A new EU-funded project to deliver green traffic management systems in European cities and towns has launched. The three-year project, titled THE ISSUE (‘Traffic- Health-Environment. Intelligent Solutions Sustaining Urban Economies’), brings together research clusters from five European regions: the East Midlands in the United Kingdom, the Molise region in Italy, the Midi-Pyrenees and Aquitaine regions in France and the Mazovia region in Poland.
With €2.7 million (US$3.5 million) in funding as part of the Regions of knowledge Theme of the EU’s Seventh Framework Programme (FP7), the project partners will support scientists, engineers and development agencies from the different regions to work together and develop more effective methods of easing road congestion and improving the urban environment.
Traffic management systems use information and communication technologies (ICT) applied to both transport infrastructure and vehicles in order to improve safety, reliability or even productivity. Increasingly, traffic management systems are also addressing the need to tackle environmental factors.
The ultimate aim is to influence future policy so that traffic management systems that benefit public health and safety are widely implemented. The main trouble areas when it comes to traffic management are how transport impacts on urban mobility, how green the transport system is, and the health, safety and security of citizens.
THE ISSUE project will use diverse technologies and research applications to tackle these traffic management issues. One such example is the integration of computer intelligence solutions and real-time satellite navigation data into existing operational urban traffic management systems. Two other practical approaches are space and in situ measurements to help mitigate risk to citizens’ health from traffic-induced air pollution, and technology demonstration and pre-operational real-time trials of a hydrogen fuel cell-powered car operating in a city environment.
The project is being headed up by researchers from the University of Leicester and Leicester City Council in the United Kingdom.
The main objective of the Regions of Knowledge Theme of the FP7 is to promote knowledge exchange and cooperation between European regions so as to stimulate economic growth and job creation. THE ISSUE project aims to create partnerships between different regional research clusters to bring together and coordinate existing and forthcoming research and technological development (RTD) programmes relevant to traffic, health and the environment.
The concept is that by holding consultations, participating regional and local authorities can identify economic priorities specific to certain regions, and ensure that their research priorities are in line with their traffic, health and environment policies.