£2.4 million is to be invested in the West Midlands by West Midlands 5G Limited (WMG5) to seven UK based consortiums to support the development of new products and services with the aim of improving transport. One of these projects is connected to trams to allow a safer service to operate.
Icomera, Classone Systems and DigitalRail have joined forces in the Tram Safety project which will use 5G to stream CCTV footage from trams. This will allow images to be analysed in real-time to detect both people and objects. The hope is that this will help to increase passenger safety, assist with social distancing and identify where improvements to accessibility may be required. Passengers will benefit from a safer, more tailored service.
Other projects being supported include Capacity Manager (traffic management solution), CURBS (to provide live on street parking information and identify locations of potholes), Passenger Management (live customer feedback), Predikt (predictive parking), Transport Accessibility (allowing more visually impaired people to travel on public transport) and Urban Tourism (real-time traveller demand insights for rail and road).
Chris Lane, Head of Transport Innovation at Transport for West Midlands, said: “We have ambitious transport plans for the region and funding competition with West Midlands 5G forms a key part of that. The outcome of these trials will make a significant difference to transport across the region and have national relevance. This news further reinforces the West Midlands’ reputation as one of the UK’s number one locations for both 5G and transport innovation.”
Chris Holmes, Programme Director – Transport at WM5G, said: “We have been delighted with the response to this first competition, which was heavily oversubscribed, and are really pleased to be awarding the funding to projects that we truly believe – when proven – will transform transport within the region. We look forward to seeing what our new partners deliver and will support them in the realisation of real and tangible benefits.”
A further £2.5 million will be available in the second round of funding with the deadlines for applications being Wednesday 2nd December. More details on the project at http://www.wm5g.org.uk.