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Digital projects win transport tech funding


Mark Say Managing Editor


A handful of projects using digital technology for safer and greener travel have received £30,000 each from the Department for Transport (DfT).

Light trail of train

They are among the winners of the new round of the Transport-Technology Research and Innovation Grant (T-TRIG).

The funding competition, now in its seventh year and run by the DfT and Connected Places Catapult, supports the development of new technology to make UK transport systems safer, more sustainable and accessible.

Some of the winning projects have come in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. The start-up Routes Report is working on a computer vision based solution for passenger counting and personal protective equipment detection with the aim of monitoring transport capacity and passenger compliance with safety measures.

Another, led by Impli, is the development of a contact-awareness bracelet for people with visual impairments to alert them when safe social distancing is compromises. It incorporates a haptic vibration capability.

The Find a Space on a Train project from Esoterix Systems aims to supply real time information on the business of train carriages, using historical and live weight data. This could enable passengers to choose whether to travel and where to board.

Incremental Solutions has won support for its Good To Go project, aimed at providing more information to the public through a fusion of GPS, train capacity data, open data schedules and train cleaning updates.

Anteam is leading work on an artificial intelligence solution to manage the logistics of road transport with the aim of reducing CO2  emissions.

In addition, Houndstooth Wireless is working on self-meshing drone detection networks to allow a plug and play operation of drone detection over wide, complex geographic areas.

Transport Minister Rachel Maclean said: “I’m delighted to see government investment bringing together talented start-ups and policy makers at the earliest stages of innovation, and giving a boost to the technology, which could make travelling safer on our road to a green transport recovery.

“This funding will make the UK one of the most attractive places for SMEs and university thinkers to do what they do best, as we look to build back better, while also solving the complex challenge of decarbonising transport.”

To date, 199 innovation projects have received a share of £6 million in funding. More than 60% of these grants have been awarded to small businesses, with 30% going to universities.

The DfT said that support from T-TRIG has often been a precursor to funding from private investors, amounting to more than £25 million since the programme began.

Image from iStock, Chalabala

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