The National Infrastructure Commission (NIC) advises the UK government on transport infrastructure issues. It published a study entitled “ Data for the Public Good " in which authors demand greater use of open data to solve the traffic problems of the future and cut costs for the administration and citizens. In this context, the NIC proposes a digital framework, where the data on the existing infrastructure can be freely viewed. Moreover, a digital twin is supposed be set up, with which predictions for the future can be made and the interdependencies in the infrastructure system can be investigated.
For example, if the population of London grew by 50% by 2050, it would be possible to identify which means of transport citizens would use. The digital model would also assist in planning the necessary repairs and maintenance on the UK’s road and rail network in such a way as to minimize the impact on traffic. But you could also check the performance of the power supply under different, changing conditions with a digital twin.
The NIC proposes a six-month pilot project to create a digital twin for a single region. Issues such as security and data protection, as well as the possibilities for cooperation between the public sector, business, and research will also be explored in this project.