Edinburgh Trams and IHF to launch FOCUS+ Pilot

The name FOCUS+ has been selected for the solution developed as part of the Driver Innovation Safety Challenge (DISC) project.

This new name reflects the aim of DISC to deliver a secure and performant wearable technology solution able to improve the safety of drivers and mobile workers by monitoring their fatigue and wellbeing levels. DISC is being led by Edinburgh Trams with the support of UKTram and Transport for Edinburgh, and a partnership of public and private sector organisations including the City of Edinburgh Council and the Scotland CAN DO Innovation Challenge Fund.

The project is progressing well, with the delivery by IHF of the second prototype of FOCUS+ with the pilot test beginning in September.

The FOCUS+ Pilot aims to test the acceptability of the FOCUS+ design including comfort, interference with working duties of a user and to co-create with the user’s part of the solution’s design. The DISC project is built as a partnership between operators, IHF, and Edinburgh Trams to make sure that the solution created increases care for the driver, while being comfortable to wear and easy to use.

The pilot will also collect a large quantity of data to “train” the FOCUS+ algorithms through machine learning. Participants to the pilot are currently being recruited within Edinburgh Trams staff.

Organisations are now being sought to join the DISC Pilot to trial FOCUS+.

For more information contact m.josselin@transportforedinburgh.com

Edinburgh Trams and IHF Ltd are progressing DISC to improve the safety of drivers and mobile workers by using wearable technology

The Driver Innovation Safety Challenge (DISC) will support the development of a smart wrist or arm band which can monitor and analyse drivers’ and mobile workers’ fatigue and wellbeing levels.

The DISC approach is not to be reactive (i.e. stopping the vehicle after a loss of consciousness), but pre-emptive (i.e. identifying at an early stage the symptoms indicating a future loss of consciousness), thus pioneering a new approach to Health and Safety and accident prevention measures.

The first stage of the development of the DISC solution will be the creation of the functionality to identify if a user is exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19: a post-COVID return to work NHS test will be carried out to verify that users are free of COVID-19, and the DISC will be capable of  monitoring that users continue to be clear of COVID-19. It is expected that the initial DISC solution will start trials in late summer 2020.

Colin Kerr, Safety & Projects Manager at Edinburgh Trams and UKTram board member, explained: “We aim to create a world leading system that can help save lives, reduce risk and deliver efficiencies across multiple industry sectors, around the globe.”

DISC Partnership Procurement Concluded

The Driver Innovation Safety Challenge (DISC) innovation partnership procurement, jointly led by Edinburgh Trams and The City of Edinburgh Council has concluded without a successful outcome.

Edinburgh Trams and its partners UK Tram and Transport for Edinburgh are now progressing DISC through a private sector procurement.

IHF Ltd. Has been awarded the opportunity to deliver DISC and collaborate with Edinburgh Trams to develop the next generation of health, wellbeing and human performance monitoring systems. The award, piloted and trialled by Edinburgh Trams, with their partners UKTram and City of Edinburgh Council, will see the collaboration of industry, academia and commerce combine to develop a world leading system that can help save lives, reduce risk and deliver efficiencies across a multitude of industry sectors, across the globe.

IHF is an award-winning Human Factors company, chartered by the Institute of Ergonomics and Human Factors (IEHF), with a focus on Human Systems Integration, Training and Incident Investigation.

IHF is a supplier of both the Ministry of Defence and the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) and its client list, both past and present, is extensive and include top names in transport, defence, aviation, energy and the NHS.

IHF is currently working on several ground-breaking innovative projects, including human factors in data security, employee competency mapping and developing real time, high-performance, health monitoring systems.

Further updates will be provided on this website for the DISC project.

Market Analysis Outcomes


Before the launch of the DISC contract notice, an extensive market analysis was implemented. It aimed, first, to evaluate the right procurement route to procure the research and development and subsequent purchase of innovation, and second, to gather insights regarding the capabilities of the market in order to inform the structure of the challenge and project.

As part of this market analysis, the following elements have been implemented:

  • Two Prior Information Notice published on Public Contracts Scotland (PCS) 08/08/2018, and 18/03/2019
  • Targeted emails and call with IoT and digital health hubs: 210 specialised universities and incubators contacted
  • A general reach to Scottish suppliers: CEC press release, dedicated DISC page on the ET website, communication through ET and CEC’s social media, e-blast to all suppliers registered on Public Contracts Scotland (c70k registrations on PCS),
  • 2 bidder information session events organised 01/10/2018, 08/10/2018
  • An even to foster the creation of partnership between potential bidders organised 01/04/2019
  • 14 one-on-one discovery meetings
  • 29 discovery calls
  • a participation in the UK health show

The market analysis revealed that while many different sensors and data analysis platforms were either available or under development, no solution integrating both fatigue and health monitoring was available in the market.  Given the interest of both Edinburgh Trams (ET) and other Authorities to purchase a solution developed as part of the challenge, (provided it can perform adequately and at an affordable cost), both the project team and Board decided that the DISC should be procured as an Innovation Partnership.

An Innovation Partnership PPI (public procurement of innovation) enables both the research and development phase and subsequent purchase of the good or service. The process allows the Authority to go to tender with a needs-based approach, presenting bidders with a “problem to solve”; thereby providing suppliers flexibility to suggest possible solutions and, if successful, to work towards their creation through a R&D phase.

As part of this, the project was included in the Scottish Government’s Programme for Government in order to support for Scotland the consolidation of a public procurement of innovation guidance.