What is FlowX?
FlowX (in partnership with Vivacity Labs) is helping UK transport authorities react quicker to traffic incidents. We integrate with an authority’s existing CCTV camera network, then flag to the traffic operators in real-time when traffic conditions are abnormal. By reducing detection time from over 10 minutes to under 1 minute, we enable traffic operators to prevent, not just react to, congestion. This product is currently being developed in conjunction with Devon County Council.
What Exeter Goal is FlowX tackling?
FlowX is focused on reducing congestion. We are helping Exeter have reliable journey times by ensuring the road network is more resilient to incidents.
What work have you been doing with your pilot with Devon County Council ? What has been your experience so far?
The focus of our pilots with Devon & Exeter Councils have been on extracting anonymised, aggregated traffic data from existing CCTV cameras. Due to the potential sensitivity of using CCTV, we have ensured to have in-place extremely robust data security agreements, never extracting or storing personal information.
We have integrated with 10 Devon County Council highways cameras and 3 Exeter City Council’s city-centre cameras. By integrating with existing infrastructure, we avoid costly additional on-street hardware. To the best of our knowledge, this is the UK’s first integration of deep neural networks on existing highways CCTV cameras in production.
Integrating cutting-edge tech with old systems is not easy. Both Devon & Exeter Council cameras are analogue, so we needed to install Analogue-to-Digital converters for each feed.
Camera viewpoints are also regularly moved as part of day-to-day operations. We therefore had to write software which can automatically ‘understand where it is looking’ to avoid returning erroneous data after a camera is moved.
Any other news for FlowX?
In November 2018, FlowX (in partnership with Vivacity Labs) won a £50k contract with the Department for Transport & Digital Greenwich. This was part of the GovTech Catalyst process led by the Government Digital Service (within the SBRI – Innovate UK framework).
Moving forward, we are in the running to win a £500k R&D contract with the Department for Transport to build out our pilot. Our principal priority is to add genuine value to traffic operators in traffic control centres, building a robust system of real-time incident detection which seamlessly complements existing workflows.
A call to action
Asking for more action from our cities to tackle the climate crisis should not be a steep ask. We are right to demand reliable journeys, resilient roads, reduced congestion and cleaner air in the places that we live. These are tough, complex issues that require coordination and vision across government, which in Exeter are aided by helpful pressure from citizens and supported by businesses like Exeter City Futures and its sustainable cities accelerator, Exeter Velocities, which FlowX graduated from earlier this year.
Taking action on climate can often feel like an uphill battle, with no end, but there are clear signs that things are moving in the right direction. Cities across the country and beyond are now starting to play their role in mitigating the effects of climate change and many are declaring their own climate ambitions.
We’re proud to be part of this positive wave of change for sustainable cities of the future. We’re partnering with local authorities, using pioneering tech to make better use of existing assets so we can tackle the important challenges of urbanisation.
Learn more about FlowX: https://www.flowx.tech/
Check out what Exeter City Futures are up to: https://www.exetercityfutures.com/
Get involved with Exeter Velocities accelerator: https://exetervelocities.com/