SpacetimeAI & Connected Places Catapult pass the first stage to help reduce traffic congestion in Brazil The Global Challenge Research Fund funded by UKRI supports cutting-edge research to address challenges faced by developing countries.

The Challenge

In Brazil, where 85% of the population live in cities, traffic congestion has been identified as one of the nation's most pressing urban challenges. In the last 15 years, Brazil's public transport ridership dropped 15%, while the country's car fleet tripled. These trends exacerbate congestion and pollution. Every year the country registers over 45,000 road accident fatalities, which has an annual cost of US$9 billion.


We use iHotspot to tacle this challenge. iHotSpot has a prototype-stage AI-enabled system created by SpacetimeAI that can improve road safety and reduce traffic congestion. The solution has already been tested in the UK, China and the US, leading to a 30-40% improvement in the predictive accuracy of traffic incidents, while using much less training data and shorter computing time. This can enable better planning and decision making for city planners which can lead to a substantial decrease in traffic incidents. With highly flexible and visualised interfaces, it can be seamlessly fit into a wide range of in-house decision support systems through a flexible application programming interface.


SpacetimeAI partnered with Connected Places Catapult and Macnica to assess the technical feasibility and validation of the demand for iHotSpot in Brazil. The project competed with 300 submissions to become one of the 30 projects awarded grant funding. Through a rigorous impact assessment exercise using the human-centric design approach, SpaceTimeAI has successfully gathered insights from potential end-users/customers which can enable validation of the demand of iHotspot and identification of commercial networking opportunities for further market development.

"Connected Places Catapult is delighted to be partnering with SpacetimeAI on this exciting collaborative research & development project. The Catapult works hard to find opportunities in emerging markets where UK expertise can lend to local partnerships where new innovations can transform places."

——Amy Hochadel, Director of Global Business Growth from Connected Places Catapult

Benefits & Results

Within six months the project made great progress in uncovering learnings from research activities resulting in:


Establishing and building strong relationships with industry organisations in Brazil.


Opportunity to uncover the challenges, needs and demands from potential end users to validate assumptions and tailor the solution for the end customer.


Securing a follow up project to carry out a demonstration phase of the iHotSpot solution in Brazil.