Waka Kotahi received 94 applications for round two.

15 applications have been approved to receive a total of up to $3.7 million in the second funding round, which asked applicants to respond to three key challenges:

  • Making roadworks safer for workers and other road users
  • Reducing the impact of increased freight in urban environments
  • Improving safety and efficiency for people using different modes of transport in the same space

Transport innovation fund driving positive change

Challenge 2.1: Making roadworks safer for workers and other road users 


Application name

Funding approved (excl GST)

Innovation summary

HMI Technologies

Road worker wearables


Development of a wearable device to improve safety and wellbeing by alerting road workers of dangers and provide logs of worker movements to site managers. It aims to detect and track worker location using satellite navigation with a precision of three to five centimetres. 

V2X Technology Partnership

Sharing real-time critical data to increase road worker safety


Development of a framework and a proof of concept for the real-time sharing of vehicle to everything communications (V2X) from roadworks sites in New Zealand. This will deliver a data sharing environment, with agreed standards for data formats, and aims to enhance road worker safety in New Zealand through highly accurate and real time alerting to road users.

N3T Ltd

Road worker alerting system


Development of a computer-vision based road worker alerting solution (RWAS) that will monitor vehicles and people at road work sites. It will use multiple connected cameras and haptic sensors to alert road workers of imminent risks.

Revo Tech and Media Design School

VisionSafe temporary traffic control system


Development of the VisionSafe Temporary Traffic Control System, an AI-driven solution to enhance roadwork safety and efficiency by automating temporary traffic signal operations, optimising traffic flow, and employing ANPR to disincentivise reckless driving. The system aims to protect both workers and road users, while reducing traffic congestion and providing real-time data for better decision-making.

RUSH and Downer NZ

R/Vision site safety


Further development of R/Vision, an existing tool for use at temporary traffic management sites. R/Vision combines portable hardware, artificial intelligence (AI) and computer vision to alert contractors and the public of risks in real time to achieve safer and smarter roadworks.

Smart City Streets Ltd

Smart work-zone lighting to guide drivers safely through roadworks


Development of smart work-zone lighting. The technology utilises different colours and patterns of LED road markers to guide drivers safely through roadworks at controlled speeds. It will provide clear visual cues for speed reduction and traffic flow direction.

Traffic Safe NZ Ltd

Safe, smart, lidar and AI based road worker safety detection system


Development of a computer vision and machine learning tool to analyse data from a combination of LIDAR, and other sensors. The data will be combined and analysed using edge-computing devices to generate hazard alerts for road workers. AI will be trained specifically to identify where road workers are not hitching their harnesses to moving traffic management trucks.


Perforated temporary traffic management signs for wind resistance and legibility


Development and testing of new designs of perforated road signs, using a wind tunnel. It will seek to improve the ability of signs to resist wind load while maintaining acceptable legibility and retroreflectivity levels compared with standard signs. The approach will seek to reduce the likelihood of signs blowing over and minimise time spent sandbagging by workers.



Challenge 2.2: Reducing the impact of increased freight in urban environments


Application name


Innovation summary


Shutl Levgistics Hub



Development of an eco-friendly low emission vehicle rental platform for gig economy workers, based around the creation of a hub for storage and rental of e-cargo bikes. The innovation aims to reduce the environmental impact caused by urban deliveries by enabling easy use of clean, on-demand vehicle options for gig workers. The funding will enable a Christchurch trial to test the business model and achieve an investor-ready state.

Smart City Streets

Dynamic Loading Zone


Development and testing of a dynamic loading zone that seeks to optimise the use of kerb space in busy environments and improve efficiency and safety for urban freight services. It will use technologies such as inductive power transfer, smart LED lights, and intelligent sensors.

Ngā Kē Waka /Lonelyseat

Multi-modal on-the-way logistics solution


Development of Ngā Kē Waka, an on-demand and peer-to-peer logistics app, aimed at mobilising local communities, and especially Māori communities, to deliver goods using various modes of transportation including walking, biking, bus, and private vehicles. The funding will assist with the development of an app and to recruit users for a trial deployment, focusing on the Golden Triangle.



Challenge 2.3: Improving safety and efficiency for people using different modes of transport in the same space


Application name


Innovation summary

Holmes Solutions LP

Whoosh Transportation Solution – integration into shared spaces


Development of design guidelines, including a digital twin, for a real-world trial in New Zealand of a unique aerial transport system that utilises autonomous electric vehicles on a dedicated elevated guideway.

Love to Ride

Bike safety rating maps for Aotearoa New Zealand


Development of an app that uses GPS technology to automatically detect and record bike rides, enabling users to rate their routes based on safety and comfort, and generate a safety ratings map for planners that identify problem areas. The innovation aims to identify unsafe areas, provide data for investment decisions, and track changes in travel behaviour. The funding will help refine the app’s features, engage with planners and users to improve biking infrastructure, and promote the app’s use.

Smart Access Ltd

Smart access navigation to enable safe and effective travel


Development and integration of a navigation system into the existing Smart Access app. The app currently collects detailed data on accessibility features for the disabled community. The development will enable users to use this data to create safe and efficient routes based on individual abilities and needs. The app will provide a comprehensive solution for tāngata whaikaha disabled people, young families and older people

VivaCity Labs Australia Pty Limited

Real time near-miss data from edge-processing AI sensors


Development and deployment of a smart sensor network using AI-based computer vision technology to detect and analyse near misses in real-time. The project is in the R&D and testing stage and aims to improve the existing technology’s ability to detect and address dangerous behaviours for an additional range of transport modes. The innovation aims to provide valuable data for prioritising road safety interventions.



Total funding for round two