A congestion busting information system which gives motorists advance warning of traffic light changes has won a national award.
The Green Light Optimal Speed Advisory (GLOSA) system, which was installed and trialled on the A45 Coventry Road in Birmingham, relays impending traffic light changes to the cars allowing them to adjust their speed and avoid sharp braking between junctions.
The trial involved a selected group of motorists who saw a 10% to 14% reduction in stop-starts over the 6km route and their journey times were cut by up to 7%.
GLOSA won the project of the year award from ITS (Intelligent Transport Systems) UK – a national organisation which promotes the pioneering use of technology in transport.
The project was a collaboration between Transport for West Midlands (TfWM), lead contractor Amey Consulting as well as Birmingham City Council, and private sector app developers Eastpoint Software, IDT Ltd and SGTI. It was funded by the Department for Transport.
The trial involved the technology being fitted to ten junctions and details sent to a smartphone held by a passenger.
The system predicted the light changes and drivers were given the optimal speed when approaching the junction.
TfWM, part of the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA), is looking to work with partners to see how GLOSA can be scaled up following the successful trial and rolled out further across the road network.
Cllr Roger Lawrence, WMCA portfolio holder for transport, said: “Once again the West Midlands is being recognised as a pioneer in the use of technology to meet modern transport challenges. This award is a tribute to the talent and partnership working we have here in the region.
“Being at the forefront of the development of 5G mobile technology and connected and autonomous vehicles and the UK’s first Future Mobility Area, we can expect more exciting developments in due course.”
With installation costs less than £1,000 per junction, it could be cheaply and quickly expanded to other routes and the open source app could be easily adapted to in car information systems or sat nav devices in future.
And with relatively low set-up costs it could be adopted by other highway authorities.
The system will be refined with an expanded trial in 2019. It could also prove crucial for connected and autonomous vehicles which are due to be tested in the West Midlands.
Paul Rose, ITS Technical Director for Amey Consulting said: “This project and the award are very important to Amey Consulting, not just because they offer a genuine low cost/low impact opportunity for Local Authorities to explore the potential benefits of emerging Connected Vehicle use cases, but also as they show the importance of collaborating with those Local Authorities and key SME partners to maximise the benefits of our complimentary skills and experience.
“It also demonstrates our innovation and systems integration capability very well.”
Councillor Waseem Zaffar, Cabinet Member for Transport and Environment at Birmingham City Council, said: “It is fantastic news that this innovative technology, which was tested right here in Birmingham, has won this prestigious award.
“Anything that helps to reduce congestion on our roads is to be welcomed and I am pleased that the success of the trial means that this system could now be rolled out further.”