- government invests in new ways to use data to improve driving conditions and reduce time drivers spend in traffic jams
- successful bidders from Oxfordshire, York and Bournemouth win share of £1.5 million pot to trial innovative transport projects
- investment could cut road rage felt by frustrated drivers and promote the decarbonisation of our transport network
Tech to cut congestion will get a £1.5 million boost through a government fund for councils and SMEs to promote trial projects.
The funding forms part of the Govtech Catalyst, a £20 million fund to help solve local transport issues through tech. This could help reduce the huge cost to the UK economy resulting from congestion by calming rush hour traffic and improving air quality and road safety for drivers.
Whether commuting long distances or using public transport for the school run, the 3 winning projects will trial new ways of using data generated by transport in towns and cities to improve driving conditions for thousands of people.
Driving in Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole could soon be much safer thanks to new software developed by Vivacity. The transport company’s sustainable software monitors traffic, flagging incidents in real time, allowing traffic control operators to respond quickly and stop traffic jams forming.
Working closely with Oxfordshire Council, Technology SME IM23 is creating a tool which predicts and tackles congestion by helping traffic controllers understand how to keep traffic moving while making efficient improvements to their road network.
Based on York, INRIX’s plans to use vehicle tracks to map vehicle ‘paths’ optimising and improving traffic signals in the city. This will allow traffic to flow more freely, reducing journey times, red lights and stress for drivers.
The projects will be managed by the Department for Transport for 12 months.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said:
"Congestion isn’t just bad for our environment, productivity and communities – it also has a huge impact on our national economy. That’s why, as well as our multi-billion-pound investment in rail and buses to improve connectivity, we are opening up city centre, transport and traffic management to new digital innovators.
Transport technology is a growing global sector with the potential to help reduce congestion, emissions and improve connectivity. Today’s (14 February 2020) competition winners show how world class UK transport tech companies are helping millions of people in our towns and cities every day."
Peter Mildon, Chief Operating Officer, Vivacity Labs:
"Vivacity will be heading a project that looks at how a blend of data sources and predictive Machine Learning can be combined to provide proactive traffic management tools to Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council. Vivacity are excited to be working with Siemens for this project, with both companies building on work carried out in Phase 1 of the GovTech Challenge."
James Gilchrist, City of York Council assistant director for transport, highways and environment, said:
We are thrilled to be pioneering innovative ways of using data to improve traffic management in the city. This will help us to make better informed decisions, reduce congestion, prioritise road space for sustainable transport and help to increase the reliability of bus services.
We are very excited to have the opportunity to work with INRIX in this GovTech Challenge project to further explore the Performance Analysis Trajectory Help tool. We have seen real benefits with the early prototype, and hope that continuing with this ground-breaking project will lead to a better road network for residents, visitors and businesses. We will also be able to share our lessons learned from the project with other local authorities.
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