Inclusivity should be factored in from the beginning, or you’ll unwittingly exclude people, ITS (UK) Forum hears

The Intelligent Transport Systems industry is being reminded to be completely inclusive and remember less able members of society when developing public-facing transport technology.

At its latest Inclusive Mobility Forum meeting, ITS (UK) heard a series of examples of the challenges facing disabled people.

Gordon McCullough, CEO of the Research Institute for Disabled Consumers, explained how disabled people take 38 per cent fewer trips than non-disabled people, and this accessibility gap has not changed in a decade.

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If transport is to get funding, it needs to tell the right story – and the Manual for Smart Streets does this

One of the architects of a major new reference document to guide local authorities in using technology to deliver service, has explained how it is vital authorities can clearly explain why such investment is so important.

Darren Capes from the Department for Transport has written a blog post promoting the Manual for Smart Streets which is officially launched by the Connected Places Catapult and Transport Technology Forum next Monday (21 March).

“If transport is going to get any kind of funding – if it’s going to get any kind of recognition at a local level and any kind of support from local councillors, those responsible for its delivery have to be able to tell the story of why technology is important to make cities and counties and regions better, and so we have to equip those people to be able to do that,” he writes.

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ITS (UK) finishes year with a surge of new Members

The vehicle safety testing centre Thatcham Research, international infrastructure group Balfour Beatty and CCTV technology company Exeros Technologies have become the latest Executive Members of the country’s Intelligent Transport Systems Industry Association, ITS (UK).

Executive Members of the Society are seen as industry leaders and help run the organisation and set its direction and focus.

Thatcham Research, Balfour Beatty and Exeros Technologies join Gaist and Sopra Steria as new Executive Members this year.  Overall, 28 new members have signed up since January across private and public sector organisations and academia.

“When we launched our membership drive in March, I never thought we’d be so successful in attracting such a wide range of new Members,” commented ITS (UK) Secretary General Jennie Martin.  “We have really enjoyed having new faces, opinions and expertise involved in the Society – the value of all our Members is greater than the sum of its parts, and through membership we offer them our excellent networking, knowledge sharing and PR opportunities, as they become part of our powerful combined voice of the ITS Industry, leading the conversation about intelligent mobility.”

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Technology’s here-and-now contribution to a better environment showcased at ITS (UK) Members’ Day

ITS (UK)’s first major in-person gathering since the start of the pandemic will feature a discussion about how technology is helping transport reduce emissions and tackle climate change.

The industry association’s Members’ Day is hosted by Cubic Transportation Systems at their UK HQ in Surrey on Thursday 25 November.  It is also sponsored by White Willow Consulting and WSP.

WSP will present details of their “greenprint” proposing a holistic perspective – one that considers people, processes, places, infrastructure, vehicles, technology and associated data – to support comprehensive change as societies set targets and form pathways to achieve net zero ambitions.

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UK Transport Minister hails “pioneering innovations”

The new Transport Minister Trudy Harrison says that the work of the British Intelligent Transport Systems industry is “pioneering” and key to the future of transport and decarbonisation.

Ms Harrison spoke to the Highways Voices podcast during a visit to the ITS World Congress in Hamburg where she toured the exhibition and met SMEs on the ITS (UK)-supported UK Pavilion.

“I’m meeting the people that are involved in the pioneering innovations,” she said. “A lot of this is problem solving, and the kind of positive mentality that I’m seeing from the people, particularly on the UK stand is fantastic, but also to be able to see the demonstrations as well, of how these smart machines are being utilizsed on real streets, in real communities, across Europe and beyond.

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ITS (UK) appoints Carbon Ambassador

In the run-up to COP26 in Glasgow, and the requirement for transport to dramatically reduce its emissions, ITS (UK) has appointed environment expert Keith McCabe to be its first Carbon Ambassador.

The Intelligent Transport Systems Industry Body is keen to underline how technology is already being used to improve air quality through a range of solutions that make travelling more efficient, from improved traffic management through navigation and modelling to enforcement of clean air zones and reduction in electricity use thanks to solar road studs or renewably-powered roadside units.

Keith McCabe is CEO of both Simplifai Systems and KAM Futures and is a leader in new thinking around distributed energy systems involving virtual power stations, smart grids and electric vehicles.

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Gaist signs up to ITS (UK)’s Executive tier of membership

The international roadscape and highways technology company Gaist has signalled its commitment to the UK’s transport technology industry by joining the Intelligent Transport Systems trade association ITS (UK).

As an Executive Member, Gaist will sit on the ITS (UK) Council and help steer the overall strategy and profile building of the ITS industry working alongside leading government departments, consultants, contractors and suppliers.

Gaist uses digital processes to provide deep insights into roads and the roadscape and has the biggest ever data bank of highly detailed images of highway network to provide customers with intelligence and analysis.  This includes high level asset information, mapping and location identification, surface materials analysis, deterioration modelling and HD site location imagery.

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ITS (UK), Estonia and Finland meet to build relationships

The UK’s trade body for Intelligent Transport Systems, ITS (UK) is opening doors for its members to work with companies from Finland and Estonia.

The organisation took part in a three-way online trade delegation meeting which involved it meeting with transport technology-related companies from the two countries to begin the process of introducing them to potential British partners.

Some 40 companies took part in the event which also included ministerial addresses from the three countries’ governments and a debate.

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ITS (UK) hails a year of online content provision

The country’s trade body for the Intelligent Transport Systems industry is marking a year of providing online Forum meetings by promising to continue to stream content once the country gets back to face-to-face meetings.

The Young Professionals Forum meeting, the first of its kind to be streamed by ITS (UK) on Zoom, was uploaded to YouTube on 27 April 2020.  A handful of Coronavirus-themed pre-recorded discussion programmes had already been provided to members.

“One of the key services of ITS (UK) is its Forum meetings where we share best practice, lead discussions and network,” explained the society’s Secretary General Jennie Martin.  “When travel was prohibited last year, we quickly changed how we served our members by switching to streamed meetings. Although we haven’t been able to replace the networking aspect of meetings, we have seen some real advantages of having more online participants and being able to record and edit the content so it’s available for posterity.”

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ITS (UK) launches new education campaign around transport technology

The UK’s Intelligent Transport Systems trade association, ITS (UK) is drawing up a series of case studies, fact sheets and blog posts explaining the benefits of using technology to deliver safer, greener and more efficient mobility.

The campaign follows a series of criticisms of some aspects of technology use, often around smart motorways, which it is feared are beginning to undermine the whole value proposition for ITS, which is the use of computers, communications, positioning and automation technologies to improve the safety, management and efficiency of transport.

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