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CAVs in the West Midlands at the Transport Data Initiative #7 – Leeds

Transport Data Initiative (“TDI”) hosted their 7th installment event series in Leeds on Thursday 21st June. TDI is led by local authorities who believe that improving the way we collect, store, and use data will help us deliver improved transport services while reducing cost of delivery. TDI forums blend presentations with interactivity to encourage delegates to develop ideas and expand their networks.

TDI#7 was an opportunity to hear about the progression of Connected Autonomous Vehicles (“CAVs”) in England to date.

John Paddington, Senior Project Manager and Hayley Izzard, Marketing Assistant of Conigital Group were speakers at the event, talking about CAVs in the West Midlands and the Midlands Connected Autonomous Vehicles (“MCAV”) Initiative. John Paddington explored the projects that Conigital are heavily involved in: Project INSIGHT, Project Synergy and Project Capri.

Project INSIGHT upgrades an existing electric autonomous pod design with advanced sensors to detect and recognise pedestrians, cyclists, mobility scooters and other road users involving control systems for safe, low speed operation in pedestrian areas.

Project Synergy will introduce innovative technologies to operate connected autonomous cars in a platoon formation from Stockport railway station directly to the Arrivals terminal at Manchester airport.

Project Capri is a consortium of experienced partners from industry, academia, public sector authorities and local government working together to deliver a complete Pod on Demand mobility service. Led by AECOM, the consortium will take forward current research and development work on Connected and Autonomous Vehicles and lead the way to the new generation of PODs that will be capable of seamlessly transferring between the on-road and pedestrian environments.

Hayley Izzard focused on MCAV, its increasing popularity in the West Midlands and the impending transition into International Connected Autonomous Vehicles (“ICAV”), where partnerships and opportunities European and Worldwide are starting to materialise.

Other highlights included hearing from David Richardson, Innovation Lead for Energy Systems at Innovate UK, who informed attendees that they are working on developing off street parking for electric vehicles to promote the usage in the UK today. 43% of UK households do not have access to off street parking, which acts as a significant barrier for charging electric vehicles. Bundled packages for electric vehicles are already in place for customers, which provides car insurance, breakdown cover and charging facilities included when buying an electric vehicle.

Finally, Emily Popham, Management Consultant of North Highland communicated the results of the Department for Transport Discovery project, launched earlier in the year. North Highland looked to understand how data sharing could benefit both local authorities and other user groups, such as SME’s, to understand what data would be valuable to each group and why. The team spoke with 173 individuals across 94 public and private sector organisations, 28 of which were local authorities.

The findings were that there was limited commercial value because of a few reasons, two of which was that the market is saturated with private companies and that there are significant amounts of local authority data that are inaccessible.

In conclusion, the next steps for progression is to help local authorities make more high quality data open, and this is just one solution to many that was shared in Emily’s presentation.

For the full version of events, please click here