Mott MacDonald and Alchera win £2m transport location data competition

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Mott MacDonald and Alchera Technologies have secured funding from the Geospatial Commission to help solve transport challenges using geospatial data

The Geospatial Commission, in partnership with Innovate UK, is funding winners of their £2m transport location data competition which looks at how location data can spark innovation and support the future of mobility for the UK.

Mott MacDonald will work with technology partner Alchera Technologies on a project to build a real-time digital twin based on existing traffic models, the growing array of roadside sensors, and state-of-the-art machine learning techniques in order to be able to model traffic condition on networks in real-time.

A digital twin of the road network will enable more effective traffic management measures and optimise use of the road network capacity.

Alchera’s cloud-based AI software, Alpha, will provide real-time data on vehicle movements around major infrastructure and will be used alongside Mott MacDonald’s mesoscopic traffic modelling, meaning a real-time digital transport twin can become a reality.

Smarter mobility solutions, underpinned by location data, will enable users to make the most of our transport networks by boosting capacity, reducing environmental impacts and decreasing travel times.

Phase 1 of the feasibility study aims to prove that live feeds from traffic sensor data can be automatically ingested and mapped in real-time to a virtual representation of the road network in a mesoscopic traffic model.

In phase 2, the expectation is to have a fully operational, self-improving digital twin that will present outputs geospatially, supporting better informed operational decision making.

‘Net-zero, digital innovation and social outcomes’

Steve Canadine, managing director transportation, Mott MacDonald said: “We’re delighted to be contributing to this innovative programme, which could have a transformative effect on how the UK’s road capacity is used.

“The work builds upon our long-term development of digital twins and our support for the Centre for Digital Built Britain (CDBB).

“The project also represents a perfect hybrid of our core purposes – net-zero, digital innovation and social outcomes.”

The submission team included the ITD transport modelling team at Mott MacDonald; Philip Old, project principal, and principal transport modellers Martin Parretti and Tim Pollard; and Aaron Croucher and Themba Muchaneta at Alchera Technologies.

Anna Jordan, head of operations at Alchera, added: “Alchera specialises in providing real-time digital tools to owners & operators of infrastructure in the mobility sector.

“This work is an exciting opportunity to combine Mott MacDonald’s transport modelling capability with our intelligent data hub to create a new cutting-edge real-time decision-making tool for road network operators.”

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