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Strong market response to CAM design challenge as innovative process moves to next phase

13 November 2020

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CAM

A challenge to the market to provide bold and innovative concept design solutions which could be instrumental to the future delivery of the Cambridgeshire Autonomous Metro (CAM) has passed to its next stage after receiving an encouraging first phase response.

The challenge was launched by the Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Combined Authority to test the market for technologies, innovations, designs, operational systems and commercial ideas which could provide an in-the-round design solution to the CAM’s delivery.

The initial procurement phase, called a Standard Selection Questionnaire, was launched on October 5 with a deadline of November 4. The Mayoral Combined Authority has since undertaken a selection process which has resulted in ten suppliers being invited through to the next phase, called an Invitation to Tender.

Participation was encouraged from a wide range of potential suppliers. Consortiums were also welcomed, enabling individuals or organisations with certain fields of expertise to join with others to enter the process.

Tenders from the current phase are due back on December 4 and later in that month three top scoring tenderers are due to be awarded contracts to develop the conceptual designs in full. Three sequenced milestones – ‘stage gate’ reviews – will follow, ensuring the best possible designs are delivered in March 2021.

Mayor James Palmer said:

“It is fantastic that our pioneering CAM concept design challenge has attracted and inspired a strong response from the market and I want to thank everyone who participated in the first stage.

“The CAM is an exciting, trailblazing scheme, with innovation at its core. Opening up its potential design to a wide breadth of talent and expertise will help us to understand more fully some of the ideas and technologies which could transform its delivery.

“Cambridgeshire and Peterborough is one of the UK’s most advanced regional economies, built on its talented people, bold, new ideas, and a dynamic business climate. This is by far the best place in the country to innovate world leading public transport which will be both transformational for our region’s future, and with huge potential to be replicated nationally and globally.

“I look forward to being able to share the results of these designs in March.”

The design challenge is not intended to find the ultimate delivery solution for CAM, but is aimed at informing how the programme might develop.

The scope of the challenge includes:

The CAM vehicle: What type and size of proposed autonomous metro vehicles could be suitable, including considerations around guidance, operating systems and how it can be futureproofed against rapidly changing technology.

CAM infrastructure: What infrastructure the vehicle would run on, including the IT system and recommended approaches for their design, build, operation, safety assurance and maintenance.

Operations: How the CAM will run, and what the customer experience should be like.

Commercial relationships: Creative opportunities for revenue streams which will support the funding of the CAM.

The environment: Ensuring CAM is world leading in protecting the environment.

The Mayoral Combined Authority will also establish an arrangement to retain access to successful suppliers who enter the contract phase for the purposes of further engagement regarding their proposed conceptual designs for CAM. 

Alongside this, work to develop the CAM continues. The Mayoral Combined Authority has set up and is establishing a separate delivery company called One CAM Limited, appointing renowned tunnel engineer Lord Mair, Robert Mair CBE as chair. Recommended candidates for non-executive directors to join the board, as well as for the position of CEO, are due to be presented to the Combined Authority’s Board meeting on November 25.