Driverless vehicle technology to boost independent travel

Conigital four-dimensional tactile display will provide continuous sensory feedback for blind users over the course of their journeys

A Birmingham start-up is developing driverless vehicle technology to help people who have difficulty travelling on their own.

Innovation Birmingham-based Conigital is developing the world’s first four-dimensional tactile display, which will provide continuous sensory feedback for blind users over the course of their journeys.

Advanced indoor and outdoor positioning systems will allow blind users to know their exact locations using a smartphone app and will link to a cloud-based system which will allow nearby vehicles to be virtually requested or ‘hailed’.

Conigital is part of a British consortium to have recently secured funding from the government’s £100 million Intelligent Mobility Fund to develop the technology.

The Project INSIGHT consortium, which includes Westfield Sports Cars, Heathrow Enterprises, Fusion Processing, Creative Example and Birmingham City University, will focus on improving the accessibility of transport for people who have difficulty travelling independently, as well as on the safety, reliability and integration of autonomous vehicles into an urban environment.

Prem Moti, technical director at Conigital Group, said: “We are thrilled to be part of the INSIGHT project and to have received this funding from the Intelligent Mobility Fund. This will be a great opportunity for us to showcase our accessibility technology and to develop the next generation of autonomous vehicles.”

Conigital one of 12 tech start-ups recently accepted on to the Serendip Smart City Incubator at Innovation Birmingham’s new iCentrum building, part of the Intelligent Mobility ‘quarter’ which is being delivered by Innovation Birmingham in partnership with Centro and the Transport Systems Catapult.