Imagine how smarter transport design could transform life in Milton Keynes…

Paul Sant attended ‘Designing the Future’ – one of the ‘Imagine Festival’ events hosted by the Transport Systems Catapult during June 2014. It was a great opportunity to share ideas about transport solutions and look into the future of travel in MK.

Crowd visualisation

Crowd visualisation © Paul Sant

The Transport Systems Catapult (TSC) are hosting the Imagine Festival from 9 – 19 June to mark the launch of their Imovation Centre, located at the heart of Milton Keynes. The event showcased a range of futuristic technologies and included talks by technical experts. One of the highlights for Paul was the presentation by Coventry-based RDM Group, who will provide the autonomous pods as part of the LUTZ (Low Carbon Urban Transport Zone) project.

“I was excited to see the many exciting technologies that are being used in order to build smart cities of the future. There are clear linkages between the work the Transport Systems Catapult are doing, and the transport element of the MK:Smart project,” said Paul Sant, Associate Dean of University Campus Milton Keynes (UCMK), who is leading MK:Smart’s business engagement activities.

Other technologies on show were:

  • Sentiment analysis map of journeys made using a wide variety of transport modes (walking, bus, train, car etc.) looking at the correlation between transport type, journey length and mood of the traveller displayed on a large screen;
  • A variety of transport monitoring (analytical) software tools for motorways, tube journeys and flights (including a wide variety of data visualisations) – a great case study on the drop in CO2 emissions following the grounding of flights following the Ash Cloud of 2010, as well as software demonstrating hotspots of traffic on the UK road network (using open data provided by the highways agency, for example);
  • A human crowd tracking map showing the most crowded routes used within various cities;
  • A twitter activity map of London.

We will be following the Imagine Festival (#imaginefestival2014) with interest and look forward to engaging with the TSC over the next few years over our respective innovative demonstrations to realise direct economic benefits for Milton Keynes.