Cities are entering a new age where new technologies could dramatically change the way people move. New insight is required to understand how we will react to these new mobility options. The University of Leeds is developing a new centre of excellence, focused on engaging with the public to co-design and demonstrate new mobility options, and to gather feedback and build interest and user-acceptance. It brings together expertise from a number of our major research facilities – including the University of Leeds Driving Simulator and Leeds Institute for Data Analytics.

Virtuocity will be a proving ground in which new technologies, data and models are harnessed to support collaboration in accelerating the development of solutions to the growing challenges facing our cities – helping us address such questions as:

  • What should mobility in the city of the future look like?
  • What does technology provide?
  • What will users choose, accept and pay for?
  • What does the resulting city look like?

Local authorities wish to design their city to be efficient and sustainable, encourage healthy lifestyles and have a vibrant urban centre and reasonable transit times. Automotive companies and mobility-as-a-service providers are seeking to understand how to design their products to maximise revenues and profits. The only way to answer these questions is through impactful end-user focused co-production and public engagement. Virtuocity will therefore:

  • Work collaboratively with end-users, industry partners and decision makers to answer pressing questions and co-produce new solutions
  • Bring together a commanding set of shared data and models
  • Encourage and support safe, efficient and sustainable mobility
  • Explain and demonstrate new and emerging mobility options
  • Focus on the end-users and gather feedback on user acceptance, interest and choices.

The University has an extensive and internationally recognised set of research experience: experiments, data, models and simulations of cities from across the disciplines of social sciences, engineering and medicine. Virtuocity will combine these, so that any researcher can use them in their investigations. Corporate and public partners can also integrate their software, simulations, data and models thereby maximising the research capability of Virtuocity.

Virtuocity places data and models at the heart of an interactive environment for decision-makers and other users to explore scenarios and accelerate the creation of innovative solutions that provide partners with a competitive edge through access to a unique combination of facilities, world leading research and key academic experts.

To learn more about how Virtuocity is bringing together would-leading research from across one of the UK’s leading universities, as well as how to become a partner in Virtuocity, please visit the website or contact one of the team at: virtuocity@leeds.ac.uk