A new innovation centre designed to boost the development of smart transport technology has been opened by Business Secretary Vince Cable.
The Transport Systems Catapult’s ‘Imovation Centre’, based in Milton Keynes, will support firms developing ways to make journeys more seamless, smart, and efficient and those behind it say it will generate up to £90bn per year for the UK by 2025.
The centre will offer modelling and testing facilities, as well as a hotbed for collaboration, to firms developing a host of intelligent transport services from driverless vehicles and improved airport data systems to integrated logistics, sentiment mapping and smart traffic lights.
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.”
Following the official opening, staff at the centre provided a series of demonstrations and simulations of some of the projects already being worked on, including the LUTZ Pathfinder programme which will see driverless pods being tested on the pavements of Milton Keynes.
The Transport Systems Catapult is one of a new network of technology and innovation centres established by the Technology Strategy Board as part of the Government’s industrial strategy to deliver high-skilled jobs and growth.
It is estimated that the global market in smart transport technology will be worth around £900bn a year by 2025, and the Imovation Centre aims to help the UK secure at least a ten per cent share of that market.
Steve Yianni, chief executive of the Transport Systems Catapult, said: “Intelligent mobility harnesses new technologies to create seamless journeys, where transport is smart and connected, and delays and congestions are a thing of the past. The Imovation Centre will take the brightest solutions to the most pressing transport challenges, and help make those ideas a commercial success.”