Ask-Annie – the personalised travel assistant
‘Ask-Annie’ is a new Mobility as a Service platform (MaaS) being implemented in the West Midlands exclusively for over 65s. It is an online and telephone based personal travel assistant which builds personalised journey itineraries with price comparisons for all modes of transport and incorporates any special requirements a user may have. The pilot is being delivered between Viaqqio, part of the ESP Group and West Midlands Trains.
The Ask-Annie pilot is an extension of the work undertaken in a project called Car Freedom, in which 100 over 60s from the West Midlands area got advice on travelling better when they received their concessionary travel pass. Car Freedom participants could speak to trained advisers with any query about their transport and travel and a series of events were hosted to allow members to come together and discuss the transport challenges which they wanted help with.
The ‘Ask-Annie’ pilot was initially launched to a small test group in May 2018 and will be extended in the next phase with the introduction of a new WebApp with travel tools to complement the existing phone based service. The next phase launches on 31st August and up to 40 more volunteers are being recruited to trial the revolutionary new service for this age group.