UK-based transport AI company, Vivacity Labs, has been chosen by dozens of councils to improve their active travel insight as people return to work during the Covid-19 crisis.
The firm’s artificial intelligence anonymously captures, classifies and tracks live transport usage 24/7, via sensors placed around major towns and cities. Through this data, councils can monitor cyclist and pedestrian numbers and understand behaviour patterns such as social distancing, dangerous undertaking manoeuvres or cyclists using pavements, in order to improve safety.
Vivacity can also provide councils with data on behaviour at complex junctions, helping authorities to improve their understanding of how residents are using the existing infrastructure, alongside supporting future improvements, through examining the number of cyclists and other vehicles using junctions from different directions. For those councils working to upgrade their existing cycling infrastructures, the technology can provide useful local insights to accelerate and optimise the schemes.
“Vivacity has worked with authorities across the country for a number of years,” said Mark Nicholson, Vivacity Labs CEO. “Now, with the deadline for active travel funding fast approaching, it’s never been more important for councils to have a robust understanding of how residents are using local active travel routes, and planning for safety interventions accordingly.”
The technology has been adopted by more than 30 councils, with more joining following the recent £250 million government funding announcement for regions to develop active travel schemes. The first phase of government funding was allocated in May, with applications for the second phase closing on 7 August.
A new Government department dubbed Active Travel England is to be created to oversee the spend of the earlier pledged £2 billion allocation for active travel over the next five years, which came as part of an expected Government pledge to improve conditions for cyclists and walkers. Earlier this week, the first set of cycling infrastructure design standards was introduced in England and Northern Ireland, providing local authorities and planners with a reference point from which to build safe lanes.