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Greenwich leads smart transport research


Mel Poluck Correspondent

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A three-year programme has been launched to develop and test out smart transport technology, services and operating models, co-led by the Royal Borough of Greenwich Council.

The Shared Research Programme, led by DG Cities, the commercial arm of Digital Greenwich and TRL, a global transport company, will investigate the safety, sustainability and interoperability of smart transport systems.

It will also scrutinise the impact on business, cities and residents by developing and testing new road transport technologies and services, using £19 million investment from the government to tackle the changes to transport infrastructure needed under smart city plans.

The remit will cover vehicles, such as driverless buses, as well as public safety and services, with potential solutions tested out in the Royal Borough of Greenwich and the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

Businesses, including SMEs, are invited to join the research.

'Difficult questions'

According to programme leaders, the group will “ask the difficult questions that underpin transformational change, and consider their impact on society". It said: "The technologies and business models that demonstrate performance and societal benefits in this environment will integrate into thousands of urban environments globally.”   

Innovations resulting from the research programme will be tested out at the Smart Mobility Living Lab: London in Greenwich and in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. The Lab is run by a consortium that includes Transport for London and DG Cities.

The initiative has been formed by a partnership of businesses: Aviva, Hastings Direct, BP and Honda R&D Europe. 

Partners claim trial routes will “provide the most complex urban, real-world test and validation environment in the world involving the general public.”

Trevor Dorling, Managing Director of DG Cities Limited said in a statement: “We are delighted to announce the participation of these prestigious companies as founding members in this important and ambitious research programme.  Under their direction, the research will provide valuable insights into the way transport is changing and its impact on business, cities and residents”.  

Digital Greenwich is the Royal Borough of Greenwich’s in-house team established to implement its smart city strategy.

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