What is GreenPrompt?
GreenPrompt is a "push" technology that optimizes consumer transportation choices to the mobile or web-based digital calendars. When people's travel intentions are known, it is possible to provide just-in-time comparative information about transport options to help them select a low cost and low environmental impact transportation.
A detailed outline of GreenPrompt, explaining how it is innovative and how you have demonstrated it is feasible?
Consumers will think green if it saves them time and money. GreenPrompt is a self-funding, speedily implemented, win:win holistic intelligent transportation system that uses information to incentivize consumers to align their travel needs with environmentally friendly money saving solutions.
Ideally, when deciding how to get from A to B, people consider relative cost, convenience, comparative travel duration, departure time and risk/probability of delay. This everyday mental transaction is a complex calculation often in the absence of data, such that sub-optimal choices are made all the time.
The key patent pending innovation is that a digital calendar specifies location and time of the traveler's future appointments. Comparing current location (via mobile GPS) and the location of the appointment, the best route (car/truck / transit), real-time traffic, relative cost and precise departure time are readily calculated.
Proxpro, a company based in Boston, MA, has built the first module of the GreenPrompt solution, an award-winning product called "Prompt" (beta) that has delivered 100,000s routes for thousands of customers.
What is so exciting about this idea is that all travelers reap cost / time saving benefits using the system, whether they are car captured, heavy or light trucks, mass transit captive, or multi-modal travelers.
Summary of Benefits:
Car captive benefits:
Best departure time aware of real-time traffic to reduce emissions
- "Tells you when to "hit the road" features.
- Time shifting departure to avoid traffic and reduce fuel costs
- Ideal car pooling options to share a ride and identify symmetry
- Instant feedback on environmental impact and carbon footprint
- Reduce time in car (increased productivity)
- Time and location-based weather forecasts
Trucking captive benefits:
- Best truck departure time shifting to reduce emissions and improve driver utilization
- Truck pooling to fill available trucks to capacity
- Optimum truck routing to reduce engine idle time in traffic
- Predictive time and location-based weather forecasts
Multimodal traveler at the margin between car and transit
- optimum departure time
- comparative cost of different modes
- composite multi-modal trip planning
- Situation awareness for each leg of journey
- Instant feedback on environmental impact
- More productive use of travel time
- Less travel time
Mass Transit captive benefits:
- Situation aware information of delays to transport system
- Car pooling to local station or transport hub
Benefits to Government Transportation Departments
- Increase transit market share by encouraging people to substitute train for car
- CRM (Customer relationship management) to understand why and how often people choose the car over transit (safety, reliability, ignorance)
- Better management of traffic congestion / reservation pricing
- Safer driving environment with fewer people rushing during hours of congestion.
What contribution will GreenPrompt have in tackling climate change?
GreenPrompt is a solution for the clean energy economy focused on the transportation sector. The transportation sector has led all U.S. end-use sectors in emissions of carbon dioxide since 1999, producing 1180.5 million metric tons of carbon dioxide. GreenPrompt is a quick win, capital efficient solution that can contribute on a global scale. With 98% of travel in the USA, being road-based, an effective green transportation solution must cover all modes of transport including cars and trucks. GreenPrompt is a software solution that can be applied to the existing transportation vehicles and make a material impact immediately.
→ It is estimated that car and truck drivers, by time shifting departure time to avoid congestion may reduce emissions by 12-36%. It is estimated that the average household could save as much as $12.00 per month just by using the service.
- USA Impact: Reduction of CO2 emissions by 5% or 59 million metric tons
- World wide Impact: 354 million metric tons
→ Car and truck pooling one day per week could reduce car emissions by 20%
- USA Impact: 4% 47 million metric tons
- Worldwide Impact 282 million metric tons
→ 10% increase in mass transit ridership growing to 50% in five years.
- USA Impact: 1% reduction in car travel: 11.8 million metric tons
- Worldwide impact: 70.8 million metric tons
- Total benefit: about 10% motor transport CO2 emissions
- USA Impact: 117.8 million metric tons
- Worldwide Benefit: 706.8 million metric tons
- CRM feedback loops could help Mass Transit authorities effectively deal with the problems surrounding ridership.
- It could be argued with a transition to electric hybrid vehicles predictions on congestion and range could become increasingly important.
What funding or support have you received for GreenPrompt so far?
Proxpro has consulted leading experts in the transportation sector: including Nigel Wilson, MIT, Professor of Civil & Environmental Engineering and David Levinson, RP Braun CTS Chair of Transportation at the University of Minnesota, author of Planning for Place and Plexus: Metropolitan Land Use and Transport.
"By conveniently providing real-time traffic information on-the-go, Prompt and similar technologies can lift the fog of ignorance all travelers face, minimizing time, expenditures, and needless emissions." --- David Levinson, RP Braun CTS Chair of Transportation at the University of Minnesota, author of Planning for Place and Plexus: Metropolitan Land Use and Transport.
Proxpro Inc. is an early stage start up and is self-funding the development of Prompt as a commercial premium application focused at the mobile GPS Navigation industry.
Proxpro is partnered with key content suppliers Inrix, NAVTEQ, NetworksInMotion and TCS.
Proxpro has had over 1 years business development discussions with General Motors, Magellan, Verizon Wireless, Sprint and AT&T, and will be announcing more partnerships in the next few months.
Prompt won the best new location-based product at SiRF’s Location 2.0 Summit in September 2008. Chosen by GPS industry leaders, Prompt was chosen for “superior use of the power of location to enhance the daily lives of individuals, enterprises and communities, as well as its level of innovation, impact on the market, features and benefits to end users”.
What is the cost of scaling up GreenPrompt?
GreenPrompt is a big idea but with relatively low development costs. The savings of time and money for the consumer will incentivize adoption and customer loyalty.
$500k could build prototype car / trucking / mass transit client to prove concept. $5 million would enable porting to major mobile operating systems and enable a feature phone version seamlessly interlinked with web-based calendars. Private funding, with public sector backing, could finance the worldwide roll-out. Customer acquisition initially is less than $1 / user. Most importantly the application has proven it is very sticky with low customer churn rates.
Advertizing-based business models would support a world-wide consumer roll out targeting 500 million people by 2013, and reaching 3 billion by 2030.
Enterprise solutions would focus on improving the efficiencies of the trucking industry.
What are the next steps to scaling GreenPrompt to reach a wider audience or have a bigger impact?
The prize money would be used to add green routing and time shifting modules to the existing Prompt solution. One objective would be to partner with a major city public transportation department to pilot and prove concept demonstrating how situation aware data for buses, metro and commuter rail could be integrated to road traffic information. A social networking element would reduce costs of customer acquisition.
This proposal is aligned with key trends in the mobile phone and telecommunications industry. US carriers, who are seeing voice revenues growth slow are focusing on converting more of their subscribers to data plans. Mobile devices integrated to the mobile web will make up the majority of mobile phones by 2011. Second, GPS navigation is seen as a killer applications, that is driving the provisioning of GPS in mobile phones across the world. These trends will continue and accelerate, and mobile broadband will follow the same trend and broadband in the home. With the added benefit of helping to control CO2 emissions mobile broadband might take on a new important significance.