The Transport Technology Forum’s Connected Vehicle Working Group has undertaken the latest in its series of demonstrations of cutting-edge near-to-market solutions. A group of invited senior decision-makers from the Department for Transport, National Highways and local authorities attended a day at UTAC’s Millbrook Proving Ground in Bedfordshire.
From being guided to the event car park via the new EloyEvents app, and “paying” for parking with the app of their choice via the National Parking Platform, through to high-speed vehicle demonstrations from Vodafone of their apps and STEP data platform, invitees saw a update on the here-and-now presented at a similar event last autumn.
Portsmouth City Council in particular showed many new connected services it has deployed since seeing them as audience members a year ago and being inspired to become the leading authority in the field.
The day included a presentation of in-vehicle signing from KL systems, firstly linking Navtech Radar’s roadside sensors to detect and warn of wrong way drivers, pedestrians, and cyclists.
It also presented services including vehicle warnings of emergency vehicles from StandbyRSG and HAAS, temporary VMS from SRL, entering a clean air zone (CAZ) and dynamic wind warnings triggering a diversion route from Portsmouth City Council and a digital high visibility app from Crystal.
Caura showed how its app can be used to pay for entering the CAZ, tolls and many other road related expenditure, linking to the NPP.
Acusensus and AECOM showed how AI can be used to detect drivers using mobile phones, and GRID showed how digital TROs can enable new virtual loading bays.
Finally, VESOS showed their award winning TeCall simulator, involving exploding an airbag complete with crash test dummy and showing the speed of digital alerts compared to voice.
These were all services aimed at meeting policy needs on all types of roads including National Highways and for all road users.
“The day packed a lot of services in real vehicles for real users that were just pilots or PowerPoints until recently,” said DfT deputy director Anthony Ferguson. “I was also pleased to hear from Transport for West Midlands about how they have tested some services with users of the M6 toll road to understand better what drivers think of them.”
Rounding off the day Steve Gooding, TTF chair, noted the ongoing need for events that would help tech developers better understand their national and local authority customers’ challenges and open highway managers’ eyes to the potential solutions on offer. “A more joined up conversation between suppliers and highway authorities should pave the way for moving from pilots and pathfinders to widespread practical application that will benefit all road users.”
The Transport Technology Forum provides a dynamic space where road operators and their suppliers can exchange information and agree to work more collaboratively in order to achieve a more cohesive approach. The forum receives funding from the Department for Transport and InnovateUK to help achieve change and technological innovation with collaborating organisations.
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