TfL turns to new tech to make roads ”safer, smarter and more efficient”

Transport for London is set to start using new technology from two UK start-ups in an attempt to reduce road danger and disruption caused by roadworks and unplanned incidents on its road network. It says the technology will make a real difference to keeping people safe, helping to cut congestion and cleaning up London’s air.

In 2019, TfL launched an innovation challenge called RoadLab, which called on the UK’s innovators to develop technology that could make roadworks in the capital safer, smarter and more accessible.

Nine innovators were chosen to go through to a ten-week programme, where their proposed technology was trialled and developed with the support of London’s major utility companies and London Councils.

Following a procurement process, TfL has now awarded contracts to samdesk and Immense for technology that it expects will make the management of London’s road network safer, smarter and more efficient.

Immense will use innovative simulation technology that models roadworks to understand their impact on the road network before they take place, which TfL expects to provide it and utilities staff with information on predicted congestion impacts, increases in emissions and the safety impacts of planned roadworks.

This information can then be used to inform people in London about predicted impacts to their intended journey.

Software from samdesk leverages artificial intelligence and real time anonymised social media data to detect emerging disruptions, giving TfL staff a faster and more comprehensive insight into incidents unfolding across the transport network. TfL says having early access to information about incidents across London will help it  to respond to them more quickly.

Ensuring that people and goods can move around the capital’s road network safely and efficiently is vital to a healthy and sustainable recovery from coronavirus.

TfL is now working with Immense and samdesk to prepare the new technology for use on the capital’s road network, and will start to use software from both companies in the coming months.

(Picture – Yay Images)


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