Smart city partnership plans to shake up our cities

Digital consultancy hedgehog lab has secured a contract with a Sunderland-based tech firm to develop a number of smart solutions.

The six-figure contract will see the Newcastle-headquartered app developer working on several projects with Grid Smarter Cities, including intelligent kerbside management tool, Kerb, and disability access app, assist-Mi.

Grid’s overarching ambition is to help connect people, services and technology in urban areas.

The continued development of Kerb, its virtual parking bay solution, will allow commercial drivers to book previously restricted kerb space in advance of delivering goods. The solution, which has been funded by £1.1m from Innovate UK, will be trialled across London.

It forms part of the UK’s move towards cleaner cities by helping cut congestion and associated emissions, while also improving safety and removing the prospect of drivers receiving PCNs.

Grid’s founder Neil Herron said: “There are over 40,000 premature deaths each year due to harmful emissions in our urban areas, and it’s fantastic that we can see this solution come to life with the amazing work of hedgehog lab. It’s incredibly rewarding to see something you know can help the lives of both hauliers and citizens across the UK start to take shape.”

Grid’s progress in recent months has also seen the appointment of Chief Information Officer, Julian Wrigley, formerly a consultant at hedgehog lab.

 

Disability app

Alongside Kerb, hedgehog lab has been tasked with the continued enhancement of assist-Mi, a disability app that allows disabled users to request assistance in advance of turning up at a service provider.

The app offers increased independence to disabled people across the UK, revolutionizing how they access the world around them and improving their experience of getting from A to B.

The solution is free to download on Android and iOS.

Grid’s Communications Director Dom Hyams said: “It’s been fantastic to work with hedgehog to continue to develop assist-Mi into a solution we know can change the world. We still have some way to go with accessibility in the UK, and we aim to do all we can remove these barriers.”

Established in 2007 as a ‘post-PC’ technology consultancy, hedgehog lab builds apps for smartphones, tablets, wearables and similar devices.

The company, which has additional offices in London, India, the US and Denmark, has made a conscious shift from one-off project work to a strategic partnership model, which sees it building long-term relationships with clients, helping them get the most from their products.

To facilitate this, the consultancy recently appointed Aidan Dunphy, previously of Orchard Information Systems, as Product Director.

hedgehog lab CEO Sarat Pediredla said: “We are delighted to be working with Grid Smarter Cities, a forward-thinking business that embraces the best of modern technology and aims to use it in a way that provides genuine benefit to people.”

Related reading