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3D model of Ipswich to travel to Morocco to help solve traffic woes

PUBLISHED: 22:04 05 February 2018 | UPDATED: 22:04 05 February 2018

Frank Domoney is planning to print an entire model city and transport it to north Africa. Picture: GREGG BROWN

Frank Domoney is planning to print an entire model city and transport it to north Africa. Picture: GREGG BROWN

The scaled down recreation will include houses, cars and park benches aims to create a true replica of the town.

A 3D model of Ipswich will be travelling to Morocco to help test new planning ideas.

Once constructed the model will then be moved to the Moroccan capital , Rabat, where it will be installed in an old car park.

With the model installed government officials and city planners will be able to test transport systems, plan traffic flows and housing by using autonomous models to drive round the city.

Frank Domoney, chief skills transfer officer of Anglia-Mahgreb Smart City said that this virtual setup was similar to the popular city building game Sim City. In the game users are able to build and alter different types of landscapes and building areas in their own metropolis’.

Frank Domoney and Suffolk and Essex MEP Alex Mayer. Picture: GREGG BROWN Frank Domoney and Suffolk and Essex MEP Alex Mayer. Picture: GREGG BROWN

“It’s a very grown up form of Sim City,” said Mr Domoney.

“Just like Sim City it allows us to develop policies and try them out on the model.

“It’s like a flight simulator for city managers.”

The data collected in Morocco will then be sent back to Ipswich where it can be analysed.

Suffolk and Essex MEP Alex Mayer having a go at 3D printing. Picture: GREGG BROWN Suffolk and Essex MEP Alex Mayer having a go at 3D printing. Picture: GREGG BROWN

From here it will go on to be used in autonomous vehicles, self driving cars and intelligent cameras that could be installed in towns like Ipswich in the future.

The hope is that one day that the cameras could be used to help find missing people in busy cityscapes.

In the mean time it is more likely that this technology will help to test out road designs to ensure that all road users are able to access them without causing damage to themselves or the road structure.

Mr Domoney said that experiments with smart cities will for the next few years to confirm their concept.

After that he hopes that the technology will be rolled out to cities with some of the worst traffic problems in the world such as Cairo in Egypt,Sao Paulo in Brazil or Moscow in Russia.

Suffolk and Essex MEP Alex Mayer came to visit Mr Domoney’s work at The Waterfront Innovation Centre to learn more about the project.

“Best of luck to Frank,” said Ms Mayer, “It is great to see the facilities at the Ipswich Waterfront Innovation Centre being used for such a unique project.

“I hope that many small parts of Ipswich end up in Morocco.”

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