Category Archives: Transport Tech

Veezu crosses the finish line into partnership with Wolverhampton Racecourse

VEEZU, the Midlands’ leading private hire operator, is bolstering its partnership with Wolverhampton Racecourse as official ride partner and sponsor.

 

Upgrading its existing partnership, Veezu will be making travel even easier for hotel and racecourse visitors. For ease of booking, guests can request their Veezu vehicle from the grounds, through the pre-existing ride booker device located in the hotel’s reception. With the introduction of a new pick-up point, located outside of Holiday Inn Wolverhampton – Racecourse’s entrance, guests will now have instant and convenient access to their ride.

 

In addition to providing reliable transport, Veezu has sponsored the course’s finishing posts, with signage having launched last month.

 

Formerly known as Go Carz, this sponsorship is one of many that Veezu’s Midlands branch has made since rebranding, as it extends its links in the local community.

 

Graham Hoof, Regional Operations Director at Veezu, said: “We are very excited to extend our partnership with Wolverhampton Racecourse and support the many fantastic events and experiences hosted at the grounds throughout the year. This partnership is one of many that brings us closer to our goal of providing safe, reliable and convenient transport to passengers across the Midlands, and we look forward to further easing travel for Midlands locals and visitors.”

 

David Ideson, Executive Director at Wolverhampton Racecourse, said: “We are delighted to be welcoming Veezu as official ride partner and sponsor. This partnership will ensure that all guests can have the best experience possible, and not have to worry about their race day travel. The team at Veezu have been wonderful to work with already and I look forward to our future events with them.”

Network Rail Embraces AI: Oakland’s Partnership Marks a New Era in Rail Industry Innovation

Oakland, a leading Microsoft Data and AI SolutionsPartner, are collaborating with Network Rail to address the challenges of knowledge management within the rail industry.  Leveraging the power of AI, Oakland has developed a solution to revolutionise how Network Rail harnesses its wealth of information and insights.

Network Rail has just started their new financial period (CP7) – committing an investment of £44 billion in the UK railway infrastructure throughout 2024 to 2029. This significant investment aims to achieve ambitious goals, including a 20% reduction in delays, a 30% increase in capacity, and a 70% decrease in carbon emissions.*

Like many complex organisations, Network Rail faced challenges when it came to managing valuable information and how it was stored across various formats such as PDF and video, meaning there was an opportunity to better leverage these as data sources. Acknowledging the broader challenges faced by Network Rail, Oakland identified an opportunity to leverage AI to share insights from past projects before and throughout the lifecycle of new projects. This proactive strategy is designed to prevent issues later in the project timeline, improving overall efficiency and effectiveness.

The project harnesses generative AI capabilities to allow users to interact with the language model through a dynamic chatbot interface. This solution enables users to pose queries and receive tailored responses drawing from Network Rail’s extensive library of thousands of learned lessons and valuable data sources. Powered by cutting-edge AI algorithms and Azure AI Services, it represents a significant advancement in knowledge management not just in the rail industry, but with the potential to be deployed across all sectors.

Having worked together for over a decade, at the heart of the partnership with Network Rail and Oakland thrives on a shared goal of innovation and operational excellence, driving industry-leading solutions and best practices. 

Jack Evans, Principal Consultant at Oakland, adds

“Network Rail saw knowledge management as a prime candidate for AI. By placing AI at the heart of the solution, they can unlock a wealth of possibilities to make a real, positive impact for years to come. This is a game-changer for sharing and leveraging knowledge across the organisation.”

In an era defined by rapid technological advancements, Network Rail remains steadfast in its dedication to innovation to improve collaboration in the organisation and seek efficiencies. Implementing AI-driven knowledge management solutions reflects the commitment to harnessing cutting-edge technologies to propel the rail industry forward.

Mo Momodu, Programme Manager – Rail Infrastructure Centre of Excellence, shares;

“The deployment of generative AI capability within the learning from lessons library will transform the way we harness knowledge, enrich insights, and encourage cross-industry learning”

Middlegate Europe Selects Surecam Video Telematics To Protect Fleet and Drivers

Middlegate Europe, the international transport and logistics specialist, is targeting insurance, safety and efficiency improvements with a video telematics solution from SureCam. The company has installed forward-facing dashcams on its UK fleet of over 40 HGVs to capture vital video evidence of driving incidents and gain access to advanced GPS tracking. This will help Middlegate to safeguard drivers, vehicles and other road users, along with the reputation of the business.

 

“We needed a camera solution to effectively dispute liability and challenge 50/50 or false claims by providing complete visibility of what has taken place,” explains Ricky Gatrill, Transport & Operations Manager at Middlegate Europe Ltd. “The SureCam system, however, gives us so much more, meaning we can use it to influence driving behaviour and support the wellbeing of our team on the road.”

 

The forward-facing dashcam captures footage and supporting vehicle data for all collisions, near misses and harsh driving events, enabling Middlegate to better handle insurance claims, investigate complaints and improve driver performance. The driver scoring feature is helping the company to alter behaviour by identifying those drivers that would benefit from engagement or training. Meanwhile, real-time tracking and live view allows Middlegate to check on the welfare of drivers and vehicles.

 

“SureCam has worked closely with us to develop and roll-out a reliable and simple to use camera solution that meets the needs of our transport, health and safety, and customer service teams. They are always on hand to provide support and have proved to be a fantastic technology partner,” adds Gatrill.

 

Joshua Godfrey, National Sales Manager UK at SureCam commented: “We are partner of choice for a growing number of road transport operations, based on our ability to create industry-leading video telematics that improves safety, limits liability, reduces costs, and maximises performance. As a result, companies, such as Middlegate Europe, are using our technology solutions to protect their drivers and businesses, as well as the communities and customers they serve.”

Commercial Fleet Experts Recognise Rising Threat to Drivers

There has been a steep rise in incidents of aggression and harassment towards commercial fleet drivers from both opportunistic thieves and members of the public in the past 12 months. This was the opinion of leading fleet, health and safety, and technology specialists at a recent event organised by SureCam and PeopleSafe to discuss driver safeguarding and lone worker protection.

 

“We are seeing significantly more risk associated with working alone and in isolated areas, with London a particular hotspot for our fleet drivers,” explained Lee Jackson, Group Head of Plant & Transport and Board Director at Association of Fleet Professionals. “Incidents are occurring on a frequent basis, especially during the darker months, as opportunist thieves target vehicles and advanced equipment used by our mobile team. We are constantly looking at ways to deter this threat, undertake risk assessments, and ultimately put in place processes to minimise the dangers to our people.”

However, it is not just the threat from thieves that is on the increase, with growing aggression towards fleet drivers who are simply going about their daily routine.

 

According to Mark Ryder, Chief Commercial Officer of Peoplesafe: “We are experiencing a greater volume of raised alerts to our alarm receiving centre. Post pandemic we have seen a real change in people’s tolerance to other road users, which has resulted in a major increase in road rage. This lack of patience and understanding can lead to verbal and physical harassment for perceived disruption where vehicles are making a delivery or simply manoeuvring.”

 

Philip Read, Head of Safety, Health, Risk & Resilience at G4S added: “While serious incidents within our health and patient transport services, as well as elsewhere in the business, are often sporadic, they are on the rise and can represent a significant threat to our drivers and passengers. The safety of our staff and patients is paramount, and with many of our drivers single-crewed and working autonomously, so are challenge is how we address this issue and provide the level of lone worker protection needed?”

 

The expert panel considered what cultural and organisational shifts were occurring within the fleet sector to foster a safer work environment for lone workers. Measuring risk to identify areas of weakness and the threats that exist was pinpointed as critical when creating an effective mitigation plan. It was clear from the discussions that communication and engagement was a key part of this process to share information and experiences, with back to the floor and ride along sessions, hazard reporting, safety tours and training all mentioned as effective tools.

 

In response to the situation, commercial fleets are also looking at how technology can help safeguard drivers that are working alone, out of hours and in remote locations, said Sam Footer, Director of Partnerships at SureCam.

“Employee safety and wellbeing has come to the fore in recent years – particularly in fleet sectors such as logistics, utilities, highways and construction – and many businesses acknowledge that they need more robust processes to support their mobile teams both in and outside the vehicle. Every organisation has different needs to address, but what is consistent is the demand for an affordable, easy to implement and simple to use technology solution, underpinned by a clear driver protection strategy.”

“There was a consensus that cutting-edge technology, such as dash cameras integrated with personal safety apps, had a major role to play in ensuring fleet drivers received the protection needed. “We need to allow fleet drivers to do their job without risk or being threatened, and by giving them this added support, it will contribute to them feeling less vulnerable and more confident,” concludes Jackson.

Applied joins forces with Women in Transport

Applied Driving, the global provider of driver safety and performance management solutions, has teamed up with not-for-profit organisation Women in Transport to help promote diversity and equity in the transport sector. Under the partnership, Applied Driving will become a sponsor of the Women in Transport Advance 2024 mentoring programme, as well as providing 150 members with free access to the Companion+ Mobile Safety app as part of its commitment to supporting road safety.

 

“We are fully behind Women in Transport’s efforts to foster diversity and inclusivity within the sector, which we believe is key to driving growth, innovation and safety,” explains Nigel Lawrence, Director of Client Partnerships at Applied Driving. “The Advance mentoring programme is a fantastic initiative that is supporting and empowering women who are seeking to develop and progress their careers. We are proud to become a sponsor and look forward to developing this new partnership.”

 

The Advance mentoring programme is structured to address the precise needs of transport professionals. Launched as a pilot in 2018, it has already supported more than 300 mentees and mentors to date, with a further 45 places available for 2024. The initiative is designed and delivered by Sonya Byers, Women in Transport’s CEO, and longstanding member Angela Gainsford. The programme is run virtually and includes training sessions, one-to-one mentoring, and engagement sessions.

 

Sonya Byers, CEO of Women in Transport commented: “Our annual Advance mentoring programme has been made possible by the invaluable support of our corporate sponsors, so we are delighted to welcome Applied Driving as our latest partner. Mentoring is a powerful personal development and empowerment tool that allows the mentee to explore new ideas in a safe environment and take responsibility for the direction of their career.”

“We are excited about the difference we can make together with Women in Transport. Providing access to our Companion+ Mobile Safety app will enable us to engage with transport professionals about the importance of driver safety and fleet risk reduction. Our aim is to share our expertise and encourage a cultural shift within the transport sector, and we are already working on joint initiatives for next year,” adds Lawrence.