News Item

Satnav to ease congestion

Newcastle University and City Council are leading a development to reduce congestion and pollution from stop-start driving.

The new project will link an in-vehicle communication system directly with the city’s Urban Traffic Management Control (UTMC) centre - helping motorists to drive more efficiently to keep traffic moving.

The Professor of Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) at Newcastle University, Phil Blythe, explains:
'Traffic management systems are already in place across the city to improve traffic flow, but what’s unique about this trial is that we will be giving information directly to the driver. For example, the system might advise a driver that if they travel at 24 mph they will hit the next 4 sets of traffic lights on green. In more congested areas or particularly busy times of the day, then key roads might be given priority in order to keep the traffic flowing.'

Among the systems being implemented are:
- a Forward Collision Warning, which notifies drivers of obstacles on the road such as an accident, broken down vehicle or even just stationary traffic
- a Red Light Violation Warning, which tells drivers when someone on the road ahead has jumped a red light
- an Energy Efficient Intersection service, which advises the driver of the best speed in order to pass through a series of traffic lights on green

The Newcastle pilot is part of the EC €10 million project 'Compass4D' involving 7 European cities:
- Bordeaux, France
- Copenhagen, Denmark
- Eindhoven-Helmond, Netherlands
- Thessoloniki, Greece
- Verona, Italy
- Vigo, Spain
- Newcastle, UK

Other key partners include Siemens and Volvo, with the project co-ordinated by the European Road Transport Telematics Implementation Coordination Organisation (ERTICO).

UK project lead, Newcastle University's Dr Yvonne Huebner, explains:
'Newcastle is already leading the way in ITS and this work will allow us to build on the infrastructure that is already in place to provide personalised information to drivers.'

Professor Blythe concludes:
'The in-vehicle unit will communicate with the smart traffic lights controlled by the city’s UTMC. This will be the first trial of its kind in the UK, putting the City at the forefront of new and innovative thinking as to how emerging technologies can help us better manage our increasingly congested roads in the future.'

Details from Newcastle University and Compass4D below . .

  • 15 February 2013
  • LNLG

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