Companies were picked from more than 100 applicants

HS2 has announced the five tech firms that will join its innovation accelerator programme.

The firms, which are all based in the UK, were chosen from 118 applicants for the programme.

HS2 accelerator

Each company will receive commercial and technical support, plus rent-free working space, as they develop their technology.

All five firms start their HS2 development work this month and will continue to work through to March next year.

After four months of development inside the accelerator, the firms’ solutions will be showcased and pitched to industry investors and HS2’s supply chain.

The winning projects include technology for a single site dashboard to compare performance against planned work and technology that can help understand potential people flow in and around HS2’s stations.

The five firms chosen

  • Digital Rail is developing technology that helps to provide independence to passengers with a mobility impairment arriving at stations. Its RailSightAssist is an app-based computer vision solution that detects wheelchairs, bicycles, pushchairs, heavy luggage, partially sighted or blind passengers when they arrive and alerts station staff to provide assistance.
  • Hypervine’s app-based technology enables construction contractors to become more agile by quantifying through a single “dashboard” work across site activities and to compare actual performance against planned work, and identify where efficiencies can be made, generating both cost and carbon savings.
  • Rail Diary creates digital site diaries and reporting software tailored to the rail construction industry. Site diaries are traditionally a very manually intensive process for those working on construction sites. The Rail Diary platform enables teams to complete daily reports throughout a shift, including photos and videos, then turns those reports into real-time actionable insights and comparative data.  By removing the communication lag between site and office, Rail Diary provides front-line staff with the tools they need to deliver projects more effectively.
  • Grid Smarter Cities technology could help HS2, its contractors and site personnel to better manage commercial freight movements and activities, especially in congested urban areas where efficient network and kerb space management is critical.
  • Open Space’s technology can help better understand potential people flow in and around the HS2 stations.  The company’s pedestrian simulation and artificial intelligence decision models visualise pedestrian flows that can help improve customer experience, enhance safety and reduce asset management costs, as well as manage social distancing.