Network Emissions/Vehicle Flow Management Adjustment (NEVFMA)

Lead Participant: Aimsun Limited

Abstract

In the last 5 years, air quality has become a key consideration for the UK government agenda, as illustrated by the increasing number of Low Emission Zones (LEZ), Ultra Low Emission Zones (ULEZ, including the first ULEZ in a mega-City in London) and even the world’s first Zero Emission Zone (Oxford, starting from 2020) and dedicated funds. This is due to the alarming evidence of local and wider implications of air quality to the health of citizens, and world climate. As transportation contributes to grow a high percentage of the total emissions, traffic management and regulations, such as the emissions-controlled zones, have the potential to significantly contribute towards a solution. Yet, this localised approach to reducing emissions may have other wider implications to near-by areas, a critical example being the SRN. For example, prohibiting or discouraging vehicles from crossing one region (such as a city centre), may disproportionally burden the strategic road network (such as a ring road) around that region with a net negative effect. A linked consideration is that as cities/regions are aiming to incentivise active travel by, for example, prioritising pedestrians over cars at traffic lights, this might have implications on the link roads. A holistic approach is needed where the impact of such local measures can be evaluated alongside their implications on the SRN. Establishing a working and scalable Proof of Concept (PoC) to deliver this vision is challenging as it involves, especially if this system is to be dynamic, responding the live situations. Suppose that an area would like to dynamically change between prioritising walkability (and healthy travel) as a Business As Usual (BaU), yet at times of high congestion would need to switch the traffic management to increase traffic flow (thus reducing congestion and enabling better use of vehicles), our solution to this problem will: • Systematise clear trigger points, based on predictions of the implication of not taking any actions • Creating measurable and actionable KPIs that can be used for the evaluation of the system at traffic control centres • Be based on real time data of both traffic and air quality (AQ data may be from on-vehicle sensors, infrastructure-imbedded sensors or satellite data) • Establish clear tactics that are appropriate to the region (divergence routes, time-to-green etc) that are based on traffic modelling of their implications, which are also evaluated • Be communicated to the drivers over the air via reliable routes, such as highways authority’s social media, broadcast radio etc. • Be communicated to the drivers via edge devices, such as traffic lights and DSRC communication.

Lead Participant

Project Cost

Grant Offer

Aimsun Limited £999,000

Publications

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