23 June 2023 | Innovation | Our Work

Innovation Festival demos to showcase maintenance and technology solutions

Visitors to this year’s LCRIG Innovation Festival will be able to see a variety of sector-leading outdoor demonstrations and exhibitions, ranging from the repair and reinstatement of roads to the application of connected vehicles.

Live demonstrations from 13 companies will take place over the two days of the event and a full timetable of what’s happening will be released next week.  80 indoor exhibitors and 28 outdoor exhibitors will be showcasing the latest in innovative products and solutions, providing local authorities with a chance to find out about new innovations from the supply chain that will help to meet their current and future challenges.

The Local Council Roads Innovation Group (LCRIG) is working closely with the Transport Technology Forum (TTF) on this year’s event which takes place on the 4th and 5th of July. The TTF are undertaking a series of industry first connected vehicle demonstrations, which will provide delegates with the opportunity to take part in a test drive around the TTF Innovation Zone Live Test Track.

Showcasing the versatility of the sector, Eurovia, JCB, WJ Group, HRS, Hercules, Highway Care, Jobling Purser, Meon, Multevo, Asphalt Solutions, SRL Traffic Systems, Thermal Road Repairs and Ultracrete will deliver demonstrations set to cover maintenance, safety, technology, signage and road markings.

Demonstration highlights include:

JCB will be demonstrating the revolutionary Pothole Pro live to local authority representatives from across the country.

The JCB Pothole Pro is a unique 3-in 1-solution specifically designed to sort out any pothole repair or large reinstatement; efficiently, economically and permanently. The three dedicated attachments allow the operator to cut, crop and clean, without the need for additional specialist equipment, transport or manpower – saving both time and money.

Kiely Bros are launching two new solutions at the event – Kiely GlassMark and the much-anticipated Multipatcher machines.

Kiely GlassMark is a coloured surface solution made from 100% recycled industrial and consumer grade glass, provided to whichever size is suitable, as with traditional aggregate.

The Multipatchers are new, innovative machines that are now the benchmark for machinery providers to aspire to as they can patch, seal and repair damaged roads all in the same vehicle, operated from the cab, by just the driver.

Eurovia will be demonstrating ‘Connected & Autonomous Plant’ including the new BOMAG 174 and BOMAG 135 rollers linked using BOMAP with a live demo of BOMAG’s fully autonomous ‘ROBOMAG’.

In collaboration with Eurovia, Highway Data Systems will be demonstrating their new thermal imaging VisIR scanner mounted on a new TEX chipper, which dramatically reduces the health & safety risks of chipping operations whilst improving the quality and automatic data capture on hot rolled asphalt sites.

Ian Large, Chair of LCRIG’s Infrastructure Innovation Board, said: “The beauty of the Innovation Festival is that many of the techniques and innovations that visitors learn about and discuss inside will then be put into practice outside and showcased via our sector-leading demonstrations. I would encourage anyone that hasn’t already signed up as either an exhibitor or visitor to take a look at what we have got on offer and to do so. We look forward to welcoming you to Newark.”

Public sector delegates will participate in innovation scoring across both days of the event and are invited to judge entries across various categories including: Fleet and equipment; Bridges and other structures; Climate resilience; Transport technology; Surfacing; Biodiversity; Traffic Signs and Lines and Street Lighting.

Technology focus

In addition to the maintenance focused demonstrations, for the first time visitors to a major road industry event will have the opportunity to receive virtual messages in their own vehicles, and not just in test vehicles on tracks.

The TTF’s Connected Vehicle Working Group has undertaken demonstrations at invite-only events in the past, but this is the first time a wide range of connected solutions will be shown to so many people in one place.

People downloading the app will receive instructions and other messages to their smartphones as they enter the Newark Showground site, overlaid on sat navs. These can be relayed onto in-vehicle screens where they exist, and are delivered as audio to ensure safety and cut out the risk of distraction. The app can be downloaded here.

The TTF’s demonstrations on site include relaying variable and static signage into a vehicle, a demonstration of virtual signs, dynamic cyclist warnings and use of eCall data. Exhibitors will also showcase dynamic parking solutions, radar detection and distracted driving technology using Artificial Intelligence.

More than 200 local authority delegates from 75 authorities are attending, meaning around two-thirds of all the English highway authorities outside London are represented. This is along with over 100 exhibitors.

The TTF demonstrations are supported by White Willow Consulting, KL Systems, SRL, Crystal Driver, Navtech Radar, Portsmouth City Council and Grid Smarter Cities.

Industry expert Lee Merces has put together the outdoor demonstration programme in conjunction with Andy Graham, chair of the TTF Connected vehicles Group, providing technical support.

There is still a limited time to sign up for the Innovation Festival here.