Government of UK launches £2m transport location data competition

This competition aims to stimulate commercial innovation to assist create geospatial solutions to their transport challenges and support the longer-term of mobility.

Government of UK launches £2m transport location data competition
Government of UK launches £2m transport location data competition

Government of UK launches £2m transport location data competition

The Geospatial Commission has partnered with Innovate UK to create a new £2m competition which will look at how location data can spark innovation and support the future of mobility for the UK. 

PBCtoday quoted Abigail Page, head of innovation and skills at the Geospatial Commission as saying that smarter mobility solutions, underpinned by location data, will enable them to form the foremost of their transport networks by boosting capacity, reducing environmental impacts and decreasing travel times.

This competition aims to stimulate commercial innovation to assist create geospatial solutions to their transport challenges and support the longer term of mobility.

The competition has 4 themes:

  • Mobility as a service: to assist better integration of transport modes.
  • Active travel: Creating safer ways to enable active travel.
  • Supply chains: Helping better distribution, storage and delivery.
  • Boosting capacity: Increasing efficiency of transport networks.

The role of location data in shaping the longer term of mobility

The opportunity to shape the longer term of transport and mobility is one among nine opportunity areas identified within the UK Geospatial Strategy, launched earlier this year.

The strategy explains that location data and technology will help improve transport services, enabling the efficient delivery of latest networks and transport corridors. It will help connect people with the roles they have, the products and services they need, and therefore the places they need to travel. Recent pandemic has driven an increase in awareness of the opportunities for location data in transportation.

The importance of higher understanding of mobility using location data has supported the United Kingdom across a variety of areas – from adaption of conveyance systems to increasing resilience in global supply chains. The new circumstances are driving a requirement for innovative approaches to using location data intelligently in ways haven’t seen within the past.

New technologies, like Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (CAVs), represent an exciting new development within the way forward for mobility, promising a safer, more efficient and affordable thanks to travel. Such technologies depend heavily on the power to gather, manage and analyze huge amounts of knowledge in real-time.

This data might be used beyond just the operation of CAVs and deployed across a network to intelligently manage traffic at scale. Enabling innovation, like through this competition, is one among four key missions of the UK’s Geospatial Strategy. The main target of this competition is to develop new ideas which will ultimately be deployed within the UK to drive productivity and sustainable economic process .

Page added that the approach through the tiny Business Research Initiative (SBRI) competition will compile innovators with public sector challenges. Projects should identify a UK public sector strategic customer (such as an area authority) to sponsor each solution. Additionally, projects should demonstrate reasonable use of geospatial data and technology.

SBRI competitions are a tried and tested method for encouraging innovative solutions to public sector challenges. They supply a fanatical procurement route for innovative SMEs who won’t otherwise have access to funding opportunities or be crowded out by larger firms.

In parallel to the competition, the Geospatial Commission has established a replacement Transport Location Data Taskforce, chaired by Dr Steve Unger, independent commissioner. This task force is bringing together businesses within the transport sector who have an interest in exploiting location data, with expert location data organisations and public sector officials.

How to become involved

The competition is hospitable UK-based organisations from a business of any size, academic organisation or education institute, charity, public sector organisation or agency, public sector research establishment, research council institute or a search and technology organisation. The deadline for applications is midday on 4 November 2020. More information about the competition can be viewed here.