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ADEPT Live Labs SIMULATE programme winners announced

16 July 2020
SIMULATE is exploring the future of mobility hubs


Pop-up electric vehicle chargers, green walls and electric scooters are among the systems to be piloted in Staffordshire as part of a project exploring how the transport hub of the future could look and function.

SIMULATE (Smart, Infrastructure & Mobility Urban Laboratory and Test Environment) has announced the ten successful small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) chosen to enter the incubator programme and receive funding to trial their innovative air quality and mobility solutions in Staffordshire.

A short list of ten was selected from over 130 applications. They were assessed judging panel that included representatives from across the project.

SIMULATE, which is part of the ADEPT Smart Places Live Labs project, brings together Staffordshire County Council, Amey, Keele University and the Connected Places Catapult.

The winners in both the mobility and air quality challenges are:

  • ZWINGS is a micro-mobility operator will deploy a mix of 50 e-bikes and e-scooters to facilitate car-free movement.
  • Liftango will deliver detailed research into local mobility requirements and formulate a blueprint for demand responsive transport across the area.
  • Ginger town is a UK-based micro-mobility fleet operator with a focus on the use of e-scooter trials and e-bikes.
  • Urban Electric (UE) and MEV are a joint bid comprising of ‘pop-up’ electric charging points that integrate back into the pavement when not being used (UE), while MEV will be trialling electric car share alongside the charging points in miniaturised ‘hubs’.
  • FortyTwo in partnership with Oxfordshire County Council will be building a self-regulating, Moss Wall installation to clean the air and act as a carbon basin to combat climate change.
  • Now Wireless will be using artificial intelligence to predict pollution an hour ahead and use that information to change the parameters that can affect it.
  • Fotech will be using fibre cables to detect vibrations from vehicles and to analyse traffic volumes and dynamically change signal junctions to relieve congestion.
  • Biotecture will install an active green wall to act as a barrier against pollution and actively remove air pollutants and deliver a clean air zone.
  • IsCleanAir will deploy their water-based, filterless air filtration technology to actively cleanse pollution in areas of poor air quality.

Live Labs programme director Giles Perkins, said: “This exciting group of smart mobility and air quality interventions illustrates the breadth of innovation that can now be harnessed in our local communities. We look forward to seeing these being deployed and learnings shared right across the local roads sector for the benefit of all.”

Each SME will be delivering a key element of Staffordshire’s radical new vision of multi-modal mobility hubs.

Staffordshire County Council’s cabinet member for highways and transport Helen Fisher, said: “The SIMULATE project has reached an exciting stage where we now have all of the SMEs on board to start their challenges. We’re pleased to be working with our partners in bringing in industry expertise to find and apply innovative sustainable transport and clean air solutions which will bring real long-term benefits to communities and businesses in Staffordshire and across the UK. As a council we are committed to work towards greener transport options and combatting climate change and so it’s great that we have this project running in Staffordshire.”

The ADEPT SMART Places Live Labs programme is a two-year £22.9m project funded by the Department for Transport and supported by project partners SNC-Lavalin’s Atkins business, EY, Kier, O2, Ringway and WSP.

David Ogden, business director at Amey, said: “Innovation is vital in addressing air quality and mobility challenges that the transportation sector and local communities will face in the coming years. Working with innovative SMEs from different business backgrounds enables our sector to learn from the best and implement technologies we might not have usually considered, and exploring the environmental and mobility benefits to the communities in Staffordshire, through creating a network of multi-modal mobility hubs - developing a new platform for the way innovation is brought to life.”

The Association of Directors of Environment, Economy, Planning and Transport (ADEPT) represents local authority county, unitary and metropolitan place directors.

The ADEPT SMART Places Programme is a five-year project examining and developing innovation to enable the adoption of innovative and digital technology across the local highway network.

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