Cash from the innovation agency Innovate UK will be used to look at ways to co-ordinate highways jobs with work plans by utility companies.
The research has been named “Project Heineken” in a homage to a famous beer commercial of the 1990s which poked fun at the problem of roads being constantly dug up.
The 18-month project will design, prototype, develop and trial a new spatial planning service across Staffordshire using an innovative smart city platform developed by technology specialist CSC.
It allows the analysis of a diverse set of data sources including future plans and maintenance information to highlight where it thinks opportunities for joint works could arise.
Rick Robinson IT Director, Smart Data and Technology at Amey said; “By combining cross-industry collaborative working with smart technology we can truly revolutionise the way works are programmed across the infrastructure network.
“Maintaining the physical highways network hasn’t changed much over the last decade however our ability to access analytics and data, is allowing us to profoundly change the services we deliver, providing economic, environmental and social benefits to our clients and end users.
“In the digital economy people everywhere are finding new ways for data and technology to support their businesses and communities and so we will work collaboratively with the County Council and Staffordshire University to help local innovators and businesses engage with the Smart City platform and the data it contains.”
James Bailey, Staffordshire County Council’s Commissioner for Highways, said: “Keeping a county the size of Staffordshire on the move can be a challenge at times, especially when you have to factor in highways maintenance, major developments, utility and telecom projects and emergency work – sometimes all at once.
“We have always aimed to co-ordinate work in the highways and this project is a fantastic opportunity to utilise the rapid developments in technology to map and programme works even more intelligently to minimise costs, disruption and inconvenience further.”