Digital twin to help Liverpool create world-class transport system

Digital twin Liverpool
Scientists will use evidence-based strategies to enhance mobility in Liverpool and Pusan

Data scientists from Liverpool and South Korea have teamed up to improve bus journeys across the city by creating a digital twin of the area’s transport system.

The model will help predict the impact of tweaks to the system such as route changes and fare reductions. 

University of Liverpool researchers are working with peers from the Pusan National University in South Korea, using state-of-the-art modelling alongside real-time vehicle location data.

Dr Patrick Ballantyne from the University of Liverpool’s data science lab said: “The project’s innovation lies in applying big data and scenario modelling technologies in a new area, specifically the recasting and optimisation of public transport networks to be more equitable for the residents of Liverpool City Region.”

Professor Jinuk Hwang from the department of urban planning and engineering at Pusan National University, said the project marked a “significant step towards smarter, more equitable transport systems”.  

Hwang added: “Our expertise in transportation planning and analysis will be pivotal in developing evidence-based strategies to enhance urban mobility in both Busan, Korea, and Liverpool, UK.”

Faster, cheaper journeys

Across the Liverpool region, hundreds of thousands of people use the bus network every day. Some 82% of public transport journeys are by bus. 

Liverpool mayor Steve Rotheram said the move was part of his plans to “provide faster, cheaper, safer and more reliable journeys” for Liverpudlians.

Digital twin Liverpool
Liverpool’s mayor has pledged to create ‘London-style’ transport system

He said: “We’re already starting to turn that vision into reality, taking back control of our buses, capping fares and launching the country’s most sophisticated local trains – which, by the way, are publicly owned.

“Before my re-election, I pledged to use cutting-edge digital twin technology to help improve planning and public services across the region. This is our first foray.”

He added: “This collaborative new project will help us make better, data-driven decisions to help provide the world-class, London-style transport system our residents deserve.”

Big data digital twin

The project is called Big data digital twin of mass transit in Liverpool City Region for smart, equitable mobility and is being funded as part of the UKRI Innovate UK UK-South Korea Collaborative R&D programme.

Last year Rotheram signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Mayor of Busan Metropolitan City Park, Heong-Joon, to co-operate on digital innovation, smart cities, net zero, clean energy, and health innovation.

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