York has been selected by the government’s Department for Transport (DfT) to trial new technology that could revolutionise the way we manage traffic flow and digital technology in vehicles in England.
The DfT announced today that City of York Council (CYC) was successfully awarded a share of £2million funding from the Cooperative Intelligent Transport Systems grant (CITS) to lead on this special project.
The £300k funding will be used to gather research, intelligence and data in York over a two year period from April.
The aim of the trial is to demonstrate that the new technology will improve traffic flow, congestion, road safety and online connectivity.
The trial in York will focus on the A59 corridor from the Park & Ride site to Holgate Bridge. It will start by using location data collected from vehicles monitored by company INRIX Ltd, which monitors traffic flow across Europe, and are one of the project’s partners to trial better phasing of traffic signals.
In later stages, parts of CYC’s fleet and other vehicles will be fitted with communications to allow them to ‘speak’ to traffic signals along the A59. The trial will also provide the commercial partners in the project from across the country with the opportunity to showcase their products here in York.
Cllr Ian Gillies, executive member of transport and planning, said: “The research being conducted here in York will put the authority firmly at the forefront of technology nationally for helping to develop this important new guidance.
“This trial will revolutionise digital technology for transport across england, paving way for the next generation of vehicles. We’re delighted York has been selected to support the DfT in leading the way on this new national guidance.”
Once the trial is completed, the information will be used by the government to roll out new national guidance on the digital technology and connected vehicles.
Around eight per cent of all vehicles in Europe are currently fitted with connected vehicle technology and by 2020 it’s estimated that it will be 25 per cent.
The technology gives vehicles internet access wireless local communications and allows vehicles to share internet access with other devices both inside as well as outside the vehicle. For example, this gives vehicles the ability to ‘talk’ to other vehicles. If they’re both fitted with sensory technology it could help to avoid accidents by sensing oncoming vehicles or possibly impact.
It could also connect with traffic signals to make traffic flow more efficient by measuring traffic congestion, flows, speeds and queues. As a result this could improve signal settings by making them more flexible and reactive.
Furthermore, by linking direct to the internet it could give vehicles ability to ‘talk to their owners’ too. It could notify them that they’re due an MOT and provide them with contact information for local garages via a direct online link or app.
The first use of this technology will come in 2018 when it will become law for every vehicle to be fitted with ‘E-Call’ This will mean this new technology will detect if a vehicle is involved in an accident, for example, and will call emergency services automatically.
To find out more about the DfT funding visit: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/co-operative-intelligent-transport-systems-funding-competition