Speeding towards solutions to traffic congestion

19 March 2008

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The government-funded Technology Strategy Board has announced that it is to invest £3 million to support six ground-breaking research projects that will develop innovative technologies to assist traffic management.

The funding, which will support research in the UK valued at £6 million, is part of the Technology Strategy Board's Intelligent Transport Systems and Services Innovation Platform.  This was launched in 2006, in collaboration with the Department for Transport, with the aim of accelerating the development of technological solutions to assist road traffic management, including issues such as congestion, traveller information, safety and integrated travel.

Speaking about the Technology Strategy Board's decision to support the six projects, its Chief Executive, Iain Gray, said: "The Technology Strategy Board is committed to stimulating the development of technologies that help address major societal challenges.  Traffic congestion has negative economic, environmental and social impacts across the country."

He added: "But this challenge also represents a major business opportunity for the UK.  We aim to help position British companies to benefit from the growing international demand for intelligent transport systems.  The technologies that will be developed by these projects could be applied around the world."

The six projects are:

OccuTek: Led by HW Communications Ltd, the objective of the project is to investigate and validate the use of mobile phones to verify declared vehicle occupancy levels, as a means of promoting ride sharing through occupancy related discounts to road user charging.

Trusted Driver Model for Privacy and Accountability of TDP Road Pricing: Led by Kizoom, this project will develop a "Trusted Driver Model" which will use advanced cryptographic techniques to guarantee the privacy of the user.

CLASSAC: Led by PIPS Technology Ltd, this project aims to integrate York University's advanced image recognition capabilities into the PIPS Technology's camera range. The object is to make additional metrics available for road user charging.

Integrated mapping systems:  Led by ESRI (UK) Ltd, this project will identify the optimal configuration of the partnerships software along with ESRI's own integrated enterprise mapping software to provide a road price/user information collation solution both for commercial and domestic road users.

3GRSE: Led by telent Technology Services Ltd, this project will develop 3rd Generation Road Side Equipment using an innovative approach to enable Time Distance Place (TDP) implementations that integrate road pricing technologies.

Trusted Road Usage and Emissions Profiling (TRU EP): Led by Trakm8 Ltd, this project will expand Trakm8's current in-use fleet management "Road User Service Provider" system to provide a suite of services bundled into an efficient low cost in-vehicle device.  The system aims to reduce the overall cost of travel whilst improving safety and security.  It will also monitor CO2 emissions and fuel economy.

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