A digital twins project in the UK transport sector has been awarded state innovation funds.
London-headquartered Hadean, an metaverse infrastructure startup, is overseeing the initiative alongside Connected Places Catapult, a leading urban connectivity accelerator in the UK.
The funding is being provided by the UK’s main grant-making body, UK Research & Innovation.
Hadean’s 3D digital twins will serve 3D road modelling and real time highway data to road management boards, specifically creating enriched mathematical diagrams capable of emulating whole corridors of automotive traffic and correlating it with the right infrastructure upgrades.
Such granularity in data could also help to deliver one of the most radical upgrades on UK highways in decades, as engineers are exploring installation of overhead power cables on certain routes.
Similar to cables already operating above trolleybus or tram lines, the new infrastructure – known as “e-highways” – would allow electric heavy trucks to run the whole route without use of standalone charging points.
“Although e-Highways are being tested in California, Germany and the UK, domain-specific expertise of how, where and under what conditions these can be deployed is currently limited,” explained Hadean vice president of innovation Chris Arthurs.
Another intriguing point is that a metaverse company has been entrusted with a key component of the UK’s e-highway strategy.
When we speak about the metaverse we’re really referring to any tech-enabled bridge linking physical objects and digital realms. And, despite numerous news headlines on virtual reality and socialising, that includes digital twins – a well-established form of digital transformation that streams real environments to a digital or data-based facsimile, and which continues to evolve over time, in this case emerging as a full-on 3D virtual replica.