BP, Honda, Aviva co-found sustainable transport research hub in London

BP, Honda, Aviva co-found sustainable transport research hub in London

BP, Honda R&D Europe, and insurance providers Aviva and Hastings Direct have announced that they are the founder members of a new future transport and mobility research hub in London.

The project is being run with transport innovation centre TRL and DG Cities, the commercial arm of Digital Greenwich in London.

Announced this morning, the Shared Research Programme (SRP) is designed to develop and test new road transport technologies and services at research facility the Smart Mobility Living Lab: London (SMLL).

Other partners of the SMLL include Cisco, Transport for London (TfL), and Loughborough University.

The ‘lab’ is a set of test routes in and around the Royal Borough of Greenwich and the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in the capital. According to a statement from the new research partnership, the routes provide the “most complex urban, real-world test and validation environment in the world involving the general public”.

Sharing resources, knowledge, insight, and intellectual property, the founder members will select and direct research that gives them insights and early access to the emerging smart mobility market. Results from this research will allow members to play a pivotal role in the design of sustainable new transport systems, they said.

Future benefits

The aim is to expand the SRP in line with other recent transport innovation groups, such as the MOBI blockchain consortium. As investment in the programme grows with the addition of new members, the benefits to each member will increase, said the organisation this morning.

The Shared Research Programme will be managed by TRL and DG Cities in a new strategic partnership. TRL will provide programme and project management, while DG Cities will supply insights and expertise on the integration of future transport services into a smart city environment.

Trevor Dorling, managing director of DG Cities, said, “We are delighted to announce the participation of these prestigious companies as founding members in this important and ambitious research programme.

“Under the direction of the founding members, the research will provide valuable insights into the way transport is changing, and its impact on business, cities, and residents”.

DG Cities is involved in a number of other transport and smart city initiatives in the capital.

Rob Wallis, CEO of TRL, said his organisation is “proud to be the catalyst which brings together these key market players, facilitating the realisation of safer, cleaner, affordable, liveable, and more efficient transport and mobility services.”

Adam Beckett, Aviva’s product and propositions director, added: “The future of mobility – how people, goods and services get around in the society of tomorrow – is key to how we serve our customers in the next decade and beyond.”

Roy Williamson, VP of Advanced Mobility at BP, said, “From electrification to automation, the way that people and things move around the world is changing.

“SMLL gives us a real-life environment to test and bring our mobility strategy to life, and get it right for consumers. The added bonus is we get to work with like-minded partners on the big questions and challenges facing mobility in our cities.”

Lucy Johnson, MD of Underwriting Services at Hastings Direct, said, “The future developments in vehicle technology will continue to change the cars on the road, and the way customers view, buy, service, and claim on their insurance.

“We are a technology-led business and intend to be at the forefront of this industry change, so the SRP and live London trials will enable us to identify new opportunities to further enhance our capability and collaborate with like-minded organisations.”

Adrian Killham, senior VP of Honda R&D Europe UK, added: “London, as an expanding, dynamic, mega-city, is actively seeking solutions to the challenges of mobility for its population. Honda R&D Europe looks forward to participation in the Smart Mobility Living Lab research and expects to learn how our various technologies can contribute to achieving a clean, safe, and secure society“.

Source: Press release.

Internet of Business says

The Shared Research Programme is open to any organisation or enterprise wishing to research or trial technology for connected cars, autonomous vehicles, electric transport, or new forms of mobility service.

SMEs will be assisted to find suitable partners to collaborate on R&D, said the new organisation this morning, adding that any technologies or business models that demonstrate real performance and societal benefits could be integrated into other cities throughout the world.