West Midlands robots to roam stations offering assistance to passengers

The Head of Network Transformation at Transport for the West Midlands, Steve Hayes, will contribute to our 'Science Cities' forum panel discussion this week, on innovations being introduced to make travel more sustainable across this region which is the historic heartland of the UK's automotive engineering industry.

Separately, six innovative and pioneering projects exploring the benefits and applications of 5G technology in the transport sector have been awarded a share of a £1.6 million investment fund.

West Midlands 5G (WM5G) and Transport for West Midlands (TfWM) which is part of the West Midlands Combined Authority WMCA) have partnered to be awarded funding for the development and deployment of 5G enabled innovations that will enhance road, rail and bus usage across the region.

The projects range from autonomous information robots at Birmingham New Street station, to solutions using smart camera systems that will help manage overcrowding on buses. Others include the use of connected technology and smart sensors to quickly identify track and power line defects on the region's rail and tram networks.

Set to take place over the next 12 months, each project includes a minimum of three months of user or product testing within the West Midlands to verify benefits to operators and travellers.

All projects will use 5G's low latency, greater b