Exeter City Council and Devon County Council in the UK have launched a two-year project that will use a range of sensors and other information sources to understand which factors affect people’s travel behaviour.
The councils have partnered with a consortium of traffic experts and specialist providers led by IT services provider NTT Data, which will deliver local knowledge, capability and technology.
The Engaged Smart Transport project will use real-time data from traffic and weather sensors, combined with other data sources such as eyewitness and behavioural information to find congestion and its occurrence, and take action to solve the problems.
Imtech Traffic & Infra will provide intelligent transport systems for the project. Vaisala’s environmental sensors will offer data on road conditions and weather.
A team from the University of Exteter will provide behavioural research into real-time travel decision-making, while Black Swan will deliver trend analysis, prediction and citizen engagement via social media.
Exeter plans to deliver 12,000 new homes and 60ha of new business land and 40,000m² of new retail space by 2026, which will put additional pressure on the city’s infrastructure and public transport.
NTT DATA public sector head Anna Price said: “Cities around the world are suffering from the same congestion problems, so I’m delighted that we can apply NTT DATA’s proven technologies from Japan to drive innovation in the UK.
“The Engaged Smart Transport project is a first-time investment by NTT DATA’s R&D department here in the UK and I’m really thrilled to be applying our Japanese smart transportation expertise to helping the people of Exeter.”
Traffic levels and journey times remain unpredictable in Exeter even though the city uses a range of traffic management measures.
Exeter city development lead councillor Rachel Sutton said: “The project outcomes will enhance the lives of residents and commuters and help the local economy to thrive, while supporting our public health efforts to reduce avoidable vehicle emissions.”