Commercial innovation

Working with us

We want to encourage market innovators to work with us. Whether you are a start-up or SME, a corporate, an accelerator or an investor, register your details on our innovator database so we can share relevant new innovation calls and programmes. For anything else, email us at

Our innovation activities

We have shared some of our most complex problems with the market and asked it to come up with new solutions.

Acoustic Vehicle Alerting System (AVAS) sounder Market Sounding Questionnaire (MSQ)

We have issued a MSQ to get market feedback on the availability of a sounder which can meet the specification for our AVAS bus sound. We will test and evaluate any sounders that meet our requirements. The results will inform our future electric bus specification.

United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) Regulation 138 requires the addition of an Acoustic Vehicle Alerting System (AVAS) on all new quiet running vehicles. Our AVAS for buses plays our Urban Bus Sound on quiet-running buses moving at speeds up to a maximum of 28kph. The speakers that are currently in use are of a lower audio fidelity than is ideal for the sound quality but there are other limitations for any suitable sounder to overcome, including a limited space/size and minimum IP67rating or above (to prevent water/dirt ingress and withstand bus washing).

Complete the Market Sounding Questionnaire (MSQ) on ProContract (with the completed MSQ attached within your response) by the closing date of noon on 26 November 2021.

PLEASE NOTE: This exercise does not form part of any formal procurement process. All responses will be carefully considered but will not bind us to any particular approach to any procurement, nor will responses be treated as conveying any promise or commitment on the part of the respondent. Any feedback that we receive will be reviewed, analysed, and explored further either to help inform our future bus vehicle specification for AVAS solutions or as part of our AVAS retrofit project.

Energy Usage Proof of Concept

Our TfL Corporate Environment Plan sets out our approach to support the Mayor's ambition of a carbon neutral London by 2030 and deliver our existing environmental commitments. We have several programmes that are looking to provide us with greater insight on how our assets consume energy to make informed decisions for the changes required to achieve our net-zero 2030 goal.

This Proof of Concept (POC) will seek to explore new innovative ways to measure and monitor our energy consumed at rail depots. This may include Trams, DLR (Docklands LightRailway) and London Underground depots. We are looking for innovative solutions that could be retrospectively installed on our network to provide data capturing real-time and/or continuous energy consumption to understand long term trends.

To help inform the POC and the procurement exercise to appoint a supplier to run the POC, we would like to invite responses to the the market sounding questionnaire which can be found on the Procontract website - to access the MSQ please find out more here.

The submission window for the Market Sounding Questionnaire closes at 11:59pm on Thursday 2nd December 2021.

Wireless Lighting Control Systems (WLCS)

We invited market feedback on Wireless Lighting Control Systems (WLCS) and emerging and innovative technologies in this arena which could be deployed in London Underground stations. We want to introduce datacentric, efficient lighting asset monitoring technology that can advance TfL's journey to becoming a strong green heartbeat for London, making operational savings through technology and intelligence.

We may invite suppliers to a demonstration day at a non-operational/disused Tube station. The purpose of demonstrations is to understand what WLCS solutions exist and can operate in a London Underground environment. Demonstrations will help inform recommendations regarding WLCS technology and its associated benefits.

The submission window is now closed.

Vision Zero Proof of Concept

We look for innovative solutions to support our 'Vision Zero' ambition. We're keen to understand more about the conditions that lead to near misses and potential safety concerns on the road network that can help us better understand road safety risk. We were looking to run a Proof of Concept (POC) to identify, capture and bring in additional data from various vehicle types which are involved in more collisions than average.

The data will be used exclusively to explore insights on and model near misses on our network. We will be seeking London-wide data that provides a representative view of Londoners.

This POC will seek to capture and aggregate data (historical and/or real time) from a wide range of vehicles. This could include, but is not limited to, these modes:

  • Powered two wheelers
  • Cycles (including TfL's cycle hire scheme)
  • E-scooters
  • London buses (in partnership with bus operators), TfL fleet vehicles (such as dial-a-ride), freight vehicles (in partnership with freight operators)

The submission window for the Market Sounding Questionnaire is now closed.

Tender: Surface Technology Contract Retender (STCR)

We have issued a tender for providers to supply, install, maintain, and dispose of a number of surface technologies across Greater London. These include:

  • Automated Traffic Signals - includes items such as wig wags, junctions and crossings (ATS)
  • Variable Message Signs (VMS)
  • Over-height Vehicle Detectors (OVD)
  • Surface CCTV (installation, maintenance and support services)

The STCR comprises a series of complex, high value, and long-term contracts divided into multiple lots (except for CCTV), split geographically across Greater London

IMPORTANT: All interested organisations are required to express their interest by emailing A Confidentiality Agreement will be required to be completed (unchanged) before receiving access to the procurement documents, with additional requirements detailed here.

Advanced Emergency Braking for London Buses

TfL's Bus Safety Standard makes Advance Emergency Braking (AEB) on new London Buses from 2024 a mandatory requirement in line with the Vehicle Specification for New Buses Research has shown that AEB could make a significant contribution to casualty reduction, particularly through mitigation of vulnerable road user casualties.

TfL are seeking your views on commercial matters around the roll out AEB systems for London Buses through a market sounding questionnaire, particularly the market's ability to deliver AEB.

Find out more and complete the questionnaire here.

Bus Driver Fatigue & Wellbeing Innovation Challenge - accepting applications

Our Latest Innovation challenge is exploring Bus driver fatigue and wellbeing.

  • Fatigue is thought to be a contributing factor for road traffic collisions in London, with 21% of surveyed London bus drivers stating that they have to fight sleepiness at least 2-3 times a week

  • Health and wellbeing was highlighted as an area to build on in the UCL report commissioned by TfL looking into the death of bus drivers as a result of COVID-19

TfL and the Bus operators want to improve engagement with health promotion initiatives and uptake of interventions to manage diseases such as hypertension, diabetes and cardiovascular disease as well addressing known issues around wellbeing for drivers.

As such, we are looking for innovative solutions that can reduce incidents of driver fatigue occurring and/or improve driver's health and wellbeing. Novel solutions which can achieve the objective and scale are to be the main focus of this innovation competition.

Applications are now closed.

Tender: Visual AI Survey on the London Principal Road Network

We have issued a tender for a service provider to provide an annual Visual Artificial Intelligence-Based Carriageway Condition Survey (Visual AI Survey) across the London Borough Principal Road Network (BPRN) and the provision and storage of the survey data and other deliverables to identify and support asset investment decisions

Applications are now closed.

Future Neighbourhoods 2030

To help support a green recovery from the coronavirus pandemic, the Mayor has launched a new funding programme called Future Neighbourhoods 2030. It aims to tackle some of London's defining environmental challenges, including the climate emergency and toxic air quality, while creating jobs, developing skills and supporting a just transition to a low carbon circular economy.

Future Neighbourhoods will be located in London's most disadvantaged and climate-vulnerable areas, or areas where residents have been most severely affected by the pandemic. £3m is being made available for the first phase of the programme. A further £4.5m is expected to be made available for the second phase, subject to further decision making and budget process.

This programme will support 2 to 4 Future Neighbourhoods to:

  • Develop visionary strategies to 2030
  • Implement pioneering environmental projects

Read more about the programme in the prospectus.

Applications are now closed.

Digital Property Innovation Programme

We are looking for ways to modernise the management of its vast commercial property estate by implementing digital technologies. We want to give our tenants an effortless customer experience, making our estate an attractive community to be a part of.

To do this, we are launching the opportunity for four digital solutions to be trialled on our estate, each helping us to solve a different problem:

  1. Location intelligence - a tool to deepen insight on our estate using geospatial data
  2. Communication interface - a tool to help our tenants communicate with us, their customers, and their tenant community
  3. Digital keys - a solution to streamline how physical access to our units can be managed securely and efficiently
  4. Affordability calculator - a tool to help our prospective tenants better understand which spaces are affordable for their business

To understand the interest and capability of the innovator market, we are launching a Market Sounding Questionnaire (MSQ) for each project. The best solutions will be trialled on a portion of our property estate, and expanded across our portfolio if successful.

Applications are now closed.

London FreightLab

FreightLab partner logos

In collaboration with the Mayor's Civic Innovation Challenge, we launched London FreightLab to collaborate with market innovators to develop new ways of tackling some of the biggest issues associated with freight and servicing in London.

During the pilot stage, London FreightLab offers funding, land sites and subject matter expertise for up to six innovative ideas which aim to make the way goods move around London safer, cleaner and more efficient. These initiatives could be further developed and tested in later phases of the challenge. We have chosen six companies who will be taking part in our London FreightLab challenge, working alongside leading industry Partners.

These companies are set to be awarded £20,000 each to develop their ideas, to help tackle the congestion caused by freight deliveries in the capital:

The winners are:

  • AppyWay, which exists to help cities with digital kerbside management
  • EMSOL, who work with organisations to help them take steps to reduce air and noise pollution caused by transport
  • ENSO Tyres, who are looking to disrupt the tyre industry by developing a new generation of more energy efficient tyres for electric vehicles
  • Fernhay Partners, who have developed a freight delivery solution utilised last mile delivery methods such as e-bikes and walkers
  • Ford Mobility, who have a software platform to make deliveries more efficient by connecting van drivers with last mile couriers on foot or on bike
  • Humanising Autonomy, who have developed behavioural analysis for accident and near-miss prevention to increase the safety of vulnerable road users

Applications for innovators have now closed.

See our press release on the freight innovation challenge.

bus innovation

Bus Safety Innovation Challenge

A key part of our Vision Zero programme is tackling safety on the bus network. The Bus Safety Innovation Challenge seeks to identify new, innovative products and solutions to improve the safety of our buses.

The cohort which has been selected to partner with bus operators to develop and trial their solutions are:

  • Humanising Autonomy
  • Fusion Processing
  • JBDL - Vehicle Avoidance Lateral Lights
  • Datik
  • Lytx

For more information visit the Bus Safety Innovation Challenge website.

image of connected retail London banner

Connected Retail London

The Connected Retail London competition challenged businesses to come up with an innovative technical concept that reimagines physical retail space to meet the needs of our customers.

From 29 entries and 10 shortlisted concepts, we picked Sook as the winner. Sook's technology allows businesses and individuals to have a physical space as and when they need it. With time slots as short as one hour, Sook enables tailored retail space and encourages retailers to create their own digital interior.

For more information, visit the Connected Retail London website.

London RoadLab

London RoadLab

For our first open innovation programme, London RoadLab, we partnered with utilities, London councils and Plexal, an innovation centre based in Here East at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. It aims to reduce the adverse impact of roadworks.

The cohort:

image of company logos

Following 10 weeks of co-development with us, the cohort developed some great innovations and we're excited to announce Immense Simulations, Mobilized Construction, Route Reports and SAM as winners.

Our team and the winners of the TfL challenges, Go Jauntly, VU.CITY, and Crossmap at the awards ceremony at City Hall Winners of the TfL challenges, Go Jauntly, VU.CITY and Crossmap at the awards

Mayor's Civic Innovation Challenge

In 2018, we worked with the Mayor's Office on the inaugural Civic Innovation Challenge. The challenge looked for start-ups to develop ways to reduce inequality, prevent climate change and support London's ageing population.

The winners were each given £15,000 to jointly test and refine their ideas. We're now working with Go Jauntly to encourage more leisure time walking, and with VU.CITY and Crossmap to use our data to develop a housing analytics and visualisation platform.

Our Innovation Partnerships

We partner with large corporates with notable R&D capabilities and a focus on London mobility to develop new products and services that deliver against our objectives in the Mayor's Transport Strategy.

London Connectory

London Connectory

We trialled a 20-month partnership with Bosch to give small businesses and start-ups the opportunity to work with renowned experts and use cutting-edge data to tackle crucial transport challenges in London.

Working with Nitrous (a platform facilitating projects between the private sector, start ups and government), Bosch opened a new 'Connectory' facility in Shoreditch, providing space and facilities for us and selected start-ups to work alongside Bosch's experts as well as private, academic and public sector partners. 

The London Connectory focused on London's urban mobility challenges, including innovations that mean more efficient, greener and safer vehicles, reducing congestion, improving accessibility and encouraging more people to walk, cycle and take public transport.

We provided technical knowledge and a wide range of datasets, leveraging our Unified API and open data products, to allow companies to trial new products. In return, Bosch dedicated professionals to provide technical expertise, guidance and mentoring.


Getting the latest traffic information direct to drivers when and where they want it is crucial to avoiding delays and minimising congestion in the city.

 In 2016, we joined Waze's global Connected Citizens Program which enables us to share our data with Waze and receive their real time incident data in exchange. Our partnership means that London's road users have accurate information to plan their journeys and opens up Waze's valuable real time data to help us manage London's busy road network.

Our partnership has grown and developed over the years as we've worked together to deliver a range of benefits to Londonners. In 2017, we used their platform to remind drivers approaching the Blackwall Tunnel to refuel before entering the tunnel. As a result, we saw a significant increase in Waze users re-routing to nearby petrol stations, reducing the risk of breakdowns in the tunnel from lack of fuel.


We have been working with What3Words to explore possible use cases for using their innovative geocode system to communicate locations. Our Compliance, Policing and On-Street Operations (CPOS) Officers are trialling What3Words to identify precise locations during their everyday operations.

We're always on the lookout for partnerships that will help us continue our drive for innovation and customer empowerment, and we'd encourage any companies or organisations who are keen to work with us to get in touch to explore the possibilities.