Leading consultant creates UK’s oldest connected car

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One of the world’s foremost experts in transport technology has demonstrated how any car can benefit from today’s connectivity by showing traffic information messages in a 1914 Model T Ford as part of the UK’s Drive it Day for classic cars.

White Willow Consulting founder Andy Graham fitted a mobile phone with an app developed by KL Systems onto the 1914-built car using a phone cradle, and was driven along the A23 in Surrey receiving location-specific messages as he traveled.

The demonstration took place at a virtual event organised by the Federation of British Historic Vehicle Clubs celebrating the One Thousand Mile Trial which was organised in 1900 to prove the viability of the newly-invented motor car.

“People often mistakenly think that the advantages of connectivity are only for brand new vehicles, or even something in the future,” explains Graham. “I wanted to show that with a mobile phone used safely and within the law, any vehicle can be connected and benefit from a range of services from real-time traffic information to parking, and alerting other road users that it is on the road – after all, it’s black and sometimes hard to see”.

In the demonstration, the vehicle received navigation instructions, messages about hazards, point-of-interest advice such as nearby petrol stations and, with a nod to the Model T’s age, a warning of a steep hill ahead. The information was supplied using a cutting-edge system developed by KL Systems which takes information from existing traffic management systems. By adding further applications already available, it can also provide floating vehicle data on the speed and location, and potentially collect pothole and speed sign data, and find parking spaces and pay for them.

“Vehicle connectivity is often bundled in the same phrase as with driverless vehicles, but there’s a big difference,” adds Graham. “While driverless vehicles are still very much in development, connectivity and its benefits are here now. If a Model T Ford can be connected, any vehicle can.“

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About Author

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Tom has edited Traffic Technology International magazine and the Traffic Technology Today website since May 2014. During his time at the title he has interviewed some of the top transportation chiefs in charge of public agencies around the world as well as chairmen and CEOs of multinational transportation technology corporations. Tom's early career saw him working on some the UK's leading consumer magazine titles. He has a law degree from the London School of Economics (LSE).