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CONNECTED VEHICLES how will they affect road transport?

Although connected vehicles are still some way off the potential of the technology includes a safer, smarter and greener road transport industry, writes Richard Newbold


onnected vehicle technology is a wireless-based technology which enables vehicles to communicate with each other as well as traffic

infrastructure such as traffic lights. They can communicate through devices which are installed on-board the vehicle which receives warning signals ahead of time about potential hazards including road closures, accidents and bad weather. Connected vehicle technology aims to enable safe, interoperable wireless network communications between vehicles (vehicle-to-vehicle V2V), the infrastructure (vehicle-to-infrastructure V2I) and personal devices (Vehicle-to- device V2X). With the potential capabilities of this technology we can hope for a safer, smarter and greener road transport industry. The vision for connected vehicle technology is to transform and modernise road transport systems to create a future where road traffic accidents and fatalities are dramatically reduced; traffic managers are able to access data so they can accurately review transport system performance and actively manage the system in real-time, for optimal performance; drivers have access to accurate, up to date travel information about route options and the potential cost and environmental impact of those options; and vehicles can communicate with traffic signals to eliminate unnecessary stops and help drivers operate the vehicle for optimal fuel-efficiency. Connected vehicle

technology can help the transport industry tackle some of its biggest issues.

SAFETY In 2014 there were 268,527 vehicles involved in road accidents which resulted in 1,775 reported deaths and 194,477 injuries. Connected vehicle technology has the potential to significantly reduce road accidents and as a result save lives through connected vehicle crash prevention systems. Safety applications would allow for 360 degree awareness around the vehicle to alert the driver to potential hazards they possibly couldn’t see. These applications have the potential to prevent accidents through alerts and warnings. For example, a driver may be alerted of school zone, pot hole or slippery area of the road and could be warned in more immediate crash situations such as merging traffic or if the vehicle in front brakes suddenly. Vehicles could be warned of cyclists and pedestrians which would enhance safety; it would be beneficial to HGV drivers to be warned of potential cyclists/ pedestrians in their blind spots.

MOBILITY In 2014 UK drivers spent on average three working weeks of their lives stuck in traffic with journeys taking 29% longer than they would’ve in free flowing traffic. The overall cost to the UK economy in 2014 was £13bn, 37% of which was indirect costs from higher

Connected vehicle

technology aims to enable safe, interoperable wireless network communications between vehicles, the infrastructure and personal devices

transport cost and business fees from company vehicles idling in traffic which is then passed on to the consumer. Connected vehicle mobility systems will enable drivers and operators to make route choices which will reduce their journey time. Mobility applications are designed to provide a connected, data enriched transport environment based on information transmitted from thousands of connected vehicles that are using the system at the same time. This data could help transport

managers monitor and manage their transport system performance eg managing driver routes and utilising resources as efficiently as possible.

ENVIRONMENT In 2014 eco-unfriendly driving habits cost the UK motorist £700m. With connected vehicle environmental applications drivers will be able to make decisions which improves their efficiency behind the wheel resulting in lower cost to the motorist and a reduction in CO2 emissions. Real-time information about traffic congestion and road conditions will help drivers and transport managers make more informed decisions that can reduce the impact on the environment and cut down costs. Informed drivers will have the opportunity to avoid congested areas by taking alternative routes or public transport or rescheduling their journey, all of which can make it more fuel efficient and thereby more environmently-friendly. The ability for vehicles to communicate

with traffic infrastructure could provide information to the driver so that they can drive through traffic signals at optimum speeds to reduce stopping. Although connected vehicles are still

some way off the potential for the technology is huge and could reduce road accident fatalities, reduce travel delay and reduce vehicle emissions. In addition are the potential savings that could be made by the road transport industry on deliveries resulting in lower costs being passed on to the consumer.


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