Sunderland tech firm Grid Smarter Cities is playing an important role in the UK’s commitment to improving city air quality, after landing further funding to fuel its work.
Securing a £500k private investment, Grid has now raised £1.8m over the past three years, with the most recent investment coming as it begins to deliver its £1.1m Kerb Virtual Parking Bay Solution (Kerb VPS) Project, funded by Innovate UK.
The project will see Grid applying technology-led, web-based solutions to manage poor air quality hotspots across cities and incentivise the use of cleaner delivery vehicles.
Kerb VPS is a virtual loading bay technology designed by Grid which allows delivery companies and hauliers to pay for timeslots to load or unload on restricted inner city kerb space whilst giving local authorities more control over traffic flow in urban areas.
Neil Herron, founder of Grid, explained: “Virtual loading bays and intelligent management of inner city kerb space are key tools in the fight to reduce city air pollution and we are delighted that they are mentioned directly in the Air Quality Action Plan recently published by the London Mayor.”
The roll out of virtual loading bays in London is part of the UK’s move towards cleaner cities, which includes the Government’s recent policy announcement to end the sale of new petrol and diesel cars after 2040.
The plan, which aims to tackle rising levels of nitrogen oxide that are posing a major risk to public health, also includes encouraging local authorities to clean up air quality along some of the most polluted roads in the UK.
Grid has developed various other technologies which aim to push the concept of smarter cities by providing tools to those living and working in cities that enable them to access an interconnected environment.
Neil added: “The roll out of Kerb VPS technology will help London’s boroughs directly manage their air quality by deciding on the fee and the locations to be used to prioritise low-emission vehicles, encourage activity in off-peak periods and improve traffic flow.”