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Cars and vans queuing in heavy traffic

Intelligent Variable Message Systems (iVMS)

Funder

Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership (CWLEP)

Value to Coventry University

Institute for Future Transport and Cities (IFTC): £400,000
Centre for Business in Society (CBiS): £40,000

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Project team

IFTC (Research): Dr Olivier Haas (PI), Dr Stratis Kanarachos (Co-I), Stavros Christopoulos, Oluwaleke Agbaje, Clement Chaillou, Thomas Boulay
CBiS (Evaluation): Professor Nick Henry, Dr David Jarvis, Dr Andrew Jones

Partners

Coventry City Council; HORIBA MIRA; Siemens; Serious Games International; Institute for Future Transport and Cities, Coventry University; Centre for Business in Society, Coventry University; InfoHub

Duration of project

01/06/2016 - 30/03/2018


Project overview

Intelligent Variable Message Systems (iVMS) assessed how connected and automated vehicles interact on key corridors leading into Coventry’s city centre from the national road network.

The iVMS project drew on cutting edge expertise from Coventry University’s Institute For Future Transports and Cities (formerly Centre for Mobility and Transport) and the Centre for Business in Society. The centres supported the City Council in collaboration with project partners HORIBA MIRA, Siemens Mobility and Coventry University spin-out, Serious Games International (SGIL).

The focus of the research undertaken in Coventry was the exploitation of artificial intelligence, in particular neural networks, to model driver behaviour and provide data to support the traffic simulation model calibration. Taking into account driver’s styles and habits it is possible to incorporate them into the route and time of travel suggestions to reduce congestion on Coventry roads and improve journey time reliability. The calibrated simulation model of the three iVMS corridors developed in Aimsun was used to evaluate the impact of peak spreading. It was shown that only minor changes in drivers habits could lead to significant benefits in terms of travel time and reduce congestion.

The independent evaluation of the iVMS project conducted by CBiS sought to provide funding partners with: a statement of achievements, delivery of objectives and value for money achieved by the project; and learning from implementation and for future replication of the project and similar activities. Delivery of the work programme and project outputs was achieved due to the quality of partnership working engendered by the project. This was a new consortium of multiple, but complementary, partners from across sectors with distinctive research, commercial, and social and economic drivers behind their project participation.

Project objectives

The aim of the project was to develop, demonstrate and test new traffic management systems, based on innovative iVMS technology, on three main road arterial routes into Coventry; and to demonstrate the potential for a reduction in congestion in one section of the city. 

The three key objectives of the iVMS project were to:

  • Increase the effectiveness of traffic management in Coventry, leading to reduced congestion and associated economic and social benefits;
  • Encourage behavioural change by individual travellers in support of congestion reduction; and,
  • Provide an enhanced test bed environment for future development of vehicle technologies and transport systems.

By enabling economic and social benefits associated with congestion reduction, providing an innovative model for traffic management technologies for the city, and a ‘test-bed’ capacity for future trials of innovative technology, the project is expected to support further local economic benefit to the sectors, businesses and citizens of Coventry. 

Coventry University focused on three aspects:

  • Overall economic evaluation of the project.
  • Modelling driver behaviour and their impact on traffic.
  • Modelling the three iVMS corridors to simulate the impact of changes in departure time (peak spreading) and route choice amongst the three corridors.

The independent evaluation of the iVMS project sought to provide funding partners with:

  • A statement of achievements, delivery of objectives and value for money achieved by the project; and
  • Learning from implementation and for future replication of the project and similar activities.

The evaluation was based upon:

  • A statement of the rationale for and the objectives of the iVMS project;
  • Sources of data for the project collected by the Partners linked to the use of resources, activities undertaken, and the results of the project, aligned against the evaluation framework; and
  • A baseline against which the achievements of the iVMS project activity can be assessed.
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