Intelligent Mobility – the IMPETUS Partnership

The IMPETUS partnership formed a 3 year collaboration between the University of Nottingham, the University of Leicester and the Transport Systems Catapult (TSC). The partnership which commenced on the 1st October 2014 consisted of four main activity areas:

  • Technology and Innovation Exploitation,
  • Enabling Skills Transfer,
  • Industry Engagement and
  • PhD studentship

Academics at the University of Nottingham and University of Leicester worked closely with the TSC’s four Business Units (Customer Experience, Automated Transport Systems, Modelling & Visualisation and Information Exploitation), to ensure that proposed activities addressed a real challenge or need within ‘Intelligent Mobility’ (IM) and were industry relevant. Activities were diverse, ranging from a series of 3 month academic placements e.g. examining the use of ‘Twitter Data in Rail Disruption Management’; and co-organising the inaugural ‘Midlands Intelligent Mobility Conference’ (MIMC) – now recognised as a key event in the IM calendar; through to producing a seminal ‘case study document’ presenting key expertise/projects across both Universities.

As the project progressed, a host of additional activities were also addressed in response to the TSC’s evolving needs and agenda. One example being the contribution made by academics towards the ‘TSC Intelligent Mobility Skills Strategy, 2016’, which formed the basis of a call for action to government, academia and industry to address the growing skills shortage in the area of IM. Academics were also involved in ‘expert-interviews’, as part of a user-needs analysis supporting the development of a ‘Centre for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles’ (C-CAV) and offered expertise at a number of TSC workshops (‘MaaS’); Hackathons (‘IMCreate 2016, 2017’); and events (‘Imagine 2015, 2016, 2017’).

The partnership has drawn upon and enabled access to the extensive expertise and world class facilities within both Universities and also at the TSC, relating to 3 key areas of Intelligent Mobility e.g. ‘Journey Experience’; ‘Intelligent Infrastructure’ and ‘Future Transport Systems’. In addition, through the partnership a number of strategic links with industry and other IM stakeholders were developed including: Network Rail, Highways England and the Department for Transport. These connections have in turn led to invitations to input to IM road mapping and agenda/policy setting activities, through to partnering on successful collaborative bids.

Connections and relationships made throughout the 3 year partnership continue to develop and strengthen, with the University of Nottingham and TSC currently liaising over a number of key projects, including the development of an innovative, new Institute based at the UoN, focusing on intelligent transport technologies and mobility.