New Intelligent Transport System to provide solutions to urban congestion

Academics are working on developing intelligent transport systems to ease congestion around the Birmingham area and help travellers avoid lengthy delays.

The University of Wolverhampton is leading on the Midlands region for Optimum, which is part of a £6 million Horizons 2020 project.

The aim is to develop an efficient system which would encourage people to use private cars less, with a view to reducing traffic, travel times and accidents.

Dr Panos Georgakis, the technical and scientific lead on the University’s €510,000 section of the project, is designing and developing a smart sensing system able to cope with huge amounts of data in real time, which could revolutionise the way people travel.

Using collected processed and broadcasted data from various sensors, systems, service providers and crowdsourcing, the digital age transport systems being developed will be able to anticipate situations in near real time, to prevent problems before they emerge.

He said: “Using intelligent transport systems, which integrate real-time traffic data sources, will enable travellers to receive pro-active recommendations for personalised trips, while city authorities will be able to plan dynamic responses to anticipated traffic situations.

“Optimal usage of existing networks is vital for sustaining ever-growing demand for mobility. We will be using technology that can harness big data to offer tailor-made solutions to transport needs and create cleaner, safer, more efficient systems.”

The research work of the University of Wolverhampton will support the operation of an app that allows travellers to receive a bespoke route on the day, to avoid problems. Users will be given incentives for walking, cycling and using public transport systems, thus helping in the reduction of private cars on the transport network.

Dr Georgakis said: “Existing travel planners fail to fully integrate all available modes of transport; nor do they take traveller interactions adequately into account.”

Dr Georgakis, a Reader in transportations systems at the University’s Faculty of Science and Engineering, has been working with Birmingham City Council and the app is currently being trialled to test its efficiency.

Other cities taking part in the pilot are Vienna and Ljubljana. Birmingham residents interested in taking part in the trial should email connected@birmingham.gov.uk .

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