Siemens Sapphire, a complete Journey Time Measurement System for traffic monitoring using Bluetooth technology, is being installed in Coventry as part of a project to assess how connected vehicles interact on key corridors.
The units are being supplied and installed by Siemens on three main corridors into Coventry to measure journey times and help optimise traffic flow as part of the project.
Led by Coventry City Council, the Intelligent Variable Message Systems (iVMS) project will draw on expertise from Coventry University’s Centre for Mobility and Transport in collaboration with project partners HORIBA MIRA and Serious Games International in order to develop a real world connected car to infrastructure demonstrator in the West Midlands. This project started in January 2016 and is planned to end in 2018.
Many of the signalised junctions on Binley Road, Walsgrave Road and A444 are also being upgraded by Siemens to be controlled via SCOOT and MOVA along the major corridors into Coventry to help minimise delays and further improve traffic flow. The Siemens hosted traffic management system – Stratos – will be used to manage the flow of data and send enhanced traffic data to the mobile 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 mobile phone application, commuters will be able to plan their daily commute and be incentivised 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 – therefore reducing delay, congestion and pollution in the city. However there are substantial benefits for commuters as they will receive reliable data from the transport network in order to plan their journeys accordingly.
In addition, Serious Games International Ltd (SGIL) will ‘gamify’ the app so that an online community can be created who 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. Leader boards could be created for people who saved the most fuel, adjusted their travel time the most to help the city or travelled the most suitable route and commuters could be offered a discounted coffee on route if they travel at less congested times.
Cllr David Welsh, lead for transport at Coventry City Council, 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.
“I’m really pleased that we are working with Siemens and other partners on this project which will help to cut journey times and reduce congestion and pollution. But this isn’t just about roads and how we travel – this will also have economic benefits for the city too.”