Government-backed project aims to boost UK 'intellitent mobility' sector
Claiming to be aiming to turn the UK into a ‘smart transport Silicon Valley’, a funding package of between £50m and 100m will be used to get early-stage innovations off the ground, which are aimed at moving people and goods more intelligently.
The longer-term aim is to give the country a 10% share of the intelligent mobility market, which is predicted to be worth £900bn in ten years. To get it moving, a ‘fund manager’ is being sought.
Paul Zanelli, chief technology officer at the Transport Systems Catapult, said: “We are on the cusp of a revolution in transport that will see IT innovations used to create hyper-efficient, seamless movement of goods and people based on real-time data.
“A ‘perfect storm’ of circumstances from the rise of ‘taxi-pooling’ to the introduction of smart cards and declining car ownership among young city-dwellers is ushering in a new kind of shared transport delivered as an on-demand package service.”
The 30 projects identified so far include:
- Route Monkey’s scheduling and modelling system for electric vehicles, which will enable virtual trials of the technology in UK cities.
- PIE Mapping will develop a live map of the UK’s road network, based on data from the Highways Agencies, transport operators and local authorities, allowing fleets to navigate around delays more effectively.
- Asset Mapping will capture live data from a wide array of connected devices, enabling freight companies to have 24-hour visibility over an entire network in real-time.
- Zipabout monitors social media for a real-time view of consumer moods, aimed at predicting future transport events.
- Mole Solutions is hoping to reduce the volume of freight traffic on the roads by developing a network of underground pipelines, which can move goods on automated trains.
New developments will also enable real-time three-dimensional tracking of aircraft, and for bikes to share and receive information about air quality to notify their riders.
“We aim to create something that can attract forward-thinking technology investors to help get these world-leading transport ideas to the marketplace over the course of ten years,” said Zanelli.