Issue 27 Articles

Milton Keynes Council logoMilton Keynes:
Future City Programme

Milton Keynes is a new city with the
fastest population and economic growth
of any UK city

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The Future City Programme is a collaboration of industry, academia and the public sector. It aims to enable the growth of the city, addressing infrastructure pressures, allowing for business growth and improving citizens’ lives.

The city has recently completed MK Futures 2050 - a long-term vision and action plan for the development of the city.

A flagship project is the ‘MK Data Hub’ which draws together information relevant to how the city functions, including data from key energy, transport and water infrastructure, sensor networks, satellite data and social media. It includes business innovation projects in the areas of transport, energy, water and enterprise plus citizen engagement and education.

Other projects include an Internet of Things city network and a low carbon intelligent mobility programme that includes ‘UK Autodrive’ - the UK’s most comprehensive trials of self-driving vehicles on public roads and pedestrian areas.

  • The MK:Smart data hub is Hypercat compliant to ensure interoperability of data.
  • MK:Smart benefits from an £8 million grant for the Higher Education Funding Council and £8 million industry match funding.
  • UK Autodrive benefits from £9 million Innovate UK grant and £9 million industry match funding.
  • Milton Keynes Council is the lead partner for the overall Future City Programme.
  • MK:Smart is a collaborative initiative between The Open University (OU), MK Council, British Telecom (BT) and other partners including EON, Huawei, Tech Mahindra and Samsung.
  • LUTZ Pathfinder project is carrying out the UK’s first research trials of self-driving vehicles in pedestrianised areas and is led by the Transport Systems Catapult and funded by the UK Automotive Council and the UK government BIS Department.
  • The UK Autodrive project is led by the Arup Group with partners, including Ford Motor Company, Jaguar Land Rover, Tata Motors, Milton Keynes Council, RDM Group, MIRA, Oxbotica, AXA, University of Oxford and University of Cambridge.

MK Data Hub was created with public launch mid-June 2016. Integrated programme of business innovation established. Sensors deployed to neighbourhood recycling bins, motion tracking and intelligent parking systems. Education programme is empowering students and practitioners with the skills to participate in the creation of a smart city. Which includes Urban Data School and on-line courses.

Citizen innovation project has awarded 11 projects funding.

Pilot programmes with different socio-economic groups of water and energy users to manage demand in the city.

Testing of three driverless pods underway. The UK Autodrive project will grow the pod fleet to 40 vehicles and test an on-demand service model. It will also deliver integrated trials with autonomous cars from multiple manufacturers (Ford, Tata and Jaguar Land Rover).

The world’s most demanding electric bus route is in Milton Keynes. Buses are charged wirelessly by induction plates buried in the road at bus stops at either end of the route. Operating performance and costs are competitive with diesel buses.

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