IT Systems and Data Protection

05.02.20

TfWM lead £8m national data sharing project to transform travel

Transport for West Midlands (TfWM) is leading a new £8m public-private consortium to open up vast amounts of travel data for vehicle makers, inventors, coders and entrepreneurs to utilising in developing new transport products and technologies.

The consortium will set up a national data exchange named ConVEx, with £4m of funding coming from the UK Government and being matched equally by the private sector.

Consortium members also include Jaguar Land Rover, Bosch, Warwick Manufacturing Group and three innovation partners: Valerann, Synaptiv and Immense.

For TfWM, the transport arm of the West Midlands Combined Authority, the new national data exchange represents an opportunity to accelerate the development of new mobility products and services in the UK, including connected and self-driving vehicles, fleet operations, intelligent infrastructure and new freight and passenger services.

The government funding for the consortium will come from the Testbed UK Fund, which aims to facilitate successful collection, aggregation, analysis and availability of data to help improve of our future mobility. It seeks to combat current difficulties organisations have with data sharing, particularly those without the necessary resource or capability at present.

The investment will enable the UK to capture the benefits of new transport technologies sooner, improving safety, ease of access to mobility and greater efficiency on transport. It will also help the UK grow its market share in research and development for new mobility products and services.

Set to continue to be developed over the course of 2020, with commercial data sharing operations commencing at the end o the year, the facility will be headquartered in the West Midlands at the Warwick Manufacturing Group campus at the University of Warwick.

There will be a partner office at Bosch’s Connectory facility in London.

Mike Waters, Director of Innovation, Policy and Strategy for TfWM, said: “Data has helped many global companies create and refine their products and services across many sectors.

“Here in the UK, 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.

“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.”

Business Minister Nadhim Zahawi added:  "From adaptive cruise control to traffic sign recognition, the vehicles we drive are getting increasingly advanced as technologies develop rapidly.

"At the heart of this technology are vast amounts of data. This funding will help companies use and share that data securely and meaningfully - boosting the innovations that keep our vehicles safe and efficient."

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