Category Archives: Mobility

Wildlife Conservation Park reaps wireless benefits!

Staff at the Birmingham Wildlife Conservation Park are being helped to carry out their daily tasks by Wi-Fi installed as a part of a city-wide scheme, the Wireless in Public Buildings Project, led by Digital Birmingham. See this short video from the launch

For connected buildings near you, please visit http://localview.birmingham.gov.uk/freewifi/

Developing intelligent and sustainable mobility

Vision of New Street Station and planned Metro
Vision of New Street Station and planned Metro (bigcityplan.birmingham.gov.uk)

Digital Birmingham attended the New Journey workshop at the end of June to help shape a shared vision for the New Journey – a new way of thinking about connecting places and people. This takes a smart approach on a journey towards individual, integrated and seamless mobility solutions, making public transport the natural choice for people’s journeys across the West Midlands. Ultimately the aim is to make the West Midlands a leader in developing and delivering intelligent sustainable mobility providing combined improved access to public and private transport movement across networks with wider ‘big data’ product solutions. Some great thinking and ideas flowed during the day and these were captured and presented by Centro in this brilliant New Journey Conference Mindmap – which has perfectly captured the discussion strands and themes of the day – certainly worth dipping in and out of to absorb all of the information presented here and great contributor to progressing the Smart City Roadmap actions

 

 

Can Birmingham become a global leader of new transport technologies?

The event, organised by Innovation Birmingham and Transport Systems Catapult brought together speakers from a start-up, major IT company and the public sector, to try and establish whether Birmingham had the potential to become a global leader in new transport technologies.

Over the course of the afternoon, there were several strands of thought on the link between the institutions and characteristics of Birmingham and the wider West Midlands region and its suitability as a ‘living lab’ for new transport technologies.

Birmingham sits at the heart of England, giving it a geographical advantage as a transport hub – and by extension, a logical location to develop a smart, low carbon transport system. Chair of the Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership (GBSLEP) Andy Street highlighted how this could feed into the city region’s ambitions for the HS2 project: not to be “the end of the line”, but the centre. This was not solely about location, but also a challenge to make Birmingham the home of the associated engineering and technological support, research and development that accompanies such a key infrastructure project.

An associated point to location is size: Birmingham is a large city, the largest local authority in Europe: solutions that work here will be applicable to other large conurbations. And as Paul Zanelli, Chief Technology Officer for the Transport Systems Catapult noted, these solutions are as much about identifying what you no longer need to travel for – for example, if high speed internet is regionally available, homeworking (or working in other spaces closer to home) becomes more viable.

Read full blog post here>> 

Action I1: Birmingham Transportation Data Platform and Innovation Competition

To create a distributed mobility data platform of real time and historic data that will allow open access to data while protecting access to operationally sensitive data. The platform will support new services to be developed for internal and external use to better co-ordinate plans and activities such as emergency response and route planning .
To promote the use of the platform and data to stimulate innovation by local SMEs, potentially in the form of facilitating a competitive approach and supporting business collaboration.

Stakeholders identified

  • BCC
  • National Express
  • Highways Agency
  • Centro
  • Amey
  • UTMC development group

Potential stakeholders

  • Data users and developers
  • WM local authorities
  • Police, Fire and Emergency services
  • SAP

What makes this approach smart?

Data and system integration and use of data for better city operations and externally driven innovation

Short-term actions

  • Scoping exercise with partners to identify demand and funding streams
  • Data Audit
  • Build Data architecture
  • Platform Test

Future actions

Platform operational; establish innovation programme

Action I2: Air quality and noise improvement

Support the improvement of the Air Quality Management Area (AQMA) by providing real time air quality (and noise) information across the city. Explore validity of low emission zones with policy makers based on a 12 month pilot. Make information about air and noise pollution available to planners and policy makers linking it to health information. The data could be made available to citizens, based on real-time and historic data, via an app.

Stakeholders identified

  • BCC
  • WM LETCP (West Midlands Low Emissions Towns & Cities Programme)
  • Amey
  • Siemens
  • Centro
  • National Express

Potential stakeholders

  • DEFRA
  • WM local authorities
  • Health groups

What makes this approach smart?

Cross sector collaboration and data use for transport, environment and health

Short-term actions

  • WM LETCP Pilot
  • Impact assessment and feedback to policy development

Future actions

  • Validate business case for citywide rollout
  • Determine future solution and incorporate into data platform

Action I3: Exploiting on-street way finding infrastructure

As part of the Big City Plan the Interconnect Project has created a new way finding system for visitors to navigate the city, which includes web information, maps and on-street signage through so called ‘totems’. These totems have the capacity to provide additional information and digital services to people in Birmingham, beyond map information e.g. activity discovery, local news, and sustainable travel information. This could be achieved through introduction of a third-party app.
We will explore how interactivity could be used in provision of services and build use of totem communications infrastructure into Birmingham’s major incident and emergency planning.

Stakeholders identified

  • BCC
  • Marketing Birmingham
  • Interconnect Birmingham

Potential stakeholders

  • Birmingham Retail
  • Blue light services
  • SAP

What makes this approach smart?

  • Enhancing existing infrastructure’s usefulness through ICTs
  • Cross sector working between tourism, leisure, transport and health services

Short-term actions

Scoping exercise with potential partners to identify additional functionality and information to be included

Future actions

In development

Action I4: Junction Efficiency

Improve traffic flow by optimising key traffic signals in the city. This will be achieved through analysing data related to junction use and vehicle movements. This relies on continued development of the Birmingham Highways Maintenance and Management System (BHMMS). In subsequent phases, integrate information from related sources such as weather, cultural events and social media; make the resulting information available through the Transport Open Data Platform (Action H1) and consider exploiting predictive technology to enable intelligent signalling at junctions and manage demand by informing travellers through mobile devices. Such approaches have been shown to reduce congestion at key locations, and throughout road networks in cities such as Singapore and Stockholm.

Stakeholders identified

  • BCC
  • Amey
  • IBM

Potential stakeholders

Public and private transport operators

What makes this approach smart?

Exploiting data from many sources and move towards best use of data analysis for city monitoring and operating

Short-term actions

  • Work with the City Council and key stakeholders to identify strategy requirements, develop outcomes and undertake the necessary implementation to support this.
  • Data audit
  • Develop event responses
  • Integrate new data streams, traffic control network

Future actions

  • Develop business case for predictive systems and find finance
  • Implement predictive, pro-active junction management
  • Develop consumer information & tools

Action I5: Freight Capacity utilisation

Although road freight accounts for just 6% of the West Midlands traffic, delays to its movement account for 30% of the total economic impact (£600m). And in particular Birmingham’s retail centres attract a great deal of delivery traffic. Road congestion, particularly on the strategic network, is a major issue for Birmingham’s residents and businesses.
We therefore aim create new solutions that will improve the use of spare freight capacity through data collection and demand aggregation thus reducing the number of vehicles on the road and that allow freight operators to travel more efficiently through the city.

Stakeholders identified

BCC

Potential stakeholders

  • Retailers
  • Primary logistics operators
  • Secondary logistics operators
  • Road Haulage association
  • Customers ordering a delivery
  • SAP

What makes this approach smart?

  • Encouraging new solutions based on data aggregation and interpretation
  • Stakeholder engagement along and across supply chain

Short-term actions

  • Engaging stakeholders to create common understanding
  • Mapping and analysing city freight vehicle routes
  • Publish freight route data on Transportation Data Platform (H1)
  • Innovation competition with journey data

Future actions

  • Create mechanisms for paid use of spare capacity
  • Review requirement for freight facilities linked to Green Roadmap consolidation centres

Action I6: Smart Street Lighting

Street lighting is a standalone operation that has changed little since electrification. Although sensors and LED bulbs have increased control and decreased energy use in the last decade, the network remains isolated from other city systems. This creates additional management and maintenance costs and limits the use of street lighting as a near-ubiquitous on-street asset. The aim is to further decrease energy use while increasing capability of street lighting by moving to Power- and Light-over-Ethernet for LED street lighting.

Stakeholders identified

  • BCC
  • Amey

Potential stakeholders

  • Cisco
  • Phillips
  • amBX
  • PureVLC

What makes this approach smart?

  • Integration of physical infrastructure and ICT for enhanced use
  • Integration with other city systems

Short-term actions

  • Policy, legal and regulatory review re governance of street lighting
  • Trial focussed on major streets, key destinations, iconic buildings
  • Develop ecosystem of innovators / SMEs to exploit new capabilities

Future actions

  • Rollout and exploitation; integration of street lights with other systems and services
  • An integrated street lighting system that will enable integration with CCTV, emergency services and other public systems, networks and services.
  • Enhanced city connectivity by supporting Li-Fi (data delivered by light).

Action I7: Smart Parking

Make Birmingham an easier place to commute to, visit and travel through by getting people parked accurately and quickly. Expand the existing Smart Parking trial across the city, into a full operational service and develop the culture of compliant parking.

Stakeholders identified

  • BCC
  • Amey

Potential stakeholders

  • Car parking operators
  • Public transport providers

What makes this approach smart?

Making best use of data to provide accurate real-time information and allow drivers to make better decisions

Short-term actions

  • Review the Birmingham Mobility Action Plan to ensure planned coverage is aligned with its aims
  • Develop the business case
  • Scale up current pilot to cover the whole inner city
  • Explore additional functionality e.g. residents permits
  • Assess impact and feed into policy development

Future actions

Wider rollout and exploitation in areas with high parking demand