SatNav to ease congestion in our cities

The 10m Euro Compass4D project has been designed to take the frustration out of the rush-hour commute.

Led in the UK by Newcastle University and Newcastle City Council, the system is being developed to reduce city centre congestion and pollution associated with stop-start driving.

Phil Blythe, Professor of Intelligent Transport Systems at Newcastle University, 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 miles an hour they will hit the next four 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.”

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 our cities’ traffic moving.

Information will be sent directly to drivers to take them away from areas that are becoming congested, speeding up people’s journeys through the city and easing overall congestion.  At the same time, drivers will be warned of approaching danger such as an accident or reckless driver.

Among the systems being implemented by the team 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
  • And 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 a 10M EURO project called Compass4D involving seven European cities – Bordeaux, France; Copenhagen, Denmark; Eindhoven-Helmond, Netherlands; Thessoloniki, Greece; Verona, Italy; Vigo, Spain, and Newcastle, UK.  Other key partners include Siemens and Volvo and the project is co-ordinated by the European Road Transport Telematics Implementation Coordination Organisation (ERTICO).

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