The pioneering London RoadLab programme is set to make serious inroads in tackling congestion and safety on the city’s roads.
An innovation challenge that will develop new technology to make London’s road’s safer and smarter during roadworks, the RoadLab programme asked suppliers to pitch ideas to tackle some of the biggest problems caused because of roadworks in 2018.
This led to nine innovative solutions being shortlisted and awarded £20,000 each for their ideas; they were then part of a 10-week programme and worked alongside Transport for London (TfL) and other stakeholders to develop products that could have a positive impact on the city of London.
After the 10 weeks, four products were chosen by RoadLab to go through to the contract negotiations stage, with a total value up to £2 million.
These products include finding ways of developing an automated way of modelling the impacts of roadworks before they are done – something that will improve the flow of traffic and therefore reduce pollution.
Elsewhere, a product will use artificial intelligence (AI) to monitor social media so incidents and emergencies on the roads are identified quicker.
Finally, two different solutions will help TfL to vastly improve safety on the roads, as buses and Dial-a-Ride vehicles will be fit with devices that enable them to collect data on road quality.
By doing this, it will mean TfL can identify where the road surface is wearing out in real time, making it easier to predict when maintenance is required, while also assisting the London Boroughs with their maintenance activity.
Michael Hurwitz, Director of Transport Innovation at TfL, said: “We’re working closely with partners across London to make the capital one of the world’s smartest cities and these projects all have the potential to make a real difference to the safety and efficiency of roadworks in London.
“London RoadLab is a completely new way of procuring for TfL and we’re excited to see these products in action on the capital’s streets, helping to tackle congestion and making our roads safer and smarter.”