- Hadean and Connected Places Catapult have been awarded a UK Research & Innovation (UKRI) Innovate UK Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) grant.
- Both companies will develop a digital twin of UK highways to assess how e-Highways affect the flow of traffic.
- Connected Places Catapult will use Hadean’s cloud computing platform to create the new offering.
Web3 cloud computing and metaverse infrastructure startup, Hadean, and Connected Places Catapult, the UK’s urban connectivity accelerator have been awarded a state innovation grant to develop digital twins for UK highways.
The grant is awarded by UK Research & Innovation (UKRI) Innovate UK Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP). The UKRI is a non-departmental public body launched in April 2018, sponsored by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).
The two-year-long project aims to replicate motorways and highways in the UK and study the optimal locations for e-Highways. Electronic highways are roads that provide electricity to moving vehicles, especially through overhead power lines. The e-highways would allow electric vehicles to, especially trucks, to run their routes without having to use charging points.
“Although e-Highways are being tested in California, Germany and the UK, domain-specific expertise of how, where and under what conditions these can be deployed is currently limited,” Hadean VP of Innovation, Chris Arthurs, explained.
Using historical data and Hadean’s cloud computing platform, the virtual replicas of UK highways will also help assess how e-Highways affect the flow of traffic and how infrastructure needs to be built to support them.
Connected Catapult Places will advise Hadean on creating 3D road models and how to apply them with the use of real-time data while Hadean will develop mathematical and agent-based simulation models for road transportation. Some of Connected Catapult Places partners for urban connectivity and climate action include World Economic Forum and UN Habitat.
As e-Highways are being tested in different countries, this project could help governments understand real-world and simulated scenario-based traffic patterns and behaviours to plan highway upgrades.
Cost efficiency is another reason for this partnership between a public body and a metaverse startup. The grant demonstrates a growing interest in the public and private transportation sectors for scalable, agent-based models that can boost the development of modern, eco-friendly transportation.
“Connected Places Catapult is delighted to be working with Hadean Supercomputing on this exciting project. Real-world testing is extraordinarily expensive and the opportunity to work with Hadean to develop digital twins which can model e-highways in a virtual world at a fraction of the cost is both valuable and a real learning opportunity for both organisations,” said Alisdair Ritchie, Head of the SME Development Team at Connected Places Catapult.
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