A collaborative partnership led by Idox Transport (Cloud Amber) with CheckedSafe, Amey and Birmingham City Council has secured funding from the UK's innovation agency InnovateUK, to help reduce highway maintenance fleet emissions around the city.
The 12-month Greenwave pilot project, which started in April 2017, will provide fleet vehicle drivers with an app to monitor traffic signal green timings. By being aware of when traffic lights will change, it's hoped drivers will be able to adapt their speed to 'ride the greenwave' and minimise stops and starts at traffic lights. This should reduce fuel use and also emissions, which are typically greater from stationary/idling traffic.
As one of a number of cities in England mandated to introduce a Clean Air Zone by 2020, this project is aligned to Birmingham City Council's efforts to improve air quality by reducing the impact from particular types of vehicles.
This pilot will work with a small team of drivers and 12 larger vehicles managed by Amey, which provides highways maintenance services to Birmingham City Council through a 25-year partnership. The vehicles used for the trial have been selected because by their nature they use more fuel, and are also deployed in a variety of different work activities across Birmingham.
CheckedSafe is delivering the app that drivers will use to monitor traffic signal timings, working with Idox (CloudAmber) which manages the Urban Traffic Monitoring Control (UTMC) system that controls the traffic signal timings, on behalf of Amey and Birmingham City Council.
Anthony Burgess, from Idox Transport, said: “The development of Greenwave demonstrates that we are committed to meeting the UK’s CO2 reduction and zero emission targets. There is no known solution of this type in existence – which uses data feeds from existing infrastructure to provide drivers with live updates enabling them to change their driving style. We are excited to see what the future will hold for this type of innovative, transport management solution.”
Darran Harris, from CheckedSafe, said: "This is an exciting project for us. The development of the app will assist drivers in riding the “greenwave” and then hopefully encourage drivers to improve driving behaviour to reduce omissions and save fuel. If successful, the solution will be of huge benefit to all towns and cities."
Tony Mathews, Transport Manager for Amey in Birmingham, said: "Amey is involved in a number of initiatives which support Birmingham City Council’s drive to improve air quality and we are delighted to be piloting this technology.
“All of our vehicles are GPS tracked so we can monitor how driving styles impact fuel consumption, and we are excited to see how this trial will help our drivers adapt even further to limit the environmental impact of these essential journeys.”
Philip Edwards, Head of Growth and Transportation, Birmingham City Council said: "Air quality is a big concern for the city and the health and wellbeing of its citizens. We therefore welcome projects like this which are creating innovative, practical solutions to improve air quality in Birmingham."
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