In order to support the launch today of Lisboa Horizontal, the first mobile app to calculate the flattest possible cycle routes avoiding the city’s inclines, Vodafone prompted its employees to go to the office by bike. The challenge was posed by the CEO of Vodafone Portugal, Mário Vaz, who invited all its employees to try out this innovative application at first hand and choose the bike as an alternative and sustainable means of transport.
This initiative coincides with European Car Free Day (22 September) and once again reinforces Vodafone’s commitment as a company that invests in solutions that improve the quality of life in large urban centres by employing innovation and technology.
The winner of BIG Smart Cities 2015, the entrepreneurship and innovation competition launched by Vodafone Power Lab, Lisboa Horizontal was designed by a Belgian architect, Kobe Vanhaeren, who was motivated to develop the app after living in Lisbon for a season and realising at the end of it that the saying that it is impossible to get around Lisbon of the Seven Hills by bike is not just a myth. So he got together with the marketer Pedro Fernandes and the ‘techie’ Diogo Simões to create the Lisboa Horizontal app, which entered BIG Smart Cities 2015 and won the competition.
Incubated since at Vodafone Power Lab, following its launch in Lisbon the ambition is to cover other European cities later this year. The Portuguese start-up currently already has 17% of the world mapped using topographic models of the cities. The app is free and is now available from the App Store.
Recently, this start-up won the Space Business Idea Challenge, an initiative of the Advanced Research in Telecommunications Systems (ARTES) programme of the European Space Agency (ESA). The award was presented in Brussels and future collaborations between the start-up and ESA have been agreed.
Combining technology, innovation and sustainability – factors that are increasingly crucial to everyday life in modern cities – Lisboa Horizontal aims to enable anyone to replace traditional transport by bicycle in their daily commute or leisure journeys and thereby promote an increasingly intelligent and sustainable mobility.