The Chancellor of the Exchequer has announced that the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) will receive up to £20 million, subject to approval of a satisfactory business case, to enable WMG, at the University of Warwick to create the UK Mobility Data Institute, a research centre to collect, process and analyse transport data generated by the advent of new mobility technologies such as autonomous vehicles and smart charging of electrified vehicles. The announcement was made in the publication of the Chancellor of the Exchequer’s full budget following his Budget 2018 speech.
Data aggregation and analysis will underpin the future of all transport systems and how they are built, regulated and used. At the heart of the UK’s first 5G urban connected area and the home of future mobility innovation WMG, working in partnership with WMCA, will create the new data institute. It will provide the computing, technical and connectivity capacity and expertise to bring together and exploit, for economic, productivity, social and environmental gain, the huge amount of data generated in many transport programmes.
WMG Chairman Professor Lord Bhattacharyya said: “The new UK Mobility Data Institute will build on WMG’s proven global expertise in research and application of smart, connected, autonomous and electrified transport and our history of business engagement and impact. It will provide the technical, business and ethical solutions needed to underpin the UK’s first mover advantage as a global leader in the adoption of new transport systems and all the regulatory and policy responses that will be needed.”
The West Midlands is the UK’s first Future Mobility Area and will be the UK’s first 5G connected urban area. At the heart of the UK, the West Midlands is leading industry and Government innovation and research into clean, electrified, connected and integrated transport systems. The UK Mobility Data Institute will be the place that generates, brings together and applies the huge amount of data from West Midlands and wider CAV and EV trials and testbeds.
Data will be at the heart of future systems to optimise the movement of people and goods. To maximise value and to meet new ethical and exploitation challenges the data institute will provide the research and expertise needed to develop appropriate solutions. The new facility, to be located on the University of Warwick campus, will enable the West Midlands and UK to maximise the wider public and business benefits from the region’s role as the home of mobility innovation.
Mayor of the West Midlands Andy Street said: “This will further cement the West Midlands position at the cutting edge of innovation in technology and communications. The region is already at the forefront of the development of 5G connectivity, connected and autonomous vehicles and electric vehicle technology. The Mobility Data Institute will enable us to make better use of our transport data to reduce congestion and improve public transports and make a difference to the people living and working in the West Midlands.”