Home » Digital twin roadmap launched for UK transport sector

Digital twin roadmap launched for UK transport sector

by Liam Turner
Kier's digital road trial paves the way for future success

The UK’s Transport Research and Innovation Board (TRIB) has launched a roadmap for a network of transport digital twins.

The aim of the roadmap is to try to tackle the problems of fragmentation in areas such as the electric-vehicle charging network.

The roadmap sets out a series of activities to 2035 that key stakeholders within the transport industry will need to undertake, with the prospect of £20m in funding support for a digital twin hub over the next five years.

The roadmap was launched at the inaugural Connected Digital Twins Summit, hosted by the Connected Places Catapult accelerator and the Digital Twin Hub.

The UK department of transport said: “The potential value of technologies like digital twins, AI, and robotics increases as they start to converge to form a cyber-physical infrastructure where new products and services can be developed which can lead to the seamless connection of autonomous vehicles and transport.”

As part of the Vision and Roadmap, the Department of Science, Innovation, and Technology has sponsored six SMEs to develop use cases, illustrating the ways in which digital twin technology can provide value to the transport sector.

These include Slingshot Simulations, which has developed a digital twin to predict the impact of introducing changes to the highway network in urban areas; Digilab, which is building a digital twin that monitors air pollution from road traffic in real time; and OpenSpace, which is helping railway station operators harness digital twins to put passengers at the heart of decision-making.

At the Connected Digital Twins Summit, the winners of the competition to select a research leader for the Digital Twins to Decarbonise Transport project, run by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), were revealed.

These include Professors Philip Greening of Heriot-Watt University and David Flynn of the University of Glasgow with their TransiT project.

The professors will work with stakeholders to the create a proposal for a national research hub, which, if successful, will be supported by a UKRI investment of up to £20m over five years.

Paul Wilson, chief business officer at Connected Places Catapult and member of the Transport Research and Innovation Board, said: “This roadmap shows how we can go from pockets of excellence with this technology, to wider implementation across our towns and cities.

“Only then will we be able to realise this technology’s potential to deliver greener, multi-modal transport at scale.”

Read next: Siemens unveils digital twin grid-management software

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