Contest-winning startup to trial connected roadworks system in Staffordshire

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A startup based in Stoke-on-Trent in the UK has won an innovation contest to develop and trial an application aimed at helping road users avoid roadworks by informing drivers of disruption to their routes in advance of a journey through a personalized and tailored real-time notification system.

The Tenshi Consulting’s Dare to Solve: Roadworks contest ran earlier this summer and sought solutions from startups and entrepreneurs in the UK and EU to help local authorities and utility companies and their contractors communicate with the public, and help people understand and prepare for planned and emergency works.

The contest ran as part of the Innovate UK-funded Staffordshire Connected Roadworks Project, aimed at increasing collaboration between roadworks planners, infrastructure managers and utility companies to enable more joined up ways of delivering roadworks. The winning company was selected following the contest final event, which saw three finalists pitching to a panel of challenge partners and industry experts.

Contest winner Beepz.me has been awarded £10,000 (US$13,000) to help develop its technology. In addition to funding, Beepz.me has won the opportunity to develop a prototype of its idea alongside some of the leading forces in infrastructure services, while keeping 100% of its intellectual property (IP). The startup will work collaboratively with the challenge partners, Staffordshire County Council, public and regulated services provider Amey, and ELGIN (the trading name of Roadworks Information Limited), to use data from the Staffordshire Connected Roadworks Project and ELGIN’s ‘roadworks.org’ website to develop the tool and run a trial of it this autumn.

“Staffordshire County Council is committed to improving the travel experience for road users, and mitigating the impact of roadworks on the lives of residents, businesses and visitors to the region,” said Mark Deaville, the council’s cabinet member for highways and transport. “Through this collaborative trial with Beepz.me, Amey and Elgin, we’ll be better able to more strategically communicate our essential works to make our roads better for Staffordshire residents.”

Simon Hunt, principal delivery manager for smart data and technology at Amey, said, “At Amey, our goal is to create better places to live, work and travel. Beepz.me is a great example of how we can use mobile technology to take us closer to that goal. We’d like to congratulate the team behind the app on their win, and say that we’re looking forward to working with them to trial their solution with data from the Staffordshire Connected Roadworks Project.

“The data we leverage from that project and feed into the app will ultimately help residents and businesses in Staffordshire better understand the impact to their regular journeys from roadworks in their area, thereby improving journey times and helping to avoid disruption.”

James Manning, CEO of Beepz.me, commented, “This is a fantastic opportunity to enable road users to obtain and receive information on roadworks which affect their journey. The information will be tailored, relevant and most of all useful. We are looking forward to collaborating with all of the challenge partners to deliver this solution, and reducing the pain of roadworks.”

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Tom has edited Traffic Technology International magazine and the Traffic Technology Today website since he joined the company in May 2014. Prior to this he worked on some of the UK's leading consumer magazine titles including Men's Health and Glamour, beginning his career in journalism in 1997 after graduating with a law degree from the London School of Economics (LSE).

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