Midlands-led data-sharing project aims to transform travel in the UK
Transport for West Midlands (TfWM) is leading a new £8 million consortium to open up travel data for vehicle makers, inventors, coders and entrepreneurs to develop new transport products and technology.
The public-private consortium will set up a national data exchange named ConVEx with £4 million of funding from the government, matched by a further £4 million from the private sector.
Along with TfWM, the consortium includes Jaguar Land Rover (JLR), Bosch, the Warwick Manufacturing Group (WMG) department at the University of Warwick, and three innovation partners: Valerann, Synaptiv, and Immense.
As the transport arm of the West Midlands Combined Authority, TfWM will use the National Data Exchange to accelerate the development of new mobility products and services in the UK. This includes connected and autonomous vehicles (CAVs), fleet operations, intelligent infrastructure, and new freight and passenger services.
The new investment will enable the UK to capture the benefits of new transport technologies sooner, which includes improved safety, easier access to mobility, and more efficient transport. It will also help the UK to grow its market share in R&D for new mobility products and services.
The facility will be headquartered at the WMG campus at the University of Warwick and will be developed over 2020, with commercial data sharing operations commencing at the end of the year. There will be a partner office at Bosch’s Connectory facility in London. The facility will aggregate data from a diverse range of sources that are either publicly available, available under licence, or can be purchased by the consortium.
“We have worked alongside government, academia, automotive OEMs, technology providers and SME’s to define the solution that will allow the traditional transport sector and new mobility entrants to capitalize on the vast amounts of valuable business and operational insight that can be drawn from the data that the ConVEx platform will make available,” explained Mike Waters, TfWM’s director of innovation, policy and strategy.
“The ConVEx is intended to signal the end of hard to reach data and overly complex relationships between data providers and consumers that ultimately stall our market growth and potential. It heavily complements the strategic investments the UK has already made in this sector, such as the West Midlands 5G Program, Midlands Future Mobility Public CAV Testbed, our pathfinder Future Mobility Zone, the UK Battery Industrialisation Centre and many more.”