West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) has taken a significant step in a plan to create a marketplace for the exchange of data to boost the development of connected and autonomous vehicles (CAV).
It has a launched a procurement for support in creating a data exchange as part of the ConVEx (Connected Vehicle Data Exchange) project.
The notice says the move is directed at finding a software-as-a-service arrangement and commercialising the platform.
The broad aim is to support the development of CAVs - often described as self-driving vehicles - through encouraging the exchange of data between interested authorities and the industry to accelerate research and development.
It should also support decision-making on strategic and regulatory issues relevant to CAV deployment by local, regional and national bodies. Analysis of the data should provide evidence for understanding the lively impact of CAV services.
The notice adds that a selling point for the exchange would be in curating and cleaning the data and making it available through a single point.
WMCA has projected the likely value of the deal at around £1.5 million.
The authority has emerged as one of the leading players in the UK in the development of CAVs, largely through the role of its transport authority, Transport for West Midlands, in a consortium under the Midlands Future Mobility Prorgramme.
The ConVEx project was awarded £8.4 million by Innovate UK in November 2018, with some of the money earmarked to build a digital platform for the exchange of data between technology developers and fleet operators.
Image from GOV.UK, Open Government Licence v3.0