Cities are entering a new age where new technologies could dramatically change the way people move. New insight is required to understand how we will react to these new mobility options. The University of Leeds is developing a new centre, focused on engaging with the public to co-design and demonstrate new mobility options, and to gather feedback and build interest and user-acceptance.
Virtuocity will be a proving ground and accelerator in which emerging technologies are harnessed to develop innovative solutions to challenges facing cities.
Computational transport modelling has been around since the first general purpose computers were developed over 50 years ago. Early models focused on steady-state conditions. With the evolution of processing power, the models have become more detailed and accurate. Modern agent-based transport models capture each pedestrian and each vehicle and validate with data collected in existing cities.
Virtuocity will use these advanced models along with models of future technology to answer questions like: What should mobility in the city of the future look like? What does technology provide? What will users choose, accept and pay for? What does the resulting city look like? Local authorities wish to design their city to encourage healthy lifestyles, have a vibrant downtown and reasonable transit times. Automotive companies and mobility-as-a-service providers are seeking to understand how to design their products to maximise revenues and profits. The only way to answer these questions is with impactful end-user focused co-production and public engagement.
The University has an extensive set of research experience: experiments, data, models and simulations of cities from across the disciplines of social sciences, engineering and medicine. Virtuocity will combine these, so that any researcher can use them in their investigations. Corporate and public partners can also integrate their software, simulations, data and models thereby maximising the research capability of Virtuocity.
- Work collaboratively with end-users, industry partners and decision makers to answer pressing questions and co-produce new solutions;
- Bring together a commanding set of shared data and models;
- Encourage and support safe, efficient and sustainable mobility;
- Explain and demonstrate new and emerging mobility options
- Focus on the end-users and gather feedback on user acceptance, interest and choices.
Virtuocity will provide partners with a competitive edge through access to a unique combination of facilities, world leading research and key academic experts.
Virtuocity will provide corporate partners with a powerful company resource with members able to enjoy varying degrees of access, benefits and involvement dependent on their needs.
As a manufacturer or technology developer, you will have the opportunity to demonstrate and test your latest systems. Virtuocity will engage your end user in technology/system development by collecting critical feedback on preferences, usability, demand and safety.
As a consultancy or software developer, you will have the opportunity to leverage your own capabilities and software with those of Virtuocity. Bring your clients and customers in to experience Virtuocity technology integrated with your own software and assist them in making the right decisions about future cities.
- Use of software, data, models, simulations, virtual reality hardware and simulators;
- Priority access to University researchers, with expertise in a wide variety of fields;
- The opportunity to place a researcher within the Centre;
- Preferential access to reports, papers and research outputs;
- Influence over the Centre’s future research roadmap through a seat on the Advisory Board;
- The opportunity to contribute and formally link to active projects;
- Access to joint research funding via collaborative bids;
- Training opportunities.
As a local, regional, or national Government partner, you will appreciate the opportunity for positive change to be realised from modern mobility technologies. With Virtuocity, you can find out how to encourage your citizens to make healthy choices for mobility, what will make citizens spend more time in the city centres to stimulate vibrant economic centres, and how to reduce traffic jams, congestion, and parking demands. Virtuocity will help you to design cities that are more resilient to floods while reducing air and noise pollution. Citizens and decision-makers will be able to experience and provide feedback on alternative city project designs, before they are built through the use of virtual and augmented reality evaluations from various points of view – ranging from the city planner through service providers to the most vulnerable road users. Designs can be assessed with respect to safety, throughput, efficiency and cost.
Virtuocity will bring together industry expertise, public sector decision makers and academic excellence in a shared collaborative research centre to design the cities of the future. It will offer:
- A world leading combination of facilities and researchers in a complex, dynamic and multi-disciplinary environment;
- A coordinated and integrated approach to research to provide insight into the future of cities;
- Vast experience in using technology to generate reliable and robust outcomes;
- Interactive research and demonstrations and a proving ground for the co-production of data vital for an evidence based approach to innovation;
- Collaboration opportunities to achieve better, more cost effective mobility solutions.
To find out more about how your organisation can take advantage of a membership please contact:
Dr Erik Thomasson
Research and Innovation Manager