A ground-breaking in-car “app” that warns drivers of nearby congestion is to be trialled in Newcastle.
On-board units will guide the drivers away from congested areas, potentially speeding up journeys.
The app will also tell users were they can park and guide them through traffic lights.
In some cases it will even allow users to remotely change the traffic lights from red to green.
Newcastle will be one of seven cities in Europe taking part in the Compass 4D project, and the only city in the UK.
The project will see a one-year trial of 334 vehicles, including emergency vehicles, taxis, buses and private vehicles.
The vehicle app will communicate directly with the Urban Traffic Management Control (UTMC) centre at Newcastle University. UTMC will in turn relay information from units installed at roadside.
‘Most cars have on board computers which have the technology to communicate with roadside technology,’ said Ray King, Specialist at the UTMC based at the Stephenson Building in Newcastle University.
‘You need a mind which decides if some happens at X, what will be the affect at Y and Z and how can we deal with it.’
Information from the UTMC will warn the on-board device of congestion, accidents and even reckless drivers approaching, allowing the driver to avoid these. The result of which should be reduced traffic, faster journeys and lower overall omissions.
When approaching traffic lights the app will tell the driver what speed to travel it in order to avoid red lights, and if the driver does meet a red light the app will tell them how long it will take to turn to green.
UTMC estimates that 1.2millions cars per day are clocked by cameras in Newcastle, including 70,000 bus movements every day.
By Peter Jepson