Cummins Piloting On-Demand Multimode Transportation at Purdue University

A Cummins powered mobile app is used to request micro transit shuttles when and where campus commuters need transportation.

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Cummins Inc. announces a four-month pilot project in Indiana to evaluate an on-demand transit solution, in partnership with Purdue University and Energy Systems Network (ESN). The pilot begins September 30.

The collaborative experiment, called Leaper X, includes a web-based mobile application powered by Cummins, and a small trial fleet of designated campus shuttles in addition to Purdue’s traditional campus buses. Using the app, individuals can self-select how, when, and where they use Purdue’s campus transportation services. Cummins, Purdue and ESN believe this solution can improve mobility for students, faculty and staff.

“Cummins is using IoT (Internet-of-Things) and advanced analytics to transform experiences and deliver the right solutions at the right time for our customers,” says Tom Linebarger, chairman and chief executive officer at Cummins. “Purdue and ESN share Cummins’ passion for research and technological innovation, and we are pleased to work together on this project.”

The piloting of the Leaper X platform helps advance what a recent ESN report – Emerging Mobility Technologies and Trends – says will be a new “Mobility-as-a-System” landscape, whereby different modes, providers, and usage models are synthesized to improve travel.

“Cummins’ on-demand transit solution has the potential to enhance transit today while furthering a Mobility-as-a-System future,” says Paul Mitchell, President and CEO of ESN. “We’re thrilled to be working with Cummins and Purdue to demonstrate and advance this innovative solution.”

The pilot initiative will allow Cummins to test connected technologies and gather data. The insights collected from the Leaper X program will help validate hypotheses for business and academic purposes, and assess the impact that smart technologies can have on reducing travel time, boosting availability of transportation services, expanding coverage, and streamlining commuting for multimode transit solutions.

Select destinations on Purdue’s West Lafayette campus will allow commuters to initiate and manage transportation preferences using the Leaper X app. Once a ride is requested through the app and routed to a free Leaper X shuttle, users will be picked and dropped off within minutes. In addition to on-demand ride requests, users can view traditional campus bus routes, enabling riders to compare options and make informed, real-time decisions on the best way to travel based on a range of information including wait times, vehicle or destination proximity, and more.

The project is led by Cummins’ Digital Accelerator, which functions as the company’s own tech startup, with strategic access to Fortune 150 resources and talents. Through the conception, build and launch of digital solutions, the Digital Accelerator team leverages open architecture, connectivity, big data, advanced analytics, Internet-of-Things, artificial intelligence, machine learning, edge computing and more, to drive the company forward on its journey towards smart technologies.

 2019 marks 100- and 150-year anniversaries for Cummins and Purdue, respectively, and both institutions continue to deliver on their commitments to continually use innovation and technology to solve problems for customers, communities and the environment.

“Purdue and Cummins have had longstanding partnerships in the areas of math, science and engineering,” says Purdue University president, Mitch Daniels. “The collaboration around the new Leaper X program has the potential to shift the way we think about innovative and sustainable transportation for our students and faculty, and it showcases one of many ways Cummins and Purdue are leveraging technology to turn challenges into opportunities.”

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