions that take everyone into account rather than just a select few. As such, Teralytics is able to help infrastructure developers, transport planners and mobility services companies build solutions based on a deep understanding of the needs of their entire target population. Its insights hold social, economic and environmental value as they support the world’s shift to electric mobility, help to optimise charging station locations and transform the electricity grids based on predicted demand.