|Roads & Highways|
New consortium secures Government funding to position the UK as a leader in connected and autonomous vehicles.
A consortium of leading UK businesses, including TRL, has secured funding from Innovate UK to examine the data requirements needed to support autonomous navigation. The ground breaking ‘Atlas’ initiative will study data critical to the efficient operation of autonomous vehicles and how it can be enhanced.
Testing the feasibility of maintaining, processing and distributing this data is a core element of the project. If Atlas is successful, we could see a more rapid take-up of connected and autonomous vehicles, consolidating the UK’s position as a global leader in driverless car technologies and innovation.
Partners in the consortium, which is led by Ordnance Survey, include: TRL, Satellite Applications Catapult, Sony Europe Ltd, the Royal Borough of Greenwich and two leading UK specialist SME’s in autonomous and navigation systems: GOBOTIX and OxTS. It is one of a number of projects, announced by Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, Sajid Javid on 1 February, that will benefit from £20 million of government investment to research and develop communication between vehicles and the roadside infrastructure. The Atlas project will commence 1 May 2016.
Commenting on the announcement, Rob Wallis, CEO at TRL said; “Atlas is the latest in a string of innovative projects to be making use of TRL’s UK Smart Mobility Lab at Greenwich. It is an important project for autonomous vehicle development because the success of this work will not only enable safe navigation of these vehicles, but help to transform our transport system and ultimately save lives. If we can understand how to safely and securely transfer data between vehicles, then we really can put the UK at the forefront of connected and automated mobility.”
Jeremy Morley, Ordnance Survey’s Chief Geospatial Scientist, stressed the strength of the consortium and the potential benefits from the Atlas project: “Autonomous vehicles will need to find their way reliably and safely through a vast network of streets while interacting with driven and other autonomous vehicles. Imagine sections of road – other than motorway – equipped with beacons using the potential of 5G technology and geospatial accuracy to sense ‘unexpected objects’ (a.k.a ‘children and animals’), that may unwittingly stray into the path of an oncoming autonomous vehicle.
“Engines in autonomous cars that pick up on road surface conditions perhaps, to adjust a car’s tyre pressures. We’re already seeing developments along these lines as collaborations take place between other mapping organisations and a range of car manufacturers – BMW, AUDI, et al.”
Morley continues: “Then, what about catalytic converters that issue reports on fuel efficiency? Based on data coming from sensors embedded in the road’s surface, these could then update an employee’s benefits in kind – in real-time. Dynamic cats-eyes that open and close as traffic passes maybe… smartphones equipped with apps to interpret gantry signals, automatically updating calendars and meeting requests depending on traffic flow.”
Ben Davis, Technical Director of Gobotix, said: “We have been working for some time alongside OxTS to use our joint expertise in robotics, navigation and computer vision in order to improve and build upon vehicle autonomy in a range of environments. This exciting opportunity enables us, through close collaboration with industry-leading companies, to explore further some of the ideas from our brightest and best minds.”
Stuart Martin, CEO of the Satellite Applications Catapult, said: “We're delighted to be supporting Atlas. As part of the Government's investment in connected and autonomous vehicles, we're hugely encouraged by the value placed on ensuring robust and resilient satellite data – a fundamental part of a successful data-driven programme. This will provide end-users with the assurance and confidence they require that data access, discovery and retrieval is managed securely by all associated parties.”
Denise Hyland – Leader, Royal Borough of Greenwich, said: “The Royal Borough of Greenwich is delighted to be working with Ordnance Survey and the other consortium members on this important and exciting project. Connected and autonomous vehicles have the potential to transform mobility and land use patterns in our cities, and Greenwich is committed to understanding how cities need to respond to support their deployment, and capture the opportunities they can bring. This project, supported by Innovate UK, complements the work being undertaken by the Royal Borough of Greenwich on smart city innovation and smart mobility – work that we believe will be significant for all cities in the future.”
This article http://ift.tt/1S0ZcHq first appeared on the following website http://ift.tt/1T3oLcp.
World-renowned transport consultancy, TRL (the Transport Research Laboratory), is offering expert advice to local authorities and PFIs to help them adopt best practice for highway appraisal and maintenance. The guidance accompanies the newly-launched Highways Maintenance Appraisal Tool (HMAT) and will help organisations to secure vital additional funding as part of the Department for Transport Local Highways Maintenance Challenge Fund.
TRL recently developed the innovative HMAT, a spreadsheet based model designed to estimate the wider benefits that arise from road maintenance, as part of work funded by the Department for Transport (DfT). For the first time, a fully holistic approach has been adopted for highways upkeep, with factors analysed including delays to road users, carbon emissions, vehicle operating costs, accidents and much more.
In addition, experts from TRL are now offering support in analysing road network maintenance options using HMAT, enabling organisations to maximise performance and reduce costs, resulting in more efficient highways maintenance.
Built on the existing Highways Maintenance Efficiency Programme (HMEP) and Potholes Review of 2012, the HMAT modelling enables highway officials to assess and compare the economic costs and benefits of proposed asset management strategies, allowing them to make key decisions on maintenance funding and justify any proposed budget increases.
Rob Wallis, CEO of TRL, commented: “HMAT enables local highway authorities in England to demonstrate a wider approach to road maintenance planning and to bid for these extra maintenance funds. Currently, a small proportion of the highways maintenance budget is assigned to a Local Highways Maintenance Challenge Fund, but this is expected to increase over the coming years. So it will be increasingly important for highways officials to provide evidence to justify budget for maintenance. HMAT will be vital in helping to unlock this extra funding.”
He added: “With the help of HMAT and our expert advice, local authorities can ensure that they reduce costs, improve performance and, most importantly, do not lose out on any funding.”
HMAT was two years in development and followed on from TRL work completed for the National Maintenance Review in Scotland and for the RAC Foundation and the Association of Directors of Environment, Economy, Planning and Transport (ADEPT) in England. DfT believes the tool helps “towards better understanding the full benefits of highways maintenance” and has encouraged local authorities to adopt its use to better provide evidence and justify budget decisions.
The HMAT model and user guide are available for download at http://ift.tt/1O2ZJq2.
TRL has more than 1,000 customers across 145 countries worldwide. More information can be found at www.trl.co.uk
This article http://ift.tt/1T3oKoQ first appeared on the following website http://ift.tt/1T3oLcp.
TRB Webinar: Current Practices in Conducting Field Inspections for Maintenance Quality Assurance (MQA)
TRB will conduct a webinar on Tuesday, March 1, 2016 from 2:00PM to 3:30PM ET that will features a report from the National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP). The webinar will explore NCHRP Synthesis 470: Maintenance Quality Assurance Field Inspection Practices , which summarizes practices used by state transportation agencies to support maintenance investments. Capabilities of Maintenance Quality Assurance (MQA) programs have evolved as data collection and analysis technology has improved and...
This article http://ift.tt/1SbIh60 first appeared on the following website http://www.trb.org/.