UK’s Transport for West Midlands commissions new data sharing platform


Transport for West Midlands (TfWM) in the UK has awarded a major contract to Chordant, Inc. to create a software platform to accelerate research and development in transport, through advanced data-sharing techniques.

TfWM, the transport arm of the West Midlands Combined Authority, is leading the £8 million ConVEx programme to create a national data exchange facility. This will collate transport and mobility related data from a wide range of sources and make it available to business and organisations removing a key barrier to innovation.

It is designed to accelerate the development of new mobility products and services in the UK, including connected and self-driving vehicles, fleet operations, intelligent infrastructure and new freight and passenger services. It will also support transport planning and development by local, regional and national authorities.

Through the ConVEx facility, underpinned by Chordant’s cloud-based data sharing solution, TfWM and Chordant will develop a commercially viable data exchange that:

  • Supports the delivery of new national and international data-driven transport solutions and enables start-ups to create innovative business models and products
  • Provides materials to support new transportation and mobility research by academic organisations; supports the development of the UK as the best destination for businesses involved in new mobility solutions and existing transportation development
  • Accelerates UK businesses and attracts inward investment from overseas organisations
  • Creates a long-lasting and sustainable facility that creates jobs and revenue in a growing area of innovation

Director of innovation, policy and strategy for TfWM Mike Waters, said: “The availability of data is nationally significant across many sectors. Transport, both traditional and under the banner of new mobility, will benefit heavily from the ConVEx facility. Through a process of deep scrutiny and assessment we are now delighted to announce our selection of Chordant to provide us with the critical software platform and operational support for ConVEx.

“This investment represents another key milestone in TfWM’s strategy of continued investment in the West Midlands internationally recognised capabilities, its co-operative supply chain and strategically located assets.”

Senior vice president of Chordant Ash Wheeler, said “We are delighted that our data-sharing software solution has been chosen by TfWM for ConVEx. We have been working with TfWM for over a year, as the UK’s first Future Transport Zone, helping them expose, transform, share and utilise dynamic data about the operation of the West Midlands road network.

“ConVEx brings a much needed focus to the problem of how to exchange data across the wider transport sector nationally and internationally, to enable safer, cleaner transport services that are more accessible, and to improve the strategic operation of existing transport networks to support ever increasing demand. We are excited to be working with TfWM to realise this new facility.”

ConVEx is intended to signal the end of hard to reach data and overly complex relationships between data providers and consumers that ultimately stall our market growth and potential.

It will aggregate data from a diverse range of sources that are either publicly available or available under licence and enable organisations to build scalable transport solutions that rely on the dynamic, equitable exchange of data between transport infrastructure, vehicles, service providers and adjacent industries to realise the economic and societal benefits offered by future clean, connected, automated transport.

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About Author


Tom has edited Traffic Technology International (TTi) magazine and its Traffic Technology Today website since May 2014. During his time at the title, he has interviewed some of the top transportation chiefs at public agencies around the world as well as CEOs of leading multinationals and ground-breaking start-ups. Tom's earlier career saw him working on some the UK's leading consumer magazine titles. He has a law degree from the London School of Economics (LSE).