Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Digital twin project to position Yorkshire & Humber as smart city pioneer

A government-backed project led by a Leeds-based start-up will make Yorkshire and Humber a global pioneer in the field of smart cities.

The project will allow Slingshot Simulations to use its ‘digital twin’ technology to improve the transport network in Leeds, York and Hull and will be one of the largest of its type in the world.

Slingshot’s platform will auto-generate 3D models of the three cities and surrounding areas, allowing planners to test different ways to boost the capacity of the existing network, reduce congestion and air pollution.

They will also investigate ways to improve logistics and deal with potential delays at the port of Hull – a particular concern in the wake of Brexit.

The Yorkshire Geospatial Twin partnership, as it is known, brings together Slingshot with the three city councils along with Arup and BT Group, and will funded by Innovate UK and the Geospatial Commission. The project starts with immediate effect and lasts for 12 weeks. If successful, the technology could be adopted worldwide.

Slingshot Simulations was founded in 2019 as a spin-out from the University of Leeds, and has been funded to date by the university and NPIF – Mercia Equity Finance, which is managed by Mercia and is part of the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund.

It aims to make ‘digital twin’ technology accessible to businesses of all sizes, enabling them to use advanced computer simulations to test new ideas and make better decisions.

CEO Dr David McKee says: “This project is the natural next step in Slingshot’s journey towards making digital twins accessible to anyone anywhere.”

This ambition is supported by the Royal Academy of Engineering, Ana Avaliani, Director of Enterprise and Sustainable Development, who says: “Digital twins have the potential to be a powerful tool for environmentally sustainable economic recovery and growth and we are delighted to supporting David and his team in their entrepreneurial endeavours.”

The digital twin partnership is supported by Arup’s expertise in city modelling and transportation planning with mobility data provided by BT.

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