Digital Twin of road network moves closer thanks to Gaist and TRL tie-up

TRL and Gaist are collaborating to develop a national digital twin of the road network in a project they say could revolutionise how we plan and manage our roads.

Gaist, whose expertise is in roadscape insight and intelligence services, is to explore with TRL what the detailed case is for a digital twin of the UK’s road network, using data updated in near real-time.

They think such a twin could play a vital role in managing road repairs, prioritising investments and interventions and reducing delays and disruption for road-users. It would also help planners and policymakers better understand the useful lifetime of an asset and the demands it is likely to face as well as support predictions around how city transport systems can respond to the multiple burdens placed on them.

The companies say this is one focul area in their collaboration and is part of Gaist’s partnership programme where they will work together in an attempt to “solve global roads challenges, shape the road asset data and standards landscape and explore potential advanced applications of roads data”. They say they will also examine the role of roads data in supporting more efficient, greener and safer transport infrastructure.

As part of the collaboration, Gaist will join TRL’s Smart Mobility Living Lab London – the lab developed by TRL with partners from government and industry to enable innovative mobility organisations to test new products and services safely on live public roads.

“This important alignment between two domain experts marks a milestone in the global application and exploitation of detailed, high-definition roads data,” explained Andrew Loveless, Gaist’s Chief Revenue Officer. “Together with TRL, we will present the “best of British” in asset data capture and asset management systems to international customers and work together to push forward our industry and promote UK exports abroad.”

Ryan Hood, Head of Digitisation of Transport at TRL, added, “This collaboration underlines TRL’s commitment to work with innovative digitally-orientated organisations to shape the future of road asset management and wider transport, both globally and here in the UK. The advanced thinking and ambition that Gaist demonstrates, alongside the provision of new data sources and insights, mirrors our own thinking about the future direction of the market.”

The companies say advances in mobile technology and capturing techniques, a reduction in the cost of sensors and other equipment, and the implementation of new business models, has taken the gathering and analysis of rich, detailed data about the road and roadscape to a new level. Gaist adds that the demand for its insights has boomed with its traditional customer base of local authorities now extended to broadband and utilities organisations alongside those at the forefront of the Connected Autonomous Vehicle revolution.

As part of the collaboration with TRL, the capability to ingest Gaist’s road asset data will be integrated into TRL Software’s cloud-native iROADS asset management system, enhancing each other’s existing data products and services to bring greater value to clients across the globe.

(Picture – Gaist)

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