Zero Project 2021/2022
Limited access to transportation is one of the causes of exclusion and discrimination. In 2019, the technology company Mass Factory Urban Accessible Mobility, based in Barcelona, Spain, developed the App&Town Compagnon, which allows people with reduced mobility to autonomously use public transportation as a regular means of transport. The app includes route planning, personalized guidance, and – in case of emergency or deviation – remote or on-site assistance. In 2021, the app was available in Spain and Canada, with more than 500 individual users.
It is difficult for many people with reduced mobility to use public transportation independently, while providing adapted transport services can be very costly for providers and users. App&Town Compagnon is an innovative end-to-end navigation system with built-in remote monitoring functionalities allowing people with physical, cognitive, and sensorial disabilities as well as senior citizens to use public transportation autonomously.
Users create a route via their web app and receive door-to-door guidance in real time, for example, exactly when to get off a bus. The app’s interface is fully customizable with easy-to-read text, audio, images, and vibration. A control centre monitors the user’s journey to detect any problems, such as a user going off-route, losing the GPS signal, or pressing the ‘Help’ button. An operator then provides the user with remote help or organizes on-site assistance. Remote monitoring can be enabled for a user’s family members as well.
App&Town positively impacts people with disability and their families by increasing autonomy and safety:
- Increases the autonomy, social inclusion, and quality of life of citizens living with disabilities by giving them full access to public transport and enabling them to extend their journeys to a much wider area.
- Increases safety while traveling.
- Improves family members’ quality of life by reducing the support needed for traveling.
- Reduces transportation costs for disabled people and their families.
The model also systemically improves transport systems:
- Increases accessibility of public transport.
- Reduces the budget for the entities financing assisted transport.
- Reduces carbon-impact of transport systems by replacing assisted transport models that use cars to carry individual customers.
The main goal is to position App&Town Compagnon as a comprehensive and sustainable assisted transport systems and to replicate it globally.
App&Town started to reach out to potential partners/customers in Western Europe, USA, Japan, Australia and New Zealand. To fund the replication of the model in these new areas, App&Town Compagnon is seeking an investment of 300,000€ from strategic investors.
Furthermore, App&Town Compagnion is seeking pro bono support in sales & marketing and technology.
App&Town Compagnon is looking for partners in Western Europe, USA, Japan, Australia, and New Zealand. Partners can be company or individuals selling to Public Administration:
- Technology services and/or
- Services with social impact and/or
- Public transportation services.
We are also targeting to raise 300,000€ for fueling the growth.
The app is free for the user. App&Town Compagnon generates revenues through an annual licensing scheme paid for by local transportation companies. The actual amount depends on the number of individual users: for example, it costs €40,000 per year for up to 25 users.
Mass Factory broke even in 2019 and became profitable in 2020. Going forward, the company plans to deploy the app in other Spanish cities, working with local transportation companies, and to further expand internationally, starting in the Netherlands, Germany and Austria.
Name: Faustino Cuadrado