Warwick and AppyWay win share of 5G project money
ITS (UK) members the University of Warwick and AppyWay have been announced as a consortium member receiving a share of £2.4 million of funding to support the development of new connected products and services aimed at transforming transport across the region.
West Midlands 5G Limited says the funding competition’s first phase will deliver exciting innovation projects that – if successful – will either provide a use case to improve road and rail operational efficiency, provide better-connected transport, or improve passenger experiences.
The projects are scheduled to run until the end of 2021, with many set to complete ahead of that deadline, and each project will include trialling and testing of their innovative service in the West Midlands region.
WM5G Limited is a multi-million-pound programme that both the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) have set-up to develop the UK’s first region-wide 5G testbed. DCMS expects to invest over £20 million in this programme, in addition to substantial West Midlands public sector and private investment (October 2018 to March 2022).
Warwick is part of the Capacity Manager project alongside Blacc, Immense, Elgin, and O2.
It is described as an innovative traffic management solution in which live traffic data is transferred in real-time over 5G to a dynamic road network model. Artificial intelligence working on the data provided, combined with historic event information will create scenarios that provide real-time insights, allowing incidents and congestion to be better managed. When proven, this will result in less congestion, with traffic flowing more freely – improving the experience of travelling around the region for work or leisure.
AppyWay is working with Getmapping on the Predikt project which is a predictive parking system that uses 5G-enabled kerbside imaging to reduce the amount of time spent finding a parking space. This could reduce the estimated £373 million spent each year in wasted time, fuel and emissions caused by drivers searching for a place to park. If successful, drivers will have access to highly accurate predictive availability of parking spaces, making their journeys quicker and reducing the time vehicles spend on the road.
Chris Holmes, Programme Director – Transport at WM5G, said, “We have been delighted with the response to this first competition, which was heavily oversubscribed, and are really pleased to be awarding the funding to projects that we truly believe – when proven – will transform transport within the region. We look forward to seeing what our new partners deliver and will support them in the realisation of real and tangible benefits.”
Chris Lane, Head of Transport Innovation at ITS (UK) member Transport for West Midlands (TfWM), added, “We have ambitious transport plans for the region and funding competition with West Midlands 5G forms a key part of that. The outcome of these trials will make a significant difference to transport across the region and have national relevance. This news further reinforces the West Midlands’ reputation as one of the UK’s number one locations for both 5G and transport innovation.”
A second round of the funding competition for 5G-enabled road and rail trials closes on Wednesday 2nd December 2020 at 11:00am. A share of up to an additional £2.5 million is available to UK registered businesses.