Siemens Sapphire, a complete journey time measurement system (JTMS) for traffic monitoring using Bluetooth technology, is being installed in Coventry in the UK as part of a new UK project to assess how connected vehicles interact on key corridors leading into the city center from the national road network.
Led by Coventry City Council (CCC), the intelligent variable message systems (iVMS) project will draw on cutting edge expertise from Coventry University’s Center for Mobility and Transport in collaboration with project partners Horiba Mira, and Serious Games International Ltd (SGIL), to develop a real-world connected car to infrastructure (V2I) demonstrator in the West Midlands. The Sapphire units are being supplied and installed by Siemens on three main corridors into Coventry to measure journey times and help optimize traffic flow as part of the project, which started in January and is planned to end in 2018.
Many of the signalized junctions on Binley Road, Walsgrave Road and the A444 are also being upgraded by Siemens to be controlled via split cycle offset optimization technique (SCOOT) and microprocessor optimized vehicle actuation (MOVA) along the major corridors into Coventry to help minimize delays and further improve traffic flow. The Siemens Stratos hosted traffic management system will be used to manage the flow of data and send enhanced traffic data to the smartphone application. Network operators will have more control of the routing information provided to commuters, as the system will manage the expected traffic loads on the network.
The project will radically change the way in which commuters can travel into Coventry. Using a smartphone application, commuters will be able to plan their daily commute and be incentivized to travel at the most sustainable times. The app will seek to provide advice on when commuters should start their journey in order to avoid congestion or increase journey time reliability, as well as providing live in-journey information to give advice on the most appropriate route. This provides benefits for both the road user and network operator, as peak traffic congestion can be reduced, reducing delay, congestion and pollution in the city. There are also substantial benefits for commuters, as they will receive reliable data from the transport network in order to plan their journeys accordingly.
SGIL will ‘gamify’ the app so that an online community can be created that can travel at the most suitable times. Users will be able to score virtual points for different sustainable driving traits, such as driving styles, route choices and journey times, with various incentives offered as a ‘reward’.
Cllr David Welsh, lead for transport at CCC, said, “We are on the edge of making some great new technology available to drivers in the city, and Coventry is once again leading some fantastic, cutting-edge technological advances that will change how we use and think about transport. We’re pleased to be working with Siemens and other partners on this project that will help to cut journey times and reduce congestion and pollution, and will also have economic benefits for the city.”