Vivacity Labs raises £3m to fast-tack traffic-easing tech and help driverless cars
The investment included a £1.7m project grant from Innovate UK and £1.6m from Tracsis, Downing Ventures and the London Co-Investment Fund
Vivacity Labs, the AI tech start-up which seeks to ease traffic jams and ensure safer driving conditions for driverless cars and cyclists, has raised over £3m in funding.
Of the total figure, £1.7m comes via a project grant from Innovate UK, while Tracsis, Downing Ventures and the London Co-Investment Fund backed £1.6m between them.
Based in London, Vivacity Labs creates sensors with built-in machine learning – which help identify individual road users and manage traffic accordingly.
By use of a camera, the sensors will be able to give green-light priority to cyclists, buses or ambulances, help make Lorry drivers aware of other road-users, and alert driverless cars of crossing pedestrians.
Funds for the Innovate UK grant will be used to deploy 2,500 of these sensors across 50 square miles of Milton Keynes, while the remaining investment will be used to help “unlock the full potential” of Vivacity Labs over the coming years.
Yang Lu, chief technology officer, Vivacity Labs explains:
“There is very limited intelligence to the current management of urban roads. Traffic lights are sequenced but rarely reactive to the levels of traffic around them. Traffic monitoring is still done manually.
“By introducing AI into the camera itself, Vivacity Labs has created a system that accurately identifies and reports road usage, removing the need for cumbersome manual interpretation and significantly reducing the potential for human error.
“This lays the groundwork for the smart city of the future, using data flows to guide driverless vehicles to their destination with minimal congestion.
“It also improves traffic today as it can be linked with existing management systems to keep vulnerable road users, such as cyclists, safe by giving priority at lights, or alter signs to direct traffic away from congestion.”