TNB: Could you tell readers a little about Immense?
Eifion Jenkins, Managing Director and Co-Founder: Immense was founded in 2015 by myself and three colleagues who were working at the Transport Systems Catapult. We spotted a gap in global capability to test future transportation scenarios in anticipation of autonomous, connected, electric and shared mobility solutions.
In our five years of operation the business has grown to employ more than 50 people working across London, Milton Keynes, Barcelona, San Francisco and Detroit.
TNB: Could you tell us more about what the business does?
EJ: Immense provide a software-as-a-service platform for testing new transport solutions in cities around the world. This is used by automotive manufacturers, fleet operators, energy providers and city authorities to inform future mobility strategies and improve live operations.
The two primary components of the platform are digital worlds and a simulation engine.
Our digital worlds are comprised of the best available datasets about three things – trips made by people and goods; the movement of vehicles and services; and the network of road and infrastructure. To build these, we’ve developed the data partnerships that allow us to rapidly model any global city.
Our simulator replicates the movement of people, goods and vehicles within our cities over time, based on initial conditions and assumptions made by the user, to rapidly evaluate the impacts on transportation, economy, energy and the environment.
TNB: What’s business like at the moment?
EJ: It is an incredibly interesting time with the entire transportation ecosystem in flux as a result of COVID-19.
We recently launched the second generation of our platform that includes a revamped user interface and the addition of new global datasets.
In the market, we have seen a shift away from designing new passenger services to helping operators transition fleets to electric vehicles and improve logistics services.
The next 12 months will involve gaining new partners, pulling in new datasets and productising several other applications including transport planning and road network operations.
We will also begin a greater push into the US market.
TNB: What are the big issues and opportunities?
EJ: COVID-19 is undoubtedly the biggest issue we face right now, but it has also highlighted the enduring challenge of climate change. Transport has a massive role to play in helping us recover from both issues, and the technical advances in clean powertrains and automated vehicles are hugely exciting. We believe that advanced simulation has a vital role to play in tackling these issues, whether that be planning new, socially distanced transport services to move key workers or cutting emissions from a nationwide logistics fleet by supporting their transition to electric vehicles.
Eifion Jenkins, Managing Director and Co-Founder of Immense