In our cities, many alternatives to individual car use already exist such as cycling, carpooling, public transit, electric vehicles and so on but why don’t more people use them? As travellers, how often do we sit in a traffic jam, frustrated and late for an appointment? As policy makers and transport planners, how do we encourage people to perceive these alternatives as being realistic options? EMPOWER sets out to substantially reduce the use of conventionally fuelled vehicles (CFV) in cities and recognises that a step change in driver behaviour is needed to improve urban traffic flows, increase air quality and reduce CO2 emissions and oil consumption. Adopting a ‘reward rather than punishment’ approach, EMPOWER will explore the use of positive incentives delivered through smart phone technologies and the web to persuade people to make modest shifts in their transport choices. Funded by the European Commission’s Horizon2020 programme, the project combines empirical research with practical implementation in four Living Lab Cities and seven Take-Up Cities and Communities.