The UK government today opened a new transport innovation centre in Milton Keynes in a bid to try and transform the way people and goods are moved around the world.
The centre, set up by the government innovation agency, the Technology Strategy Board, will be tasked with creating technologies that make journeys more "seamless, smart, and efficient".
Described by the Technology Strategy Board as an “Imovation Centre”, supposedly because it represents a mix of "intelligent mobility and innovation", the collaboration space is for innovators, entrepreneurs, research organisations and businesses that are using technology to improve transport.
Steve Yianni, CEO of the Transport Systems Catapult, said: “The Imovation Centre will take the brightest solutions to the most pressing transport challenges, and help make those ideas a commercial success."
Speaking at the launch of the centre, business secretary Vince Cable said: “Britain has a long history of transport innovation; from the shipbuilders who paved the way for globalisation, to the railways that underpinned the industrial revolution.
“This new innovation centre will ensure the UK is well placed to profit from the increased demand for high-tech transport solutions- creating jobs, supporting businesses, and driving economic growth.”
Projects being worked on at the centre include the LUTZ Pathfinder programme, which will see driverless pods being tested on the pavements of Milton Keynes, and Sentiment Mapping, which uses social media and other crowd-sourced information to overcome transport challenges and improve end-to-end journeys.
The Technology Strategy Board claims the Transport Systems Catapult will directly contribute £712m in economic value to the UK during its first five years [until 2018].